Don’t be surprised finding ice-in boat ramps

boatrampOne thing about waterfowl hunting in Southwest Idaho in the winter. There are lots of surprises.

I pulled up to one of my favorite boat ramps Sunday on the Snake River and wondered why there weren’t any other trucks and boat trailers in the parking lot. It’s usually packed during the duck season.

Not thinking anything about it, I pulled up to the edge of the ramp and found the whole small cove the ramp was in frozen. The ice was thick enough to prevent jet boats and motor boats from launching. Problem was, the ice would give way under the weight of larger boat trailers and trucks before the boat could get out far enough to launch.

We were lucky because we dropped the drift boat on the ice and with enough rope leading to the other end of the cove, we could pull the drift boat across the ice and eventually to open water.

This is the time of the year you’ll find icy boat ramps and you need to check them out before driving down. You don’t want your rig sliding into the river or reservoir.

The iced-in boat ramp near Walters Ferry kept a lot of hunters off the river. There were a number of ducks on the river but they were pretty skittish and not decoying in at all, according to hunters who launched further downstream.

Edge ice along the islands and in the reeds made it difficult to get off on the islands to hunt. The dog also had trouble on the edge ice.

It’s that time of the year and hunting gets more challenging with the need for back-up plans, and luckily, 50 feet of rope.

Photo by Pete Zimowsky/Idaho Statesman


Posted in Into the Outdoors