Duck Hunting From A Kayak - Your Secret To A Successful Waterfowl Hunt
In terms of "All-American" pass times, duck hunting is close to baseball in the minds of many outdoorsmen, although the number of duck hunters across the country has dwindled along with duck populations since the 1970s, there's still hope for this great sport. Regardless of the hardships, many dedicated outdoorsmen and women still love the ritual of teaching their sons and daughters the patience required to expertly call in a flock of waterfowl; duck hunting remains one of the most authentic hunting experiences an outdoorsman can aspire to master.
There are many reasons which can explain the decline in waterfowl hunting, however they’re best summarized into the following groups: cost of equipment, accessibility, and declining duck habitats. Duck hunting can require an enormous investment in time and effort to ensure a successful hunt, and with declining duck populations, the return on investment is often not consistent enough to ensure regular participation each year. As more and more ponds and flooded farm fields across the country are drain tiled for crop production, duck habitat is becoming increasingly sparse. The loss of these once abundant breeding grounds that characterized areas like the central flyway, has made finding available hunting water more and more difficult for average outdoorsmen.
Duck Hunting From A Kayak
Fortunately there is hope for this great American pass time. The resurgence of small boat waterfowl hunting with duck hunting kayaks and other lower cost equipment is making duck hunting more affordable than ever. While the sight of huge mud boats with beavertail motors and blinds spacious enough for four man hunting parties still come to mind for many, these $10k-$15k setups are becoming less and less useful as more public waters outlaw the use of gas outboards. Now a budding outdoorsman can order a sneak boat or duck hunting kayak, kayak blind, and camouflage trolling motor for less than $750. Throw in a bag of mallard decoys for less than $50 and the duck call of your choice, and you’re well on your way to a great weekend of hunting on your local pond or reserve.
1. Always wear a life vest when hunting from any boat, inflatable life vests offer a slim option which does not interfere with shooting.
2. Be aware of how your duck hunting kayak reacts to shooting at different angles, shooting perpendicular to the boat at the horizon might have a different effect than shooting overhead at perpendicular angle. Generally speaking, it's safest and most stable to orient your boat so your shooting lane is between 10 and 2.
3. A fully loaded hunting kayak is not nearly as nimble as an empty boat, it is best to avoid rough waters and stick to shallow areas while hunting from a kayak.
4. Littering is illegal, always use a shell catcher, or be ready to retrieve your shells from the water before they sink.
5. Invasive species are ruining many of our waterways and associated infrastructure, remember to always clean, drain, and dry your boat when transporting it between different bodies of water. This includes replacing any locally collected grasses or vegetation used for camouflage. You wouldn't want to be the one responsible for the next outbreak of Quagga or Zebra mussels on your local lake.