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Ice Condition 3.23.16

Just drove around the lake this afternoon and I’d say we’re at about 25-30% open water.  I honestly can’t recall things melting so fast.  It’s supposed to stay cool overnite the next few days with a couple days in the 40’s so I’m still betting we could have open water by Easter Sunday.  I’ll try to get a few pix up for you tomorrow.

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Ice Out Entries…..READ!!!!

It’s just come to my attention some folks have been emailing ice out dates to me expecting me to enter them.  NO!!!

YOU Have to post them on the blog or you’re not entered.  All you have to  do is leave a comment to the post: Ice Out Contest

AND, make sure to pick a time ‘specific’!!!  Example, 1:30 PM not a generic ‘Friday afternoon’.  Do NOT leave a comment to the post your currently reading!  Go to:  Ice Out Contest

I don’t want someone to miss out or be pissed they didn’t win because they didn’t get entered.

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2016 Annual Ice Out Contest

Folks, the way this weather has been warming up, we’ve gotta get this ice out contest going before it’s too late!!!  I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now and for me anyway, its a great diversion to help usher in Spring, so here goes….

Just click on the Leave a Comment button with the DATE, and TIME (note if its’ AM or PM) with your best guess when the ice will disappear in Detroit Lakes, MN.  You’ll have until Midnite CST Sunday March 20 to enter.  ONLY ONE ENTRY ALLOWED per person.


Years past, an ‘average’ date falls around the 3rd week in April.  This year, I’m pretty darned sure we’ll see open water well before that ‘average’ date but I’ve been wrong before.  This weekend we’re supposed to have temps around 60 but by next week we could see a little snow.  Typical warm up and cool down with more warm then cold.  The ice has pushed up on the shore with the freeze / thaw we’ve been experiencing and has even raised a little havoc with the cement slabs on the boat ramp.  You can see one of the slabs laying on top of the ice.

Not sure how many inches of ice are left to melt but there were cars driving out there about a week ago.


So what are you vying for?  In the past I’ve given away a knife and decided this year to mix things up a bit so how about a gift certificate for $100 for the Ice Out Contest winner?  That way you can choose your own prize.



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Christmas Giveaway Winner!!!

Sorry for the delay in releasing the Christmas Giveaway Winner but a little suspense never hurts!!  And the the winner is……..


Syd, the new Trestle Pine Knives Barlow is scheduled for production at the end of January and you’ll be receiving one in the mail, compliments of TSA Knives.  Thanks to everyone for giving it a shot and better luck next time.  We’ll definitely do this again!!!

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TSA Knives, LLC Christmas Giveaway!!

Christmas Giveaway! YES!!!!  A Freebie!!!!

At first I considered some sort of a contest related to the weather (with which we northerners have a serious preoccupation with this time of year).  But quite honestly, so far this winter has been totally uneventful and the next 30 days doesn’t show much indication that’s gonna change!!!  The biggest question will be if we have snow on Christmas morning or not.  (I’m betting not)  Amazing winter so far.

I had a couple of quirky ideas and finally decided to just keep it simple.  After all, it just seems like a Christmas Giveaway should be something effortless for everyone.

First…. the ‘prize’.  The next Trestle Pine Knives release is scheduled for production in late January.  If you follow the blog, you’re probably aware it’ll be  a Barlow with a drop point EZ open 154CM blade.  Handles will be the recovered old growth wood.  I don’t have any pictures I can post to show you what it will look like, but I think you’ll like it!

All you have to do to be considered in the drawing is post a response telling me you’d like to be included.  You don’t have to be a customer, a collector, know any secret handshake, …. all you have to be is interested in winning the knife.  Simple enough?

We’ll leave this open to entries until Christmas Eve.  There will be a drawing on Christmas day to choose a winner.

Now, I’ve recently had a few folks include a note in the ‘special instructions’ area of their orders that they don’t want to receive any unsolicited emails or advertisements.  I don’t do that and never have maintained any sort of ‘secret’ mailing list.  So anytime you reply to a blog posts, participate in one of my giveaways or place an order, be assured, I respect your privacy.

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Queen Cutlery Giveaway Winners

Drew a couple of names last evening and we came up with Tori B winning the Queen Cutlery Sheepsfoot Barlow and Steve D winning the Queen Cutlery Yankee Muskrat.  Congrats and I’ll get these out in the mail to you ASAP!!!!  Remember, part of the deal is we want to hear back from you regarding your impressions of the two knives.

Yankee Muskrat and Sheepsfoot Barlow
Yankee Muskrat and Sheepsfoot Barlow
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Queen Cutlery Giveaway

It’s been a while since I’ve given away a knife so let’s do it.

I just put up a post regarding the new Queen City 27 1/2 Yankee Muskrat.  This is a stock item for Queen and I couldn’t help but be incredibly impressed with it after looking over the knife and the price.  I was also impressed with the run of Queen City 69 Barlows I had run with the Sheepsfoot blade earlier this summer.

Most folks familiar with Queen Cutlery know there were quality issues a few years ago, but what a lot of folks don’t know is that situation is changing radically.  Ken and Jennie made a commitment to bring back that old time quality and their definitely on target.


