Leave your competition on the banks and go where other hunters can’t — onto the water.
Waterfowling can be a new, challenging experience for duck hunters who have only ever staked out their prey from the shore.
And taking a kayak out onto rivers and lakes can take you to places you wouldn’t typically have access to.
You might even find these places to be the best spots for duck hunting.
But, before you slip out onto the river, there are a few things you need to know to make your duck hunt a successful one.
1. Pick the Right River
Heading out onto the water for the first time can be an exciting venture.
However, it can quickly become disappointing if you choose to hunt on an unsuitable river.
You need stability in the water in order to accurately aim and shoot your target.
So if you set out on a river with rapids, strong currents and lots of obstacles, you won’t be able to concentrate on the hunt.
To avoid fighting rapids, pick a calm river with backwaters where ducks might rest.
One with sandbars or mudflats would also be ideal since ducks tend to congregate in such areas.
You might also choose rivers with grassy areas that are as tall as or taller than you and your kayak. This will make it easier to conceal yourself.
2. Make or Purchase a Blind
Another important element to waterfowling is concealment. If you want a successful hunt, you must conceal yourself and your kayak.
Otherwise, ducks will never land within range and you’ll return empty-handed. The good news is there are already various pre-made blinds on the market.
If you purchase one that’s made specifically for your make and model, it’ll come out of the box ready to use with plenty of attachments to match the foliage or grass surroundings.
However, you can also make a blind yourself.
If you’re only hunting a specific area at a certain time of year, you can rig a blind to match the natural landscape without needing multiple covers.
Simply take some foliage or grass from your hunting spot and weave it into polypropylene fencing. The ducks will never see you coming.
3. Consider Putting Out Decoys
While it is possible to simply hide out in backwater areas and take ducks by surprise, sometimes you can’t find any loafing ducks.
In this case, you’ll have to set a trap. Trick the ducks into landing in nearby water by placing decoys in the water.
Ducks have their own reasons for choosing resting places. And if they spot other ducks in the river below, they’ll deem the area safe enough to land.
While every hunter has their own way of setting up decoys, some methods are better than others.
For instance, placing your spread right night to your kayak may invite ducks into the area, but they will likely be out of range.
Instead, move the spread further from your blind and out of range. This will leave room in between for ducks to land.
4. Properly Store Your Equipment
Unless you’re a hardcore waterfowler, you won’t be out on the water every single day. And, when you aren’t out hunting, you’ll want to store your equipment properly.
Doing so will ensure it remains in good condition for many more duck seasons, which will save you from replacing broken gear year after year.
If you’re only storing your kayak for a few days, keep it in an easily accessible spot. This means storing it on a low-hanging rack instead of strapping it to the ceiling.
Moreover, make sure that you store your kayak away from other equipment that you use on a regular basis.
This will ensure you don’t knock your kayak down when trying to access other gear, potentially damaging your kayak and injuring yourself and others.
5. Protect Your Gun From Saltwater
If you live in a coastal area, odds are you’ll be hunting on a saltwater river or even the ocean from time to time.
And, while the salty spray and warm air may be right up your alley, they can really do a number on your gun.
Therefore, it’s crucial you take the time to clean and store your firearm properly during and after a hunt.
The National Firearms Museum recommends storing your gun in an environment with temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity of 45% to 50%.
You’ll also want to keep your gun as dry as possible. So storing it in an airtight, floating case until you are ready to shoot is a good idea.
However, water vapor and spray can still corrode your gun regardless of how long it’s out in the open.
Therefore, it’s best to disassemble and thoroughly clean and lubricate your gun after each hunt.
Conclusion: Kayak Hunting
Now that you’re equipped with these five tips, you’ll feel more prepared as you take to the water.
Make sure you have all the right supplies, and when you’re ready to set out, do so with confidence. Happy hunting!
Do you have any kayak hunting tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.