Category Archives: Contests and Drawings

Going, going….

Yesterday’s high winds took an incredible bite out of the ice.  This years Ice Out Contest has been an interesting one to watch from the shoreline.  I live on a smaller lake about 2 miles long and roughly 1/2-3/4 mile wide.  But since it’s a deep lake at around 65′ max depth we tend to be one of the later lakes to open up.  Not this year.

The wind came down the length of the lake and within a matter of hours it had broken up the ice andpushed it to the far north end of the lake.  We sat on our deck yesterday afternoon watching the ice which had to have been moving 2 or 3 miles an hour as it slid up the lake.  They have ice to melt on the north end but our shoreline is open.

Now, I base the Ice Out contest on Detroit Lake which is considerable larger in surface area and a lot shallower.  Detroit typically opens at least a week before we do.  As of this morning I would guess about 1/4 – 1/3 of Detroit is still ice bound but giving up fast.

You’ll notice toward the top of the photo there’s a huge slab of floating slushy ice.

Along the shore, ice is piling up and stacking on top of ice that isn’t moving.  Just a matter of time.

On the north shore of Detroit,  ice is piling up but it shouldn’t hit the Holiday Inn dining room.  There’s about 20-30 feet of grass to cross first.

I’m going out later today to check it again.  While it’s too soon to call it, at this point it looks like John H has a better then fair chance at winning with 5/1 – 4PM being his guess.  This is followed by Paul S with a 5/5 date.  We’ve got a steady wind again today, temps in the 70’s  and a good chance of rain tonite.  Tomorrow should tell the tale!

Ice Out Last Day to Enter!

Quick reminder, today, 4/23/18 at midnite CST is the last chance to enter the Ice Out Contest.

A brief update on the weather.  It has warmed up considerably the past few days and by all indications that’s the trend for the near future anyway!  I took a cruise around the lake this morning and while there’s a lot of ice to go, it’s starting to lose it’s grip.

Looking across the lake, you can see we still have some snow left on the ski slope in the distance.  Most of the ground is bare but in the woods you’ll still find a few patches of snow.

You can make your best guess and check on the most recent ‘predictions’ on the original blog posting:  Winter Ice Out Contest 2018

Good Luck!!

Ice Condition Update 4.19.18

It looks like a great white wasteland.  Right now, that’s all it is!

Ice Condition 4.19.18

Temperatures finally moderating and by the weekend we should be in the low 60’s.  With any luck, that’s going to be the trend going forward.

Remember, you’ve only got a few days to place your entry and you can do it by replying to the original post:  Ice Out Contest  I’ve also put up a list of the current guesses for you to peruse.

Ice Out Contest 2018

I think we can finally start the 2018 Ice Out Contest.  The snow is over and we’re supposed to start warming up later this week and see overnight temps above freezing!!!  Hooorah!  Let the contest begin.

First the Contest Rules.  Pretty straightforward.  Submit your entry by Responding To This POST between now and Monday,  April 23 .  PLEASE don’t send me an email with your entry.   I need a Name, Date, and Time (AM or PM, CST) that’s your best guess we will see the ice completely leave Detroit Lake.  ONLY ONE ENTRY PER CONTESTANT.  Be sure to enter AM or PM as two o’clock doesn’t mean much.  AND we’ve seen past contests decided by less then a 24 hour window.

Feel free to do some research on your own.  Check on previous contests for a little help if you’d like but remember, last year the ice was already gone by now.  As of yesterday, we had between 30″ and 36″ of ice on a lot of our lakes.  It’s going to take some warm weather to get it gone.

So what’s in it for the winner?  This year I’m adding a second prize for the next closest  guess.  First prize will be a Trestle Pine Topper with a Black Ash Burl handle and S30V clip blade.

First Prize Trestle Pine Topper Black Ash Burl

Second Prize are a pair of Victorinox Swiss Army Knives consisting of a Tinker and a Classic both in Red.

2nd Prize

Remember, to enter By Midnite CST, Monday, April 23:

  • Reply to this post
  • Name
  • Date (month/day)
  • Time (AM/PM CST)

Good Luck and I’ll post occasional updates to the ice conditions!!

