Water Freezing???


New member
I am heading to SD (Aberdeen Area) for the first time next week and I and keep hearing about all the water in the fields this year. I am looking at the long range temps and some of the low temps this week and next week are predicted to be in the single digits and teens. Will this cause the standing water in the fields, cattails and shallow pot holes to freeze or is there still to much heat in the ground/surface water? I am trying to decide if I need to bring hip boots or if my leather irish setters will be fine.

Thanks in advance for the opinions and help.


Well-known member
Yes it is getting colder but there is still some warmth to the ground. I wouldn't count on everything being froze solid enough to walk on. Be careful hunting around water this time of year. And especially look out for your dog. Seems every year someone loses a dog that goes through the ice and can't be rescued in time. And it seems every other year we hear of a hunter that has drown trying to save his dog. This can be a dangerous time of year hunting around water.

A5 Sweet 16

Active member
I echo Zeb's sentiments. With nighttime temps in the teens & 20's, things will obviously start to freeze, especially the very shallow "open" water (water without weeds, cattails & other plants growing up through it). Cattail sloughs will be pretty iffy this time of year. They need prolonged cold without snow in order to be reliably walked upon. If snow happens to fall on the ice shortly after freeze-up, sloughs can go the entire season & never be solid. Definitely bring hip boots & definitely err on the side of caution. And remember, sloughs & other frozen areas you've walked across every season for 30 years may be several feet deeper this year than ever before. Not to be taken lightly.
And remember, sloughs & other frozen areas you've walked across every season for 30 years may be several feet deeper this year than ever before. Not to be taken lightly.
I was thinking about this while I was hunting in SD last week......there will be a ton of cattail sloughs, where in the past if you break through you're in 6" or a foot of water.....but this year you might be in 3 foot, or even over your head. The amount of water I saw was staggering....areas I'm used to walking/hunting, that would literally be over my head now.
I would recommend extreme caution.


New member
No, things won't be frozen to where you can walk on it.

We were there in December last year, and falling through ice.


New member
I'd bring rubber boots, hip boots, and field boots just to be safe. I spoke to my farmer last night, He is saying the same thing as everyone else: water water everywhere. Expect it to be wet, be cautious around sloughs, and good luck!

Benelli Rooster

New member
Spent the last 4 days hunting around Aberdeen and I don't know if I would plan on being able to walk on anything. The forecast looks pretty chilly so it might be, not sure I would plan on it.

I have to admit, not to be a downer, but after 4 days in this area, this is the worst we've seen in arguably the 15+ years me and my hunting partner have been coming to SD. Typically we are more north and east towards Britton but decided to base out of Aberdeen this year. Just way, way too much corn in the fields (although they're doing their best to get it out every day!), and of course the water everywhere.

The crops in and the heavy water are one thing but I would still think you should see a lot more birds road hunting. Road hunting has been really crappy as well. Granted, with so much corn still in it makes it easier for the birds to duck in really quickly but I still expected to see a little more.

Heading south of Aberdeen for the first time (and a little west) after reading one or two reports here and talking to a few people in the area. I'm not optimistic though at this point? Thinking of cutting the trip a good 2 days short just because of how things have been going.


Active member
Water in the fields will not be that deep and will freeze solid enough to walk on. Most of these sheet water ponds are 6 inches to 30 inched deep.

Water on smaller lakes may be ice fishing ready in a week for those that do that kind of thing.

Cattail sloughs are a different story. There is a lot of exothermic (heat) released from decomposing materials. This causes soft spots that dog or mainly man can fall through. What is typically a fall to your crotch may be a fall through to your arm pits or even further. These ponds are pretty full.


New member
If you hunt by yourself you should make or buy a set of ice Claws

Cabelas sells them also you want some that float.

Amazon probably does too

I’ve pulled myself right out easily the one time I needed them and other than freezing my butt off walking back to my truck it was a non event


Stick them in a vest pocket they weigh nothing

A friend of mine had to watch his Brittany drown last year he’s never going to get over it

A thin 50 ft piece of nylon rope weighs nothing and will fit in your game bag if your hunting with a buddy it can be a lifesaver