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DeltaVOL  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, October 10, 2017 5:18:55 AM(UTC)
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Considering pulling the trigger and purchasing an ice eater for use at our pit. New to hunting pits but have heard the thaw is some of the best hunts but what about operating an ice eater before the thaw is it truly beneficial in your experience or just time the thaw?
BrowngGold10  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, October 10, 2017 5:44:44 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DeltaVOL Go to Quoted Post
Considering pulling the trigger and purchasing an ice eater for use at our pit. New to hunting pits but have heard the thaw is some of the best hunts but what about operating an ice eater before the thaw is it truly beneficial in your experience or just time the thaw?


We have never bought one due to the water level being so shallow. Also once everything freezes up the birds seem to disappear until the tempature starts to rise. Bust a hole and wait for the show.

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mudstomper  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, October 10, 2017 7:14:10 AM(UTC)
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If water is not 18inches deep it will have to have a pit dug to work which may not make your farmer very happy. If water is shallower than 18 it is going to freeze it thick if it stays cold very long. I think the value is having a hole open quicker when it starts to thaw and holds it open a short time after it freezes. Some rice holes will freeze solid top to bottom anyway in a brutal cold snap.
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DeltaVOL  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, October 10, 2017 2:48:50 PM(UTC)
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Thanks for the replies the pit is dug into a levee in the bottom end of the field with a fairly deep ditch in front of the Levee that should have 3 foot of water with a foot of water out in the field. So if I understand you correctly that should be enough water to pull from and push out into the shallower water and keep open a hole?
BrowngGold10  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, October 10, 2017 3:32:28 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DeltaVOL Go to Quoted Post
Thanks for the replies the pit is dug into a levee in the bottom end of the field with a fairly deep ditch in front of the Levee that should have 3 foot of water with a foot of water out in the field. So if I understand you correctly that should be enough water to pull from and push out into the shallower water and keep open a hole?


Yes
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DeltaVOL  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, October 10, 2017 4:58:01 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: mudstomper Go to Quoted Post
If water is not 18inches deep it will have to have a pit dug to work which may not make your farmer very happy. If water is shallower than 18 it is going to freeze it thick if it stays cold very long. I think the value is having a hole open quicker when it starts to thaw and holds it open a short time after it freezes. Some rice holes will freeze solid top to bottom anyway in a brutal cold snap.


That could be enough justification to go ahead and get it. I just hope we actually have a few good cold weather stints this yr. Another question would be is it better to run over night or just break a hole out before the hunt? Given it's not a brutally cold spell which is rare but would probably lock it up tight. I wasn't planning on buying extended run tank system for fear of theft at night mainly.
TGUN  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, October 10, 2017 6:00:59 PM(UTC)
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Kinda like a pistol.... I'd rather have one and never need it than need one and never have one..... also how I look at hunting a freeze.... the day you don't go will always be the day of the show...

That's TGuns American haiku class.....
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DeltaVOL  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, October 10, 2017 6:40:03 PM(UTC)
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Very true TGUN! A large investment but if it produces well worth the $$$. Thanks
Jbell1183  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, October 10, 2017 6:50:31 PM(UTC)
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We run them in our fields in Missouri. We have 2 of them actually. We bought the higdon ice blaster due to a lower profile in the water. Definitely run it over night before a slight freeze. You know the days you have skim ice in the morning but thaws during the day. They work great for those. Water isn't usually deep enough to create the thermal layers for these things to work properly on a good freeze. If u have a inch of ice and try to pop a truck sized hole, drop ice water and return in the morning, you're wasting time in our experience. Also stubble slows down the current if it's just rolled. So you're really not pushing that much water. Use it heavily on thaw days. Helps open up your field first when birds start flying. We run a Honda eu2000 and it will run 6 hours on our 3/4 hp with just the factory tank. Hope this was somewhat helpful. Just been my experiences. Good luck
mudstomper  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, October 10, 2017 7:40:14 PM(UTC)
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Get the extended run tank. It is worth it if you run it all night the hole will be alot bigger. I also think ducks find it at night just as well and may keep them from leaving the area all together. When you fire it up it takes awhile to open a large hole. A extended run tank saves alot of work and worry. Just check your oil every time you fill the tank.
DeltaVOL  
#11 Posted : Tuesday, October 10, 2017 7:51:54 PM(UTC)
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Great help everyone thanks for sharing. Our field is a soybean field and will be fairly clean so maybe we can get more water movement and little larger hole.
Mduxsrlo  
#12 Posted : Tuesday, October 10, 2017 7:56:51 PM(UTC)
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Agree with BG10... The Thaw is amazing but the birds just disappear when its all frozen.
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Sea-ark  
#13 Posted : Wednesday, October 11, 2017 6:03:36 AM(UTC)
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Better go ahead and buy 2. I don't hunt pits anymore, but I do run ice eaters a lot. We put them facing each other so the current goes out and starts spinning for best results. With just 1 you can easily open up ditches and constantly have to turn the eater.
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JRC  
#14 Posted : Wednesday, October 11, 2017 7:33:40 AM(UTC)
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Don't worry about breaking out a hole in the ice at first other than for your ice eater. We dig about a 3 ft deep hole on both sides of our blind in Missouri. We put the ice eater pointing up where it blows water on top of the ice on thaw days. I can tell you from experience that it works. The ducks cant seem to tell the difference & you don't have chucks of ice floating in your hole. Our field isn't zero graded & the water is deeper than most fields. Maybe a foot to 15 inches.
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FHO  
#15 Posted : Wednesday, October 11, 2017 7:57:19 AM(UTC)
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All good advice. We have used ice eaters for years and sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. We bought some puddlebusters and used those for the first last year and I really liked them. If you really want to step up your game, just give the farmer that extra $700-$800, buy a roll of poly and turn on the wellBigGrin
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mudstomper  
#16 Posted : Wednesday, October 11, 2017 4:33:24 PM(UTC)
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Just another high ticket toy to buy.lol as if we needed any more
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featherduster  
#17 Posted : Thursday, October 12, 2017 6:58:12 PM(UTC)
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To me, they are well worth it. You won't be disappointed.
duxrus  
#18 Posted : Friday, October 13, 2017 4:22:37 PM(UTC)
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You can get the 1/2 hp ones that will work in less than a foot of water. That is what we have for rice fields
DeltaVOL  
#19 Posted : Friday, October 13, 2017 6:40:52 PM(UTC)
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Ended up going for the 1hp from mallard view. We should have atleast 24in of water in the 4 foot wide ditch in front of our pit. Based on what I read above from others that should allow enough draft to move water into the 1ft of field water we should have. Now just hope it gets down cold enough to use this thing.
featherduster  
#20 Posted : Saturday, October 14, 2017 3:24:19 PM(UTC)
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If you are running a Honda generator, you can hunt while it's running if you have to. I would rather not, but I have killed many ducks over them while running. On several different occasions.
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