Entries As of 4/24/18

  • Syd  4/29      11:20AM
  • John H  5/1    4PM
  • Paul S     5/5    1:PM
  • Steve C  5/6    1:20PM
  • Steve Patterson 5/6  6PM
  • Randy B 5/7   4:AM
  • Dave O. 5/7. 10:30AM
  • Anders Ö, May 13, 11:30 AM
  • Jeff C  5/14 3PM
  • John B   5/15   1:40AM
  • Ashley M 5/20 3:20 PM
  • Walter T  6/3    2: PM



2017 Annual Ice Out Contest!

Yup, it’s that time of the year once again!!!  Time for the 2017 Annual Ice Out Contest!  That may not be a big deal for most of you, but if you live in this part of the country, it’s a signal that we’ve survived another winter and spring may come once again.

Rather bleak, no?

So for those of you that aren’t familiar with an Ice Out Contest, it’s pretty simple.  Just place your best guess when we’ll see the ice go out on our local lake.  If you want to do some research, go back and read the outcome of the previous contests right here on the blog or search the average ice out dates in Minnesota.

Once you’ve got your research done, post a reply to this post with your best guess.  Remember to post

  1. Month/Day/Year
  2. TIME in CST
  3. Entries will be accepted until 8:00 AM CST ~ Friday, 3/24/17.

maybe something like,  March 30, 2017  4:35AM CST  Nothin’ to it!

A few tips for this year.  Like last year, it’s been a pretty mild winter and we’re starting to see some of the small streams starting to open up.  Eagles, Geese and Swans are coming back in large numbers which tells me there’s a fair amount of open water already.  The temperatures are supposed to be getting into the 50’s this weekend with pretty mild temperatures for the near future.  Best I’ve got to offer!

So what if you actually win this contest?  What do you get?  Hmmmmm… let me think about it for a day or two.  Maybe let you know what the winner will get in the Friday Update.  Promise it’ll be worth the effort to make an entry.

Get to doing your research and let the games begin!!!!

Special Christmas Drawing

These cold days have given me some time to dig around the office and I’m coming up with some stuff I forgot I had.  Here’s a good example.

Yup, a copy of David Anthony’s popular history of the GEC brands AND, it’s autographed by BOTH Bill Howard and Ken Daniels.  I don’t know how many of these are floating around, but I know it’s not many.

As thanks for another fantastic year for TSA Knives, the lucky winner of our Christmas drawing will receive this book.  Just post a reply to this blog entry that you want to be included in the drawing and you’re entered.  No purchase necessary.  I’ll pay the postage for shipping anywhere in the world so no matter where you’re at, join in.  Post a reply by Christmas Eve and I’ll draw a name Christmas Day.

Thanks again!!

Ice Condition 3.22.16

The ice is rapidly leaving!!!  While there’s huge sheet of ice still melt…

Main Lake Body still covered
Main Lake Body still covered

there are also areas quickly opening up.


You can see the open water extending into the main body of the lake with another open area just off the point.

Channel opening up
Channel opening up

I’d make an unscientific guess that about 15% of the lake is opened up and the other 85% is deteriorating fast.  It wouldn’t surprise me to see the entire lake open by the weekend.  All depends on the temperature and the wind.  Ice out before the end of March is going to be in record breaking territory!!!  I’m good with that!

I’m not calling the race early, but I’d bet we have a race between Randy and BA.  Here are the standings:

  • April 16 at 3 pm  ~  tonystl
  • April 13 at noon  ~  Paul Slusser
  • April 12, 2016, 3:01 pm  ~ asconte
  • April 12th, 7:30 PM  ~  John
  • April 12th 2:00pm   ~  johnb
  • April 11, 2016 at 2:00pm  ~ tomfoolery33
  • April 11, 2016 6:22 AM ~ syd
  • April 10, 2016 @3:30pm  ~ Dave
  • April 10, 3:23 PM  ~  Phil
  • April 9th at 1:43 pm  ~  cutlerhudson
  • April 8th, 2:57pm ~ draggat
  • April 7th at 4pm ~ rmc11142
  • April 5th, 10 pm  ~ Padua
  • April 2nd 10 pm  ~  BA
  • April 1, 2016 at 5:00 AM  ~  Randy

2015 Ice Out Contest Winner!!!!!

Spring is officially here and we have a 2015 Ice Out Contest Winner!!!!  The date was about a week and a half earlier than last year  and I actually thought the lake would be clear of ice 4 or 5 days earlier.

