Sep 13, 2012, 09:46 AM
Question for any east coast hunters (in snow/freeze areas):
Question for those of you who hunt in states where it snows and/or freezes. I've got business to do in the upper midwest in Oct. and Nov, so I have a question for you:
The part of California that I'm in, never (or rarely anyhow) ever gets below freezing. It never snows. So I'm totally un-familiar with anything except year-round hunting conditions. However, I know that in states where it freezes during the winters, that ......... there doesn't even necessarily need to be actual snow on the ground, to keep you guys from hunting, BECAUSE the ground itself is frozen, which keeps anyone from digging. Right?
Ok, so question for you guys: When it's the late fall season, where perhaps there may not necessarily be any actual snow on the ground yet ... BUT the night temperatures have already begun to be at 32* or below: At what point does the ground itself freeze, to prohibit digging? I mean, certainly if it *just* reaches those temp's, and only for perhaps an hour or two at the peak of cold of the night, then ...... I would think that this isn't long enough to freeze the ground itself, right? But on the other hand, if it's 32* or colder all night long, then at a certain point, the ground itself freezes, right?
So in your experience, how cold does it have to be, and for how long (hours or days or whatever) to freeze the actual ground itself, to the point where detecting becomes futile?
Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!
Sep 13, 2012 09:46 AM
Sep 13, 2012, 10:24 AM
The ground usually holds enough heat to prevent freezing until the day and night temps start staying below freezing for a few days or really it gets cold. The sun will warm the ground enough to keep it from an actual freeze even if the temp stays below 32 in the daytime so long as it is not way below. I would estimate maybe two nights in the single digits and days below freezing it will get the ground pretty hard. It is much milder here in TN than further North but we do get ground freeze in late December, January, and February. The freeze and thaw we get can sure make the ground sloppy. If you drive in the fields or old log roads early and it thaws during the day it can bring a new meaning to the word stuck. In the rural areas (pastures and woods) a slight freeze is not a big deal if you use a sharp very pointed shovel but very hard to do lawns with a Lesche or trowel. Once the freeze gets over an inch or two deep it gets too hard to do much anywhere.
Sep 13, 2012, 10:27 AM
Some ground is hard enough without adding cold temperatures. It doesn't take much to freeze water and once the conditions are ripe the ground will freeze anyway and you'll have to wait for it to thaw. Don't forget the sun will only warm the top a bit, forget what's underneath, it's like concrete
You might get an inch if you have a backhoe
Sep 13, 2012, 12:45 PM
If you don't mind the hunters the woods stay thawed longer then any thing else. Hunting in winter is just plain miserable if you ask me. Frozen ground and target retrieval don't mix well.
Oh buy the way don't piss off hunters tripping around the woods while they are hunting.
Sep 13, 2012, 12:46 PM
In my experience here in White Plains, New York, there are many variables. Soil make up and density are the most important, then access to direct sunlight, then average daytime temps. In other words, it just depends. Usually a three-day, below 30-degree stretch, will make detecting a lot more work than you want to do, but if the sun is out and bright you may be able to do a soccer or baseball field in the early afternoon. Great question. The other thing you see here in New York, is chemical hand warming pouches taped to machines to keep the batteries and electronics warm. We are a little hard core.
Sep 13, 2012, 02:09 PM
Where I'm at, around mid December any ground without snow cover is usually frozen solid. It pretty much stays this way till around mid April. In January thru February the temps can get to -20 F, too cold to swing even if the ground weren't frozen.
You ought not have any trouble digging during October and November even up into Canada.
I'd add that because of the normal snow cover we do not delay having burial services at the cemetery. The boys simply sweep the snow to one side and dig the hole. There is seldom any frost and if there is it's not much over 1 to 2 inches thick.
Last edited by Spoonsize; Sep 13, 2012 at 03:30 PM.
