Kayak for duck hunting?

  • Tom Rawlyk
    Posts: 41

    Hey guys,
    I’ve been looking at possibly getting a kayak this spring to use for fishing and then duck hunting in the fall. I’m hoping to get a ghillie suit for the kayak plus myself but I’m not sure exactly what kayak would be best for duck hunting (as far as stability and storage), especially when I’m using t shot or heavier loads for geese as well. Does anyone have any specific models they’d recommend or a setup that you have made that works well? Thanks!

    Posts: 2735

    I would be leery of kayak fishing/hunting in cold/windy duck weather. Hear of tragedies of guys trying to use them deer hunting and ending up in the water with heavy wet clothing. Not a good scenario. JMO

    Posts: 6

    Howdy , look into GoldenHawk as seen on keys Outdoors.

    Tom Rawlyk
    Posts: 41

    Thanks danimal! I’ll look at that one

    Tom Rawlyk
    Posts: 41

    I’ve been seeing that a lot of duck hunters like the Ascend H12 but at $900 it seems a bit much for a kayak that is meant to get beat up and abused – my budget would be around $500 max.

    Posts: 951

    Carstens Industries in Melrose builds duck boats that Put them in the Waterfowl HOF. As far as stability and robustness go, they are top of the line. Lightweight and practically float in dry sloughs.

    They do exceed your budget, and may not be well-suited for fishing. But the Carstens Pintail is hands down the best choice for slough ducks. ($1800)

    Monticello, MN
    Posts: 180

    I went with a Beavertail Stealth 2000. It is double your budget, but it is a nice wide and stable boat/Kayak. The add on blind is a nice option on it too. I put that along with the motor mount and dog ladder on mine.

    Two Harbors, MN
    Posts: 3817

    Kayaks are/can be very stable.
    When we first got outs I was amazed how stable they were and could not figure out why they had such a bad rap about being unsafe.

    Fast forward about 6 years and we were out with some friends yakin and they were complaining how theirs were so tippy and what not. So we traded yaks… holy hell theirs were so darn tippy.

    I learned theirs were a V keel and were much easier to paddle with less water resistance but were what I would consider unsafe to use.

    Mine were a flat and slightly concave bottom but had bit more water resistance. I would bet that if I were really careful I could stand up in mine. Mine is just a 10.5′ sit in cheapie from costco. Equinox was the “mfgr” but have seen the exact same thing labeled with other brands so I assume its a ship over and slap your brand on it type of thing.
    I may have to turn in my man card but I actually enjoy using them for fishing small trout lakes that are tough to access or carry in only.

    What ever you do end up getting just make sure its stable, some places do have ponds to try them out.

    NW Iowa
    Posts: 626

    As an avid waterfowl guy that has about all the stuff needed to get to where ducks want to be, I have found a kayak is certainly a possible (and effective) vessel to hunt from, however, I have not found one that hunts well. There are trade offs to everything, But I found a 1236 jon boat customized to be a layout boat is much more comfortable. Dryer, more stable (however the right kayak can be just as stable), can put a motor on it if conditions warrant so, there are several factors as to why I sold my duck yak, and will be back in a small boat for skinny water/ sloughs. The biggest downfall of the yak for me was how to haul decoys, even a half dozen takes up valuable real estate, how to secure the shotgun so it does not get dropped in the water during transport or while hunting, and you are always wet. Even with waterproof gear on, the water is cold, and makes me cold faster. I am building a small jon with a deck from the middle seat forward to put a layout blind on and hunt from as I would if in a dry field. I can store decoys and a dry box full of extra ammo, gloves, etc. Plus have the benefit of running a small outboard, electric motor, or mud motor in the future. Sometimes too small is just too small. The only advantage of the yak I found was storage while not hunting, and it did not need a trailer. I could throw it in the truck, But when I got to the hunting spot in it, I was missing several of the things the made the day more enjoyable because there simply was not enough space to haul it all.

    After all that, there are certainly A LOT of people that hunt from them and are very successful with them. I just never could find the right system to wok for me.

    I would make a list of everything you MUST have with on a hunt, and see if you can come up with a way to keep in the yak and stay comfortable before you purchase one. The only good news is if you buy one, and it does not work out, they go fast on the used market. A $500 kayak on the used market brings $350 fast. There is going to be a lot more expensive things to cost you as a waterfowler that taking a $150 hit on a kayak.

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