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MinnesotaMuskie

Does size count???

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I need advice. I built a NICE 8x12 house. It is very comfortable but heavy. I have the wheels, drop hitch all the goodies. The only problem is that it does not tow well and once I set it down...it ends up getting left. Last year Borch put my boys and I on some sunnies and crappies(Thanks)...but I ended up needing a wrecker to get off the lake frown.gif

I am thinking of selling and going to a 6x8. I could still have bunks and it has a spot for the 4-wheeler up front. I fish with my boys.

What are your thoughts...is it better to be portable or comfortable?

------------------
Practice CPR...Catch, Photo, Realease. Unless you pickle a small northern of course.

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It's only my opinion but to me mobility is priority number one. I have a collapsible 4x8 that fits in the box of my truck. There is many times that I will hit multiple spots on a lake each day to find active fish, something that would be very difficult with a more permanent set-up. I also find my little house very comfortable, of course it's too small to bunk in but if it's my choice that is the only way I could go.

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MinnesotaMuskie-

Tough Decision there. I think both types of houses have their value. I think I would choose portability first. I'll be fishing out of our newly built 7'x12' this winter but using it as a basecamp for the most part. If the fish are biting in the house, that'll be a bonus. Otherwise it'll be cruising around with the Otter trying to find something that'll bite.

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I am really torn...I store my house at our cabin on Lake Amelia near Glenwood. I live near St. Cloud The kids and I, ages 7-17 only get a few trips a year...I would like to make the most of each trip...would be nice to get out earlier than late December as well??? I will keep wathcing the suggestions.

Anyone out there made a 6x8 into a decent sleeper...we do like to to stay out a couple times a year.

I could just have both???? Ya right.

"If Mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy."

------------------
Practice CPR...Catch, Photo, Realease. Unless you pickle a small northern of course.

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How many boys do you have??

I could possibly see sleeping 4 in a 6'x8'. 2 bunk beds each side, approximately 30" wide and 6' long would leave you with a 3' area in the middle to have a heater and a door to get outside. Probably no holes open to fish out of at night, maybe 1. Would be a little cramped but I don't see why you couldn't do it.

If you plan on sleeping 3, I could see doing the bunk bed on one side and doing a upper bunk on the other and you could then have lots of floor space for a few holes, door, and heater (however you plan on heating the house).

Of course the bunks would fold up against the walls when you are not sleeping. I would imagine you could fish 6 holes during the day and a couple at night somewhat comfortably.

I think you could probably do it, just have to be a little creative on the design side of the fish house and a little tolerant of each other while using the house and it could work out great.

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I fished out of smaller permanants for years and found I began to hate staring at walls and only catching a few fish.Sure I could move the shak and get set up another spot within an hours time,but it was a lot of work.Found I didn't move unless I was skunked a couple nights in a row.
I sold my shak and went with a sled and an Otter.I have been catching a LOT more fish since.I dress appropriately in good outdoor gear and stay pretty comfortable.I should mention I rarely even set up the Otter and just use it as a sled.I am on the move untill I find the most active fish.Fish the spot untill it slows and move on again.
I do wish I still had the permanant.It would be great to have a big comfy house to stay the night on my favorite lake,or just kick back sometimes and watch a bobber.
Maybee keeping the big shak and getting a couple portables for you and the boys might be an option.

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mm,
I just got a 6.5 x 12 crank down . Weighed in at 1400 lbs. Tows well and can be moved with a four wheeler. The back opens up to transport the wheeler. We also will have it out on Amelia a few times this winter grin.gif

I was originally thinking 6.5 x 10 but the weight difference was minimal and everyone I talked to said bigger is better, but bigger can be heavier as you found out.

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I have a friend that had a 6'x8' and we used to sleep three guys in it and moving it was as easy as it get's. Another benefit is you won't lose any sleep over it staying on the lake when you are gone. One more thing is that you can be on early ice if it is built light.Also they trailer easy on a sled bed of some sort.I bet you could probably get a good deal on one on this site.

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TV BOY, what kind of Ice house did you get? I've been looking for one that same size with the capability to transport the ATV inside as well. Thanks! Post pics if you have them.

[This message has been edited by TurkeyNateDog (edited 09-29-2004).]

