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Crow's Foot Poling Tip

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Wondering if any of the more experienced canoe polers on the site have made a specific type of poling tip. I'm thinking about trying out the "Crow's Foot" as illustrated in this image (lower right hand corner).

Poling%2BShoes%2BSamples.jpg


It is supposedly a simple solution for poling in soft, muddy river bottoms. I'm quite familiar with those commercial "Duck Bill" tips but want to make my own piece of gear. Figured the lashed crow's foot design could easily be adapted to a wooden pole and be later removed if necessary. Anyone try this before?
 
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Never tried it... Never seen it... But a good idea. I was pondering the idea yesterday, about a foot/shoe that would allowed to pole on muddy bottom. There is a lake I like to fo for moose hunting, that have a section of reeds that is super muddy, and last time I was there I just up out of the canoe in my waders and pull it true. no pleasant at all.
 
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Thanks for posting that. I'll be trying it this spring (if spring ever shows up), as I need a solution to poling Merrymeeting Bay. What are your thoughts on the lashing? Seems like mud is going to try its best to get the foot off.
 
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Thanks for posting that. I'll be trying it this spring (if spring ever shows up), as I need a solution to poling Merrymeeting Bay. What are your thoughts on the lashing? Seems like mud is going to try its best to get the foot off.

Grooves in the pole?

Alan
 
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Thanks for posting that. I'll be trying it this spring (if spring ever shows up), as I need a solution to poling Merrymeeting Bay. What are your thoughts on the lashing? Seems like mud is going to try its best to get the foot off.

And if your pole has a regular shoe, it should prevent the foot to slip off!!
 
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Murat - see that "quick jab shoe and spike" in the middle of your illustration? I was thinking about this some time ago, and I figured that if you drilled a hole through that shoe somewhere in the middle, you could use that to secure the crow's foot from slipping up. Combine that with a lash around the top of the spike, and it would be especially secure against slipping up. No - I haven't tried it yet...
 
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Murat - see that "quick jab shoe and spike" in the middle of your illustration? I was thinking about this some time ago, and I figured that if you drilled a hole through that shoe somewhere in the middle, you could use that to secure the crow's foot from slipping up. Combine that with a lash around the top of the spike, and it would be especially secure against slipping up. No - I haven't tried it yet...

I was thinking the same thing when I wrote in #5... I will have to try it...
 
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Murat - see that "quick jab shoe and spike" in the middle of your illustration? I was thinking about this some time ago, and I figured that if you drilled a hole through that shoe somewhere in the middle, you could use that to secure the crow's foot from slipping up. Combine that with a lash around the top of the spike, and it would be especially secure against slipping up. No - I haven't tried it yet...

Good point and smart idea. Right now I'm debated whether to carve another pole and follow your idea or adapt something to my existing pole. That one has an octagonal base which complicates things.
 
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Murat - if you make your pole ends the way I do, you can drill the hole through the part that is plugged with delrin rod and avoid any rot issues.
 
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Wondering if any of the more experienced canoe polers on the site have made a specific type of poling tip.
It is supposedly a simple solution for poling in soft, muddy river bottoms. I'm quite familiar with those commercial "Duck Bill" tips but want to make my own piece of gear. Figured the lashed crow's foot design could easily be adapted to a wooden pole and be later removed if necessary. Anyone try this before?
Murat, they work better than you might imagine. See my article http://voodoocanoe.com/old/everglades/everglades04.htm. I made a couple for metal poles made by Hayden Canoe Pole. When you bring the pole forward, the rudder action puts to foot behind you. Then you plant it and push off. We've all experienced the stick-in-the-mud when you try to pull the pole out at a different angle. With the foot, it rotates in it's own slot and comes right out. Then on the return it follows the pole and there is very little drag. - and almost nothing for weeds to grab onto.
 
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Thank you Matt, that is great info! I have to make one for the summer!
 
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Thanks for your input, Matt. Your article was a great. Especially liked your idea of twisting the foot so that loop tensions up. Like Canotrouge, I'm going to give it a whirl this summer.

Any idea about the source of that archival image?
 
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Took a while but finally made a "Crow's foot" based on Matt H's idea for my own wooden pole using up some metal and wood scraps. Mine is from a thick piece of yellow birch. Ended up using an old piece of metal bracing with a large enough hole so the 5/8" lag bolt at the base of the foot could fit through. It was simply screwed to the bottom of the foot with whatever old screws I could find. Looks ugly but it works. Instead of Matt's idea with the cordage, I cut a notch in the wood which holds a strong velcro buckle tie.

Crows%2BFoot%2B08_rs.jpg


Crows%2BFoot%2B07_rs.jpg


The friction fit and velcro strap hold the foot on pretty tightly and the great thing about this method is that the Crow's foot is not permanently attached to the pole so it can be removed easily once out of the mucky terrain. That way, a dedicated marsh pole is not needed and I can continue using the pole for more commonly rocky terrain. Being eager to test it out, I headed out to marshy wetland out on the cottage lake where the water levels shallows out to about 2 feet and the lake bottom is thick mud. Usually, the pole shoe get stuck in the mud and can really knock you off balance trying to yank it out. The foot worked perfectly! The pole was not getting stuck in the mucky bottom and I could easily push the canoe around. Since I was alone, the only shot of it in action I could take was a twisted angle of the foot submerged in the murky water. Standing up in a canoe while poling and taking a photo with one hand ain't easy!

Crows%2BFoot%2B12_rs.jpg


Anyway, quite happy how this little bit of homemade gear makes make poling in marshy zones much more enjoyable. Thanks Matt H for the helpful advice.
 
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I like it! Simpler than what I was thinking about. And easier on/off. I need to get one done to keep in my kit.
 
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Friggin MINT, right? Now I know 2 people who have one of these. You and me. Sorry the link doesn't work, I'm working on rebuilding my entire website. As far as the source of the image, it was some online archive having to do with either Seminole or Mikosukee (SP?) tribes of the Florida Everglades. I can't take credit for the original design; it was in research and development for about 12,000 years. I just adapted it to a modern pole.
 
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