Ice eater on a budget

Discussion in 'Waterfowl Hunting' started by Tman6493, Dec 13, 2019.

  1. Tman6493

    Tman6493 8 pointer

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    Louisville
    Title says it all. Obviously it’s an expensive hobby. If I were a duck killing machine I’d have no problem dropping 1k in the real deal but that’s not the case.

    The pond is 1.20 acres

    couple things:
    I don’t have power. So it will have to be generator, gas, or battery.
    I have a couple old trolling motors and thought about trying the diy YouTube video.
    would a pool pump or a $150 harbor freight water pump work.

    Anything to keep it open. Last year I got out and broke ice and out the chunks under the ice and I don’t care much for doing that sense I solo hunt. Only a matter of time
     
  2. adamky

    adamky 6 pointer

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    A couple
    Of buddies of mine used to use 5-10 hp outboards set on homemade sawhorses and turned up just above idle. Now they have the real things so they don’t have to do that anymore. One guy would just drive out and listen to see if the motors were running and majority of the time they would make it all night. Still would get birds out of decoys with the motors running.
     
  3. Bee

    Bee 10 pointer

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    Been keeping holes open for 40+ years. You name it we have tried it. Without electricity you are down to battery powered trolling motors or gas generator powering a submersible pump of some kind .Or a small outboard, as mentioned . A well pump with a small prop hung on rope five feet deep between two 4x4 pole s will work if you already have a generator. If you have the money to buy a mallard view ice eater ( $700)and run a generator it will open a huge hole( 40 x75 yard) and keep it open below zero.
     
  4. Brsutton86

    Brsutton86 12 pointer

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    I run a puddle buster ice eater, it's much easier to pack and setup with one person. All metal/stainless parts where mallard view used some plastic and its bulky for one person. About the same power wise, the puddle Buster may be a tad stronger.

    Before that I built a sawhorse and put a shelf on it 6inches above water level. Put a car battery on the shelf to run the trolling motor off of. It does decent if you put it in before it freezes but battery will only last 5 or 6 hours. We had 3 batteries we kept the other 2 on charge and kept switching them out. Leave the stroller on low itll save battery life. Take a mesh camo decoy bag and put upside over the stand/troller/battery.
     
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  5. hunt-4-life21

    hunt-4-life21 12 pointer

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    A trolling motor and a good deep cycle battery will work. If it gets real cold, batteries will gel up and pulse. Optima batteries are the best but by the time you buy a trolling motor and an optima battery, you should've just went and got an ice eater.
     
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  6. Giveem3outdoors

    Giveem3outdoors 12 pointer

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    ohio county ky
    I've been aiming to build one with the trolling motor deal. Buddy has a generator with 12v lugs we are gonna see if it can handle the trolling motor direct.
     
  7. DH13

    DH13 12 pointer

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    My buddy built a trolling motor one last year. Bought an inverter plugs it up to generator It did pretty good .
    But for me not having an ice eater for several years. I now have 3 I have bought. 1 I leave in a pond I have when things freeze up. Just go over before dark and fill generator. My generator there will run 12 hours. My new place I have access to electric 100 yards up the hill from my blind. So I will run drop cords from there. I keep 1 ice eater free for travel. I also use a trash pump to in places where I travel to hunt.
     
  8. carnivore

    carnivore 12 pointer

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    Ky
    Talk to me about the ins and outs of using a trash pump to keep water open in a pond. Id think it would be a pain in the ass. I have a 3 inch pump. I never really considered it as an Viable option and figured i need to get an ice eater. My pond is .9 acre.
     
  9. DH13

    DH13 12 pointer

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    Shelby county
    You can take a trash pump and pump water up on top of the ice breaking it down melting it. Can do it in a short order. I have a 3 inch also. You can move a lot of water quick. I can open a half acre in a few minutes. It does what an ice eater basically does. Just don't need a generator. But I only use my pump if I travel to a new place to hunt. The spots I hunt the most I keep my ice eaters going around the clock. None of them is only 3 miles from my house. So I can go fill my generators pretty quick.
    EDITED TO SAY,
    On my discharge hose I use a steel pipe so it is stationary not a flex hose you have to hold. Made mine extend out 4 feet from pump.
     
    carnivore likes this.
  10. Tman6493

    Tman6493 8 pointer

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    Louisville
    When you say short order what do you mean. Minutes, hour or over night. I know when the time comes I’ll have to experiment because each situation and temp and water will be different but my idea for now to not have to build anything is going to be taking a 6000 gph (100 gpm) pool pump that I have in the shed and placing it at the pond near the bank. Then when I need it open I can use an atv to take the generator in, run chord 50-100 feet away. I’m thinking 100 gpm on thin ice shouldn’t take but a half hour to open a half acre. But Im more wondering about ice you can walk on if it will take long.
    Also the trash pump sounds to me like solo it will be easier and cheaper if it runs on gas.
     
  11. Brsutton86

    Brsutton86 12 pointer

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    If you run a trash pump put a v on the end of the line. Itll make a wider hole instead of long and narrow.
     
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  12. Bee

    Bee 10 pointer

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    Thing about a trash pump is you have to run the machines to keep the hole from refreezing during severe cold...even when you are hunting. Ducks do not like that racket close to a hole in my experience. Same with any gas exhaust engine, more racket from exhaust, less ducks. I hunt some other places where we do not have the elec to the pond, and a small honda generator (boxed in a noise baffling container) (and with a large outboard gas tank feeding the gen long run periods through the gas cap)and a long extension cord running a mallard view is the best option IMO there. Not any of this is cheap. But it is the best way . Seen this in KY, ARk, Mo, Tenn.

    As to The mallard View brand ice eater being "plastic" i guess i got the wrong model because I do not see any plastic on it anywhere...but we have only run the thing for maybe a dozen years with flawless performance. Sometimes for ten days at a time . I t is by far the best waterfowl related product I have ever owned in the sense of durability . No, I do not work for the company.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
    Brsutton86 likes this.
  13. Tman6493

    Tman6493 8 pointer

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  14. Brsutton86

    Brsutton86 12 pointer

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    Harrodsburg, KY
    My buddies has a plastic impeller. Ice chunks have broke it once. I just think the puddle buster is easier to setup. I've hunted over both many times they both work great for sure. Mallard view is a KY company though.
     
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