Kayak Duck Hunting: Kayak Styles & Features
Kayak hunting has grown in popularity over the years, and for good reason. When it comes to waterfowl hunting, kayaks are an incredibly beneficial tool. It allows hunters access to spots that can not be reached by foot or boat.
There are different styles of kayaks on the market, and you need to choose the one that will work best for you. In this article, you will learn more about kayak duck hunting, the different styles of kayak and their features. And also some beneficial tips for duck hunting from a kayak.
The Best Style of Kayak for Waterfowl Hunting
There are three main styles of kayaks, and each one has its own features. So choose the style that you want to use.
Sit on Top
In this kind of kayak, instead of sitting down inside of it, you sit on top. When using Sit on top kayaks, you do not have to worry about sinking if you take a few waves over the side, the water just drains out of the scupper holes. This makes it a popular choice for open water fishing. Also, you can easily get in and out of it, making it popular among duck hunters.
But, this style is typically heavier than the others. It is more difficult to build a blind around because of its lower sides. And the sealed hull makes it harder to modify. But if you want to use a kayak for both hunting and fishing, then you may consider this one.
As its name suggests, this is a type of kayak where you sit down inside of it. The advantage of using these kayaks is that once you are inside, you are already partially covered.
This kayak is drier paddling in waves and on rivers, but it is harder to get in and out of it. Depending on the sit size in your kayak, you may feel a little cramped when you add more gear and bulky waders/clothes.
Sit-in Kayaks are not only lightweight but also easy to modify. If you want a kayak to use for hunting and recreational use like paddling, this can be a good choice.
This style of kayak is a bit of a cross between the former two styles, but it has a storage capacity that is much better. The design maintains enough depth to hide easily. Also, it is easy to get in and out of it. Hybrid Kayaks are usually the most popular among waterfowl hunters.
Important Features in a Duck Hunting Kayak
Stability is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a hunting kayak. Unlike a larger boat, you will have to plan out your hunting trip and what gear to bring when you are on the water.
Duck hunting requires much more movement than fishing, especially lateral movement. Thinks of throwing out decoys or standing to shoot. To do this, you will need a sturdy platform. The kayak that runs wide is usually the best bet.
Hunting with another person or a dog will increase instability immensely. You should keep this in mind when selecting a kayak, or you might be going for an unwanted dip in the lake.
If a fishing kayak is what you are thinking about, a bigger one can be better. If you are hunting alone, a kayak that can accommodate at least two people can be a good option. This will help to provide extra stability.
Stability is extremely important when it comes to duck hunting. An unstable kayak could easily land you in cold water. Getting your ammo or gun wet could also affect the success of your hunt, not to mention yourself.
Maneuverability is also an important factor to consider when looking for the best duck hunting kayak. If you are floating on a rougher river, this feature is even more important. Kayaks offer maneuverability that you do not get with duck boats, pontoons, or anything with a motor.
In order to achieve success, it is essential to be able to navigate the water. Lots of hunters hunt potholes, ponds, or small lakes. In any area with standing water, almost any kayak will do the job well.
Maneuverability is important not only on the water but on land as well. When using a lightweight kayak, you can reach untouched areas where you can find more ducks to hunt.
This may require you to haul your kayak from one body of water to another. With keeping all your gear in mind, using a lightweight duck hunting kayak can bring the hunt to a whole new level.
As a waterfowl hunter, it is essential to have a tough duck hunting kayak. Think of the places it needs to go through in order to get to your special hunting spot. To ensure durability, always search for a kayak with polyethylene construction or better. Those kayaks can hold up against logs, rocks, and more.
Even if the spot is close, It will need to withstand some abuse. Also, it will hold more weight which is needed for companions and hunting gear.
Before buying your kayak, think about how you will store and transport it. One of the primary reasons that lots of beginners prefer inflatable kayaks is that they do not have enough storage space at home or do not have a roof rack.
You need to find a way to transport it from home to the paddling destination, so keep your physical limits in mind. Do you own a truck to make things easier for unloading and loading? Can you lift the kayak onto the top of your car? Also, you need to know if you have enough space to store the kayak.
The best kayak has ample storage. You will want to bring the essentials such as shotguns, gear, ammunition, blinds, food, water, decoys, and a first-aid kit. You will need to prioritize the gear that you are bringing since you will be hunting on small watercraft. At the same time, you must ensure that they are kept dry and safe.
Duck hunting needs significantly more gear than fishing. Having a spot for your shotgun is an essential thing. This will make it easy for you to switch between shooting and paddling without much time or effort.
Having some sort of dry storage for keys, wallet, cell phone, and other essential things is important but not necessary. Most fishing kayaks come with some type of dry hatch, but if it does not, lots of outdoor companies produce dry bags which can fit nearly everything, even guns. You can find other alternatives to keep your things dry as long as there is plenty of room for them.
So when choosing your kayak, consider how much room you will need and where you will store your items. This way, you will have easy access to your gear while ensuring stability.
Steps to Kayak Duck Hunting
1. Survey the area before hunting. Walk/kayak the area or use google maps in advance to find out the best spots to position your decoys and to shoot from.
2. Make sure you have packed your hunting gear properly. You want to ensure you have enough camouflage and your blind is properly prepared.
3. Deploy the decoy in your chosen location.
4. After that, go to your position and apply the blind cover.
5. Then, load your hunting weapon and set it resting in a position far from you and your feet in your craft.
6. Now, wait for your ducks. Keep a clear eye on the surrounding area and your decoys. In certain canoe and kayak designs, it may be easier to either wait on your knees or lie down, whatever is easiest.
7. After you are done, recover all decoys and also pick up all of your spent shotgun shells.
Some Helpful Tips for Kayak Duck Hunting
1. You can wear camo waders to avoid getting wet, especially if you need to step into the shallow water.
2. Make sure to clean your gun regularly as it will likely get wet.
3. Make sure to glean your spent shotgun shells.
4. For your safety, always wear your life jacket.
5. When duck hunting, you are likely to have lots of gear in your craft which makes it more unstable. So it is wise to only use a kayak for duck hunting in calmer conditions.
6. Make sure to wear multiple layers to stay warm.
7. In order to avoid introducing invasive plant species from one place to another, make sure to clean your hull after each hunt.