Soft bottom lake
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By blizzardhunter - 8/27/2012 8:42:15 PM
We drew a duck blind this weekend in a killer spot.  I've hunted here before and had my best season ever.  We are on a slough like lake.  All the places on this wma have a really soft bottom, really no bottom.  They can't be waded and its even worse this year with the water levels being so low.  My question is are there any saftey precations I should make for my lab.  I can't even get to the water edge without being almost up to my knee in soupy mud.  Should my lab be okay in this stuff.  This will be his first season so I don't want to hunt without him.
By blizzardhunter - 8/29/2012 5:00:04 PM
So with all the views and no replies does this mean no one has any experience with this or that no one will take the time to tell me I have nothing to worry about.
By kghops - 8/29/2012 6:35:26 PM
I'm obviously not exactly familiar with the spot you are hunting, but soupy mud has not deterred any retrievers I have been with.  I would not use a vest on him though because soupy mud is hard to get through and your dog will likely overheat with a vest on.  If it were me, I'd go and throw some dummies there to see how the dog does.  Not too far in case something happens, in fact I'd bring a canoe or keep a long rope on the dog to make sure you can get it back if it gets stuck or something.  You better make sure the dog is in good shape for this stuff, he'll be a sore dude the next day!!!!

Let us know how it goes.

By Trackmyer - 8/29/2012 9:38:51 PM
Sorry brother I was one of the viewers, but I have no insight into this.  I was kinda curious as to what the answer would be as well.
By blizzardhunter - 8/30/2012 6:58:35 AM
I appreciate it guys.  There are a lot of places around here like that but this is my first dog so I didn't have a clue.  I had one guy tell me it wouldnt make a difference, but I don't have a lot of faith in his advice.  Were heading down there tomorrow afternoon so I'll try to take him with me.  If not we will make a run down there one day and see how it goes.  If we get some rain and the water comes up it won't be as bad, but right now its just a shallow mess.  Again thanks, hes my new best friend so I didn't want to send him into trouble.
By Tim Price - 8/30/2012 6:43:39 PM
The situation I would avoid is the type of mud that sucks the boots off your feet. When dogs run in that type of mud, there's a chance for a joint injury. Their feet get stuck and when they attempt to pull up out of it, there's a lot of stress on their joints.
By jpsheet - 8/31/2012 10:57:22 AM
everywhere i hunt we have to use a boat even with water let alone with out my dog does fine i would be more worried about yourself if you hit a sink hole its game over
we dont hunt some spots because of there being no water to get a boat in can you hunt an other place untill you get water?
By Mallard Mugger - 8/31/2012 11:17:39 AM
I think you're on the right track exposing him to this situation in a controlled, BEFORE season situation.  He knows what to expect and you can introduce it properly.  How do you set decoys out?  Just a thought, but if it is from a boat, you may be better served throwing marks for him from the boat to the mud because you should then be able to reach him faster and much safer if the need arrises.  Remember to take small steps at first in the introduction.  Oh, ya, the rope idea is invaluable!
By Swamper - 9/3/2012 9:11:06 PM
i have had some experience in conditions such as you have mentioned. 

a bottomless slop can be VERY hard on a dog.  the mentioned overheating, joint injuries, even rescue are a REAL threat. 

don't plan on a rescue by boat or even canoe in some of that slop.  i would test it out first with at least a couple other guys with you to see if you can navigate a canoe or boat. if you can't.   don't send a dog out in it!!
By blizzardhunter - 9/4/2012 8:37:12 PM
You can run a boat in it and we can actually drive all the way to the blind, drop gear, and go park.  There is a good amount of water out there but its the 5 ft before the water and about the first 10 ft of water where its going to get nasty.  I'll try and post a pic again but I wouldn't hold my breath.  As of right now we have plans to go down there next Tuesday to give him his first introduction.  We got 3.5 inches of rain over the weekend down there and more in the forecast.  If the water comes up a foot before season it will be a lot better.