Kayaks are incredibly versatile for duck hunting, and more hunters than ever are re-discovering their usefulness for reaching hidden, unpressured areas that other hunters simply cannot reach. There are other benefits like a decreased cost of ownership and very little maintenance that also make hunting out of a kayak a rather intriguing prospect. However, there is one shortcoming that there is no getting around, and that's the limited space. If you're used to hauling a ton of gear out into the field on your waterfowl expeditions, you'll need to make some tough decisions on what to bring and what gets left behind.
Ryan Lilly of Old Town Canoes is here to help with some practical tips about where to pack the most important items, your shotgun, and your decoys on your kayak. This is important information if you've never hunted out of a kayak before. Because you'll be amazed at how quickly every available space is filled in one of these small craft.
Ryan didn't mention it but let us note that loading your kayak in this manner helps ensure it is also properly balanced. That's going to make the kayak easier to paddle and control, especially if you hit a bit of current in a river or stream. An improperly balanced kayak could be a recipe for disaster and could even become dangerous when the waters are cold.
We're glad he mentioned the dry box, that's another vital piece of gear for keeping your ammunition dry on the wettest of mornings. We personally like to store our vehicle keys, wallets, and cell phones in these boxes too to protect them from the elements. It also lessens the chances you'll drop those things somewhere where you'll never be able to relocate them.
Before you ever head out hunting in your kayak, we recommend a dry run in the garage. Load everything you'll need for hunting up and make sure it is evenly distributed. Sit in the kayak and practice reaching for items behind you to ensure it is safe and comfortable to do so. A dry run can save you a lot of frustration in the early pre-dawn hours of your fist hunt as it will allow you to identify storage solutions in a safe and comfortable environment. When it's time to hunt, you'll be ready to hit the water and concentrate on limiting out. Be sure to read out complete guide to rigging a kayak for duck hunting, and check out Old Town's website for more information on the models pictured here.