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I have a 7 X 14 on wheels. I can go from fishing one spot and move to another 2 miles away, and be set up fishing in about 20 minutes. I've had it for 4 years now so I got it down pretty good. I also use my trap voyager for trying spots fast. My suggestion would be not worry about the size, just get used to moving it and you'll get pretty fast. plus you're going to want as much room as you can get with four peolpe asleep in there. And have plenty of ventilation with that many people in there, with a heater going. good luck, Kid

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TurkeyNateDog, I got a Dandy Hardwater coach.

A no frills interior spray foam insulation with Aluminum studs.
47b4d708b3127cceb7cdd18786a70000001610

47b4d708b3127cceb7cd0ce3c6350000001610
47b4d708b3127cceb7cd0ccc472a0000001610
47b4d708b3127cceb7cd0cebc63d0000003610

[This message has been edited by TV BOY (edited 09-29-2004).]

[This message has been edited by Rick (edited 09-29-2004).]

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TV Boy, that's a beauty.

If I could, I'd go with both. I'd have a permanent as a "base camp" and then use the portable for the on-ice hunting.

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I'm with Dennis. Fishhouses like the Otter Lodge are so nice, I didn't put my permenant house on the lake last year! I've set them up in all sorts of terrible weather and never had a problem. Moving with the fish, or finding fish is incredibly easy.

This summer I adopted an 8x10 fishhouse that I will likely put on the lake. It's heavy, and I'm concerned about it, but I think I can make it work. smile.gif I want to be able to sleep on the ice this winter for the late night walleye bite.

I will still use the Otter for finding new spots if things die off, and for chasing crappies when the wallys don't cooperate.

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TV BOY is there any possibility of getting that fish house with the 60 inch wide doors? my atv is 53 inches wide I am looking for a fish house like that one smile.gif

Big Fish Hunter247

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Big Fish Hunter 247:
My Dads first house (aluminum) three years back was like the above house.. They make the open back gate type or anything you need to accomodate your ATV...
For the $$$$ it was a great house..He took it home and paneled it...
My older brother has it as the old man moved on to better things. (I'm hoping I'm the next recepient) LOL

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Ole1885

I was with him when he picked it up.. They are located in Clearwater on (94) & Minn (24) on the NW side of the two roads.. You can see them from the north ramp off (94)to your NW or west bound over (94) on (24) you can see them over your right shoulder.

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Ole:
I asked my Dad as I could not find a site
He said they didn't as far as he knew.. They go by Countryside Camper or close to it I guess.. The Fish Houses are called Dandy !!
They make trailers for ATV, Snowmobiles, Cargo Trailers and the fish houses...

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Well...I made my decision. My big heavy house i heading to a permament home on Mille Lacs. Kind of bittersweet...I do not know how one can get attached to a fishouse...but I did.

We are working on a 6.5 x 10. The frame is very unique. You will actually lower the fishouse and the fram will stay hooked up. In front of the house will be a spot to take the wheeler with. Permanant ramps that fold up.

The framing is inique in the sense that you use 3/4 ply, 22 tubes of liquid nails, and lots of staples.

The first prottype was pulled down the road this last weekend. Towed wxtremely well with the wheeler loaded and speeds of 65 mph...even on 23 south of St. Cloud.

The weight without the wheeler will be 830 lbs. I will post pictures in a couple weeks when it is done.

------------------
Practice CPR...Catch, Photo, Realease. Unless you pickle a small northern of course.

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Sorry about the delayed response, I was trying to find a few ducks.

I got my house at countryside campers in Clearwater as mentioned by taho. They have a web page thats not as informative as some. Do a search with "countryside campers" and look down and you should find it.

MN Muskie, did you have a house out on Amelia in the past and if so any problems getting on or off due to snow?

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TV,

Yes I have a house on the lake for about 2 weeks and then travel some. I had a couple bad experiences trying to get off the access.

Not sure why...but that area seemed to rot and fail.

Not an expert but...

Are you going to hit Amelia this year?

I will have my new house out there...

