North Dakota’s deer gun season opens Nov. 10 at 12 p.m. Central time, and the state Game and Fish Department cautions deer hunters to be wary of ice conditions.
In some parts of the state, there are already smaller and mid-sized waters that show the appearance of safe ice. Even though deer might be able to make it across, it doesn’t mean hunters can.
Ice can form overnight, causing unstable conditions. Ice thickness is not consistent, as it can vary significantly within a few inches. Hunters walking the edge of a cattail slough will not find the same ice thickness in the middle, as the edges firm up faster than farther out from shore.
Hunters should be cautious of walking on frozen stock ponds, sloughs, creeks and rivers.
A few reminders:
Snow insulates ice, which in turn inhibits solid ice formation, and hides cracks, weak and open water areas.
Avoid cracks, pressure ridges, slushy or darker areas that signal thinner ice. The same goes for ice that forms around partially submerged trees, brush, embankments or other structures.
Daily temperature changes cause ice to expand and contract, affecting its strength.