This blog post will discuss the best practices for hunting ducks on kayaks. It is important to go over these tips if you want to be successful in your pursuit of waterfowl.
A successful kayak duck hunting trip begins with being well prepared long before you even head down to the water. The list below will help you get started.
Know Your Gear
If there are specific items of hunting gear that can make your kayak duck hunt more enjoyable, take them along! Some examples are listed below, but many other options exist.
- A handgun or sidearm is allowed by law in every state where kayaking and duck hunting is legal (with a few exceptions). Don’t forget to include extra magazines and /or speed loaders.
- Bring a good pair of polarized sunglasses. If you wear prescription glasses, be sure to bring your prescription glasses along as well.
- A digital camera or other means to record video can come in very handy for recording success stories during duck season.
- Remember that the sun will be at a lower angle while kayak duck hunting, so a cap with a short bill is usually more comfortable than a baseball cap under these conditions.
- Don’t forget sunscreen! You may even want to apply it before going out on the water. Kayaking and hunting are both great ways to get some suns, so don’t forget to protect yourself from those harmful rays.
Know Your Head
When you are hunting ducks on kayaks, it is easy to lose track of where you are in relation to other boats. The good news is that there are multiple ways to stay safe while still having fun.
- Always wear a life vest when kayak duck hunting. It doesn’t matter if you can swim or not – it’s the law, and safety first has always been the best policy on the water.
- Bring along a whistle and an air horn as well. If you find yourself out of range from your boat partner(s), these will come in very handy for communicating with them and getting their attention quickly.
- Let someone know exactly where you will be going and what time they should expect to see you back. Make sure that they can reach you in an emergency via a cell phone or another means, and include the number of your hunting buddy(s) just in case.
- Bring along a VHF radio if possible. This way, you can communicate with other boaters when necessary to make sure everyone stays safe when kayak du ck hunting.
- In addition to these safety tips, it is important to know where your help is located in case of an emergency. Most states have marine police patrols which will provide assistance in emergencies involving boats on the water. If you do not see one while kayaking, don’t be afraid to call 911 and ask for assistance from local police officers who will be happy to assist you in any way possible.
Any time you are on the water, it’s important to dress appropriately for safety and warmth. The weather will play a large role in how warm your outfit needs to be, so keep this