I went with a 6.5 X 10 with a spot for the wheeler up front. Should be sweet.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Sounds like a great trip and a really fun experience, congratulations! Thanks for all the pictures and sharing your story. I know that's a lot of work and it is much appreciated.
    • At this point we had one full day and one morning left to hunt.  No more elk moved into the drainage behind camp.  By some miracle a cow and spike did come back to the hillside we had elk on that first evening, but neither Dad or I could get in position quick enough before they went back over the fence.     All added up we had 2 very good opportunities, and one decent, which by our standards and past experience in general OTC type units was a pretty decent week of elk hunting even though no elk were killed.  We learned a lot about the unit and a potential better way to access the landlocked area behind us via a possible easement logging road, but we have to confirm that with the forest service at a later date.       You might be wondering what happened with our whitetail tags.   We had numerous run-ins with deer on an almost daily basis.  There were at least three occasions where does would feed right into camp, and it got to a point I kept my bow in the cook shack to try to shoot out of it as a blind.  They never stuck around long enough though to actually get a shot off.      Dad sat his tree stand a number of times above camp as he came down at sunset with enough time to sit in a tree for a half hour or so, but the deer always seemed to pass through the spots he could not shoot or see.  One time he climbed down to two deer staring at him from within range, he just did not see them coming...   Almost every evening we walked down the road behind camp we would kick up a deer or two bedding in the quakeys, but as the week progressed they clearly became more skittish of us.  I also tried hunting back down the gravel road and found some good spots where they crossed the road and creek, which if I actually focused on sitting over with a treestand I feel I could have shot a deer, but I wanted an elk more...        Our Elk B tags are good through rifle season, as are the deer tags.  If the stars align and my wife allows I might make a run back out.  I have an acquaintance in the area that I am checking with to see if he might be interested.       I hope Scoot and ArcherySniper come back to report better luck on their hunts.  
    • It rained that night, and the next morning we went up high to glass back where we left the elk.  They seem to have never left the cut we saw them bed in.       Some interesting low clouds.   It rained all afternoon, but the forecast said it would clear a couple hours before sunset.   We observed snow on the high peaks in the distance.        Once the rain stopped and the skies looked clear we went back to see if we could finally shoot an elk.  We worked the wind back up to where we had last sat so we see the elk and still move down to intercept if they came down for water/feed.   The elk were still up high, but shifted left a couple cuts.  We were now close enough to confirm that the bull was in fact a smallish 6 point.       We waited a long time watching the cows get up to feed and then bed down again repeatedly.  As sunset neared the lead cow looked ready to commit to coming down.  Our plan was to run down fast to intercept, watching as we fast-walked down to the bottom.   It was clear now the elk were following the left most ridge, and moving quite fast, they definitely wanted to get to the bottom for the good creek water and green grass!      The plan was I would run ahead to intercept as I could get their faster.  I knew the place they were going, having scouted it earlier in the week.  It was a perfect funnel.  The cows went behind the narrow ridge they were following, but the bull stayed high watching the drainage.  I managed to get up through the saplings quietly and in position, and could see the bull up high, and the cows feeding and walking right to me on a string!      Unfortunately behind me I heard a loud stick break.  The bull did too and was pacing back and forth rapidly trying to figure out what was below him...  I could see my dad standing in the creek bottom.   I adjusted my position, the cows were coming closer, I ranged for shot options, they would pass within 40yd and the bull might walk right over me...    The bull unfortunately had had enough.  He swooped down to the cows and herded them back up the hill...  The cows had no clue what was going on, but the bull clearly was not stupid.   After waiting until it was close to dark I picked my way back down to my dad, who was standing on the cattle trail we had gone up previously.  It turned out that he tripped over a downfall fell badly.   He was not hurt, but he thought the bull could not see him, but I had a better view from above as to what was going on.  Those elk were not seen again for the rest of the hunt.    