Odd as it might seem, watching the ice go off from a larger body of water is actually pretty interesting.  I spent a couple of hours on our deck Saturday afternoon watching a slab of ice about a mile long slowly get ‘blown’ down the lake.  Most of it piles up harmlessly on the downwind side of the lake, but it’s always interesting and maybe a bit nerve wracking (depending where you’re at).  Now you can understand why we pull our docks and boat lifts out of the water every fall before ice in.  Here are a few pictures to give you an idea what the lake ice looked like as of 10:00 AM yesterday 4/12/15.

Shore Ice Building up
Shore Ice Building up

Just left of this photo there was a slab of ice about 1/2 mile wide still in the process of breaking up.  It took about another 6 hours for that slab to ‘disappear’.

Holding it's ground
Holding it’s ground

Things tend to get a bit interesting for the diners at the local Holiday Inn, wondering if they’ll get to finish their meal with dry, warm feet.

Ice Parking Lot 4.12.15

Here’s a picture of these slabs of ice once they break up on shore.  It doesn’t melt like an ice cube in a glass of water, but develops columns of melting similar to a honey comb.  Once it deteriorates to this point, it starts breaking up pretty quickly.  Actually, pretty neat.

Honeycombed ice
Honeycombed ice
Ice Free 4.12.05
Ice Free 4.12.05

So, the winner of this years Ice Out Contest is……. Charley Barlow with a guess of 3PM on 4/13/15.    The actual time was around 5:00PM on 4/12/15 and Charley missed the actual time by just over 24 hours.  That’s pretty darned good and the title of Master Iceologist is well deserved.  Congratulations!!!

He was bracketed on both sides by:


  • 4/9     3:29 PM largecents
  • 4/13   3 PM    Charlie Barlow
  • 4/16    3 PM    John
  • 4/20    4 PM     John B

So Charley, look for a Schatt & Morgan 032171 Stag handled Quart Barlow in your mailbox in the next few days!  Thanks to everyone that participated and I’ll have to think about maybe having a Freeze In contest next fall.



A few words about Queen’s Ice Out Contest Runner-up Prize

Congrats again to David for winning the runner-up prize most generously donated by Ken Daniels and Queen Cutlery!!!!  For second place, you didn’t just do too bad David!  On it’s way to you this afternoon is a new Robeson Limited Production #40 Jigged Bone Gunstock.

I have to take a minute to offer a special thanks to Ken and acknowledge exactly what kind of a person Ken is.  When I first started buying GEC knives in 2007, Ken gave me a call one day just to introduce himself and offer up any help or information I might need.  I took advantage of his knowledge on numerous occassions and to this day, still do.  When I had one of the first Wounded Warrior Project auctions, Ken was on the phone and offered a knife to auction off.  At the first announcement of the Ice Out Contest, Ken offered up a prize.  And this isn’t the only prize or auction items Ken’s donated.  DONATED.  I have NEVER solicited him for a prize or an award.  He’s always stepped forward and asked if he could help.  See a pattern????   

When Ken purchased Queen Cutlery, I got a phone call with an invitation to become a Queen dealer, was welcomed with open arms and flattered at the invite.  I’ve never had a face to face meeting with Ken but I consider him a close friend and a valued mentor.  In more ways than one, Ken’s one of a kind when it comes to selflessly promoting the knife industry and supporting the people that enjoy knives….and having a good time.  While I may have a few years on him, he’s taught me a lot about knives and the knife business, for which I’ll always be greatful.

The reason I wanted to bring all of this up is for the people that have never met, talked to or might not know who Ken Daniels is, is to let you know how lucky the knife world is to have an industry promoter like him.  It’s that willingness to move beyond corporate profits and self interest to educate, encourage young collectors and bring enthusiasm to the table that sets Ken and Queen Cutlery above the pack.  If you ever get a chance to meet Ken at a show, by all means take a minute to step up say hi and thank you.  Cause I’ll bet if we’re all really nice to him, this won’t be the last time he’ll join in the fun!!!  Many thanks Ken!!!

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