Going ice fishing this year for the first time. How do you determine safe ice on lakes?

I use the following guidelines for thickness:

  • 3 inches or less, stay off.
  • 4 inches is OK for foot travel for ice fishing or other activity.
  • 5-7 inches is OK for ATV or snowmobile.
  • 8-12 inches is OK to drive a small car or pickup.
  • 12-15 inches is OK for a medium truck.

Make sure to bring an ice chisel or auger to test the ice every 100 feet or so.

I hear you talk about white oaks all the time for locating feeding deer. Why are white oaks so special?

Deer love white oak acorns like candy. They have less tannic acid than other acorns.

When you see temps below 20 degrees, what do you use in a blind to stay warm? Do they spook deer?

I usually hunt portable ground blinds when it’s below 10 degrees. Especially if I am going to sit several hours. I use a small buddy heater with propane tanks to stay a little warmer.  I haven’t had any issues with them spooking game.

Watch Outdoors Dan on Outdoors Traditions tv on CarbonTV.com. Listen to The Outdoors with Outdoors Dan show on News Radio 1040 WHO from 7-9 a.m. Saturday. Starting Jan. 6, the time will change to 7-9 p.m. Sunday. For more info www.outdoorsdan.com.