    • Unfortunately the weather turned bad on us and it rained over night, I forget if it was day four or five.   In any case a cloud system rolled in and low cloud ceiling filled the drainage behind camp.        We went up the front side of the area hoping elk would be out there to get out of the clouds.  It was extremely windy now as well.  I went high back where I saw the spike days earlier and was glassing back up the drainage when I saw a bull and three cows in the wide open up high!   I considered running down the cut between us to try to intercept in the creek bottom below, but did not want to risk bumping these elk when they were the only elk in the entire drainage!     Dad sidehilled across to join me, followed by a herd of mule deer does...      Selfie with cloud covered hills.        We watched where the elk bedded and decided to ambush them in the evening.  We decided to drive out to town to hit the grocery store so Dad could have more fresh food and not have to resort to eating what I brought.  The cloud system over the area did not look good from below at all...     That evening we went to the hill the elk were on in the morning so we could see where they were bedded.  The clouds were so thick now in the drainage we could not see up to where the elk were.  It was very windy and cold. The elk never showed up.  We left before sunset.     Another selfie in the clouds, so cold and windy I had to break out the facemask and extra layers while hunkering down behind a blowdown.      
    • I told my dad that he should not follow me up that hill, it might kill him.  He did not take me seriously...  He followed anyway.  We left camp very early as it was a long walk up the drainage, and I wanted to be on top before the elk, but I still needed daylight to get up the dangerous last 700ft.     Sunrise behind me on the way up:   I made it to the top and set up in the rock outcropping.  Time passed, Dad was nowhere to be seen behind me.  I saw a group of elk below me in the next drainage, a nice bull and what might have been the cows/calves I was seeing on the spine the previous days...     I waited, and waited, and saw lots of fresh tracks in the dirt.  Dad showed up, still no elk up high...  We waited until about 10am, long past when they had passed through the other times.  The elk below us bedded and a satellite bull moved in on them.  Another bull was bugling to the one below us, and we heard one lone bugle to the right.   We had no intention of going down to try to shoot one, because if we did it would be a nightmare for us to get the meat out again.        We gave up and picked our way back down the chute and all the way to camp.  After doing this walk two days in a row my feet hurt like hell and I was beat.  I would not be able to do it again a third day in a row.     
    • I think it was the third morning when I walked back up the big drainage behind camp to get a good look on the ground for elk sign.  On the way I saw more elk way up on the spine of the drainage.  Lots more elk sign in the back cuts.  It was clear this area held a lot of elk during the summer, but they got busted out by hunters during the early part of the season.    I decided I was going to get a closer look at the potential trail to the top of the drainage spine.  I am a rock climber, so heights don't bother me so much.  I was more concerned about footing and if my dad could get up there, and if I did shoot one how would I get it down...   The top of the spine where I was targeting was 1600ft above camp, the last chute is about 700ft alone and very steep.   I slowly picked my way up the chute, sweating profusely in the sun, but was rewarded at the top.    The view back to camp:   The view down the back side, one square mile of almost entirely private landlocked national forest.       The elk highway along the spine that I was seeing elk use, and was covered in fresh tracks.       The elk trail at the top funnel together at a rock outcropping that I knew I had to use as a blind. If I shot an elk up here it would have to be at the very top, because hauling meat down the hill behind me was bad enough, but I did not want to have to haul any up the hill either as it was just as steep on the other side!   I made plans to come back early the next morning and kill an elk at this spot.   That evening I sat on the other hill we had been hunting more consistently, and watched the herd of elk taunting us from a far off ridge.  Here is one of the small satellite bulls.    
    • Dad had seen a black bear below him that first morning, and when I walked down the next day with him I was able to snap some photos in the early light with my bigger camera.  They are grainy, but it looked like a nice bear to me.  We did not have a tag.     Herd of elk way out on private range land:   Interesting spider:
    • Unfortunately this is where the trip gets boring.   That herd we accidentally set up on the very first evening moved across the fence and taunted us from the other side all week.  We knew it was a good spot, but wind directions did not cooperate, and no more elk would cross the fence there no matter how much we wanted them to or how good the sign was on that hillside.    The second morning I went higher above to glass back up the main drainage.  Far up on the rim of the drianage I saw a few elk walk across the spine.  I knew from the map there was one chute that could access the national forest behind us, and as far as I knew there were no other ways back up there.  I added some waypoints to onx.   As I worked around the hill glassing, I eventually walked into a spike bull bedded.  Unfortunately he was alone, and some cattle fed into him and bumped him out.  He then saw/smelled me and busted out never to be seen again.     The drainage behind camp:   Elk on the high rim of the drainage:   Looking down to camp where the whitetail deer live:   Spike bull elk at 90yd. 