Sep 13, 2012, 03:59 PM
You really want to leave Cal for this? These people sit out on frozen lakes and fish, go to Packer, Vikings, Bears and other games and sit watching football in sub-freezing weather and you think that this weather will stop them from detecting and digging? They go ice skating, play hockey outside, have ice boats too. They have car tires with little iron stakes coming out of them. They laugh at frozen ground. Everyone of them owns a gas powered auger and since GPS devices were invented they don't even fear blizzards anymore. Most refer to us down south or west as pus***s that talk funny. You better take some long johns along, don't try to order bean sprouts on your salad or ask aloud for valet parking at the hamburger joint. Tommy, you won't even be in LODI anymore. Have fun.
(Just some friendly advice from a guy whose sister spent her adult life in L.A. and then moved to a ranch outside of Kalispell, Montana where one week last year the temp. was -14* low and -7* high. Where she has a rope suspended from the house to the barn so she doesn't get lost during a blizzard. She asked me to leave sunny Texas and come visit last summer. I asked which day summer was going to be this year. And she goes into town most days. Has her own tractor to plow her long entrance road and the state plows the road daily. Yeah, like I'm doing this?)
Sep 13, 2012, 04:58 PM
upper mid west oct nov will more than likely be frozen solid. it only takes a few nights in the 20's to make the ground rock hard. even if the days are warm that only thaws the top few mm
Sep 13, 2012, 05:01 PM
this was one of my best reads of 2012! hahahahaha last week ran across a man from Georgia that called us mid westerners "toughest people on earth"... he has spent the last year in SD and enjoyed our true 4 seasons
Originally Posted by Chisos
Sep 13, 2012, 05:25 PM
And he is right! But what 4 seasons? You have cold, colder, coldest and call the damm travel agent and get me to Hawaii. Oh, yeah, that is four seasons. Here in San Antonio I once worked with a woman from Kiev, Russia. She said we had 4 seasons. Hot, hotter, hottest and go ask the devil what he's doing here because hell is cooler. But summer is now over here. The high today was only 90* and it actually rained some.
Originally Posted by SLY22
Sep 13, 2012, 05:39 PM
I went to basic training in San Antonio in August. I lost 20 pounds easy. Fricken hot there.
Originally Posted by Chisos
Sep 13, 2012, 05:44 PM
Thats funny Pennsylvania only has 2 seasons July 4th & road construction!
Originally Posted by Chisos
Just remember...what you miss today...I will find tomorrow!
Sep 13, 2012, 06:28 PM
Thanx you snow-belt people for taking a stab at my question.
Yup, you're right: those of us from parts of state's where it never snows, simply are wussies! haha I never even touched snow till I was 15 (and went to Lake Tahoe during the winter). If temp's drop into the 20's where I'm at (which would *only* be at night, and even then-so, only once in a blue moon), that makes front page news! So even in the darkest coldest winters where I'm at, puddles don't even freeze over normally. Talk about wimps, eh? haha
My one experience md'ing where it freezes, was one day in the high mountains of New Mexico, my buddy and I hunted one day. That night, while we stayed in our hotel, it snowed during the night (and the associated below-freezing temps). The next morning, we got up, and saw that the snow had actually only accumulated into "drifts" along edges, etc... And we saw that under protective trees and such, that there was no "standing snow". So we figured "no problem, there's still places to hunt". So off we went to a park there to detect, while it was still bitter cold that morning, finding some non-snowy parts of the grass. After a few minutes, I got a signal I figured was worth chasing. Knelt down to dig my first hole of the day ..... and WHAM, my dagger hit solid rock ground! Before that, I didn't even know that "ground freezes", doh! Needless to say, we didn't stick around there long, and travelled down to lower elevations, haha . That instance was only after a single night have dropped into the freezing temps (and the day before this freeze, we'd been hunting just fine).
sly22: Question for you: In the states south of the great lakes, at what point in the typical October, does this "frozen solid" time begin? Ie.: early Oct? Mid oct? late Oct? etc.... And assuming the weather reports show that night temps don't reach that cold except for only a few hours during the night, then I presume it wouldn't be long enough to freeze solid yet?
Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!
Sep 13, 2012, 09:02 PM
I was just playing with you Tom of Ca. I can still remember on spring break(March) of 1980 when I visited my sister in L.A. She took me up to Mt. Waterman ski area, about an hour drive from the city into the San Gabriel mountains. There was tons of snow. dozens of people sking down this one big mountain and I will always remember the two girls sitting in the parking lot across the road. Both were on beach loungers, both had on bikinis and both were holding some reflective thing under their chins to get a face tan in the bright sunshine. I was freezing to death, they were kicked back. I hate snow. But have a good trip anyway. You know, if you want to train for this, it's not that far from Salinas to Yosemite. Just watch out for the hantavirus and the bears.
Sep 13, 2012, 10:28 PM
ohhh trust me we get hot also!! just a few weeks back we had a few weeks straight over 100+ deg. now our heat here in the mid west is brutal. if you catch it just right, our humidity can make a hot florida day feel like a walk in the park!
good luck Tom from CA. i wouldnt be caught dead out in our wind and winters digging holes... and im from this area!
Sep 13, 2012, 11:27 PM
what hath god wrought
The weather has warmed up so much thru the years, we had record high temps and record low snow last winter. The winters are milder round here lately. We ice fish in the winter but we can detect in the dead of winter with freak thaws and such, I have done it a few times in Jan and Feb, but historically, end of Nov is about the limits for me. I say areas just south of the great lakes could probably be good for tectin up into late Nov early Dec almost every year no prob, if the temps stay average. Like many here have said, one good night in the twenties can lock up the turf with a half inch of frost, which is absolutely brutal to hack thru. It only takes a couple or three nights in the twenties to put the frost deep enough so it is impossible to dig with hand tools.
Federal Bureau of Governmental Redundancy Reduction Agency
Sep 14, 2012, 09:50 AM
I'm in Maine and last year I hunted through November no problem. Also depends if your looking at a yard or the woods, as others have said the woods stay thawed longer with all the leaf cover on the ground. Also, when it first starts to freeze typically the top inch or so gets hard but a lesche will bust through that and it will be soft underneath. I can't imagine you wouldn't be able to detect in October. Is there a club near where you will be that you could talk to some of the members?
Sep 16, 2012, 05:21 PM
assuming ground is soft enough to actually dig...anyone want to comment on the impact of digging plugs in a lawn area during the cold/dormant months
(Northeast US...MA)?? Do we significantly increase the likelihood of damage?
I'm just starting out and want to be to be as conscientious as I can, but don't want to spend "winter" NOT hunting or limiting my spots , if I don't have to.
Sep 16, 2012, 10:14 PM
It is very hard to dig a good plug when the ground is frozen, partially frozen or thawed but very wet. The good part is that all the grass is miserable looking in the spring. Some of it is damaged from various means such as being walked on or driven on when the ground is thawing and wet. From plowing and snowblowing etc. The grass starts growing fresh every spring and winter damage will quickly disappear. However do no take that as an invitation to dig poorly.
As to when you can dig and how long. It depends on where you are and what the weather is that year. It is different every year in every place. In my area (western New York state) we had no winter last year. Could have dug pretty much all winter. Ground was only frozen a few times. Did not have to clean my driveway one single time. Some years it is twice a day! The few times we had some snowfall of more then a couple inches we just put the vehicles in 4 wheel. The snow melted within a few days. In fact the snowmobile trails were not open even one day. I will translate for you Tom - a snowmobile is a motorized conveyance with a track and two skis. It runs on the snow for the purpose of transporting people from one bar to the next. It's that or sit in the house and watch it snow.
Sep 18, 2012, 05:46 PM
hey tom, i am up here in the indiana/illinois border area(northwest indiana) 1/2 hour from downtown chicago. tha weather this morning was cold!!! (50 degrees) anyway you just never know what the weather will be year to year. holloween oct.31st some years snow other years im fishing and its 80 degrees out, hell ive seen december 25 with close to 80 here in chicago. rare yes, but it happens. If your coming this way bring your md stuff hopefully the weather will be in your favor, if not, nothing lost ,right. goodluck and happy hunting. also im hoping for good weather, ive been detecting about two months and im not ready for the withdrawals.lol
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