So here’s the deal.  I’ve got one of the new Queen City Yankee Muskrats and one of the 69 Sheepsfoot Barlows and I’d like to give both of them away.  If you’re not familiar with Queen, that’s even better.  Drop me an email at or reply to this post that you’re interested in trying one of the knives out and we’ll see what happens!

Remember, these are built to be used not locked up in a safe or a display case.  They’re a tool made to deliver years of service not sit and collect dust.  Rather then spending hours with a magnifying glass looking for flaws, take the damned thing out and actually USE IT!!!

Yankee Muskrat and Sheepsfoot Barlow
Yankee Muskrat and Sheepsfoot Barlow

Here’s the conditions.  You have to promise you’ll actually use the knife and tell us what you think of it.  Then, once you’ve tried it, pass it on to someone else, preferably a youngster.  So email me at or simply reply to this post with a comment!  Can’t make it any simpler then that!!!

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Ice Out update 3/16/15

Quick reminder that you only have a few more days to enter into the Ice Out Contest.  To enter and for more details go to:  2015 Annual Ice Out Contest  Last week was a record setting week for high temps and it had a major impact on the ice melt situation.

IMG_20150315_102457557These are chunks of ice tearing up the shoreline.  During the winter the ice will crack and water will freeze in that crack causing the surface area of ice to increase (and it has to go somewhere!)  As we move into spring it can get particularly bad with daytime temps above freezing and overnite temps causing new ice to form.  Add some stiff winds to move that ice slab around and you can see some pretty dramatic walls of ice pile up.

IMG_20150315_102454236Time for this guy to start thinking about moving his dock and lift to higher ground!  We’re actually pretty lucky right around town as there are a number of lakes in our area with ice piling up 10-15′ high.

On a positive note, the warm weather brought a few golfers out to hit a few balls around the lake in front of our house.  Spring is in the air!!!

Golfers on the Ice
Golfers on the Ice
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Ice Out Standings Update 3/21/15

Here’s the recent estimates for the Ice Out Contest as of 3/21/15.

  • 3/27  2PM    Justin
  • 3/28  2PM    Steve
  • 3/31   11AM   Jan
  • 4/1     High Noon  Dave
  • 4/2     3:31PM  jmw0403
  • 4/3     11:07 AM BA
  • 4/4    High Noon Paul S.
  • 4/5     2:30 PM    Weekes
  • 4/6     High Noon  Bill H
  • 4/7     3 AM     Muskrat
  • 4/7     3 PM    Trapper John
  • 4/9     3:29 PM largecents
  • 4/13   3 PM    Charlie Barlow
  • 4/16    3 PM    John
  • 4/20    4 PM     John B

Temperatures are still holding in the 30’s for daytime highs and this morning at 5:00AM we had just +12F.  We’ve gone from melting ice to making ice.  We’re back in a more normal spring pattern of thawing but the earlier warm weather has taken it’s toll.

Remember tomorrow at midnite CST (3/22/15) is the cutoff for entering the contest.  Check the above list and make sure you’re entered and if not, let me know or get an entry in!!!!!

To place your guess, go to:  Ice Out Contest and leave a comment with your guess.

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2015 Annual Ice Out Contest!!!!

Holy cow!  Things are changing fast in the North Country and if I don’t get this Annual Ice Out Contest rolling NOW, it’s gonna be too late.

For those that haven’t been reading the blog too long, I’ve had an Ice Out Contest for the last couple of years to give anyone in the world a chance to guess when we’ll officially see the ice go off the lakes in this part of Northern Minnesota.  We’re easily entertained up here and it just seems like a good way to break the doldrums and get everyone in a spring mood.  The blogs and chat boards have been incredibly quiet so I hope this can breath a little life back into folks.

There’s always been a prize and of course, the official title of Master Iceologist bestowed on the winner.  Last year Tom P was pronounced the winner with David second place runner up.  To give you a tip on how and when this happens, here’s a link to last years posts:  2014 Ice Out Contest.

Last year the ice out date was April 23.  We’re going to beat that date by a good margin this year if this weather pattern continues.  Temps this week are supposed to be in the 50’s with no cold streak in the foreseeable future.  There are a few foolhardy fisherman still venturing on the ice in vehicles, but that’s coming to an end quickly.

So here’s the deal……You have just a 2 weeks to make your best guess.  Anyone is welcome to enter including non-customers.  Overseas customers are encouraged to join in.

  • No entries will be accepted after Midnite CST, Sunday, March 22.
  • You need to post a TIME and DATE that you think the ice will be off the lake
  • In the rare case of two identical guesses, the earliest submission takes the lead
  • ONE entry per participant
  • To Enter, simply leave a comment to this post with your guess

So what do you win???  How about one of the new Schatt & Morgan 32171 Quart Barlows.

Schatt & Morgan Quart Barlow Stag
Schatt & Morgan Quart Barlow Stag

DSCN3104This is a big Barlow (just under 5″ closed) with ATS 34 Blades and Burnt Stag handles.  Great looking knife and for the price….. pretty tough to go wrong.  As usual, I put up an update every now and then to let you know how things are progressing.  So, let the game(s) begin!!!!