    • As luck, or bad luck, would have it the first evening was one of our luckiest.  We hiked up the main logging road that took us to the front of the drainage overlooking some prime grazing areas.  We hiked back to where we hit a private ranch fence that had timber on the other side, hoping elk would come out to feed and we could observe.   We no sooner arrived at our observation point and a raghorn bull across the valley saw us coming and blew out ahead of us...      We found a place to sit by a grove of shorter quaking aspens (I think).  We waited and waited, and I scouted behind the grove and came back to let my dad know there was a lot of elk sign on the hillside above us...     As sunset rolled around we heard something behind us, Dad though it was birds.  There were birds in the aspens, but this was much louder.   I figured there were elk coming right to us, so we knocked arrows and waited.  Fortunately they wind was right, and now thermals kicked in to further assist.    Sure enough elk had moved right into us.  If we were facing uphill instead of out across the valley we would have had easy shots.  Unfortunately the elk sensed something was wrong, so we each snuck around opposite sides of the grove.  I went high side, and saw an elk 40yd in front of me, but I thought I saw antlers so did not move further for a shot.  I waited.  Dad had gone low, not as quietly, and the elk were moving off now.  I saw a huge herd bull crest the hill above, and a cow and calf stood in front of me at 80yd.   I drew on them, but did not shoot.         After the frustration wore off, we headed back to camp.  We crossed the last cattle gate above camp just before dark, and I looked up to see two whitetail does standing there staring at us.  I couldn't believe it...  I quickly confirmed they were whitetail, and we both ranged them for 35yd.  I drew to shoot, settled in for the shot, and watched as my arrow sailed right over the does back...  I couldn't believe it.  I made sure I was using the right pins, and even doing a test shot the next day showed the bow was shooting accurately...   Throughout the week we learned the whitetail deer were consistently feeding and bedding right around our camp.  Dad set a tree stand not more than 100yd above camp.      
    • This year I got the bright idea of buying some leftover Elk B tags in a unit in SW Montana that we had never been to before. Originally my dad and I were planning on going back out to Idaho where we hunted two years ago now that we had some experience there.   MT Elk B tags are less than half the cost of an any elk tag in Idaho, and 1/3 the cost of a MT general elk tag.  In addition we could buy up two two Whitetail B tags each for a reasonable fee, and it looked like there were plenty in the unit to go around.  It did not take much convincing for my dad.    Some quick research on the internet showed this unit had a good amount of accessible national forest ground, plus state and Block Management areas.  Access was a little limited to a handful of major trailheads and short road sections, but I felt there were enough options to give it a go.  Another plus was that the elevation in this area had camp at 6000ft and most of our hunting no higher than 7500ft.  This was important because Dad turned 69 during the trip and I wanted to make sure he wouldn't have a heart attack in the middle of the hunt.  I also subscribed to the OnXMaps service and put the app with my account on both of our phones so we could share waypoints, and waypoints I saved ahead of time from home could be visible on the phone app.  
      The drive across MN/ND/MT was uneventful, except that because we had so much extra junk in the truck that the seats could not lean back properly to allow for decent sleep at 2am...  I forget where we had breakfast, maybe it was Billings.  Dad likes to eat at local cafes whenever possible, and he found one attached to a cattle auction facility.   We were the only non-ranchers in attendance.  The food was very good, and provided leftovers for a second meal.     We arrived in our unit in one piece, and my first choice area turned out to not have anyone camped at the trailhead!   So we set up shop and made camp.  As per the usual with my dad, he packed everything plus the kitchen sink, in double...  I lean more towards the minimalist side, and have learned that any food I pack likely will not be eaten as he prefers full cooked meals instead of whatever I can muster up on my whisperlite.  Our truck camp is usually pretty comfortable.   I'm sure you will all recognize the Eskimo pop-up ice shack.  These work great as cook shacks on hunting trips!  Dad has one of the tall models you can stand in, with quilted sides.  Even without the tarp on top it will keep out quite a bit of rain, and the propane cook stove heats it well in the morning/evening.  During the day the open windows and doors provide great ventilation to relax in the shade, while the Cabelas Alaskan tent was roasting hot inside.      Turns out there are a decent number of cattle in this drainage with us.  We were constantly dodging cow pies and herding them off the trails ahead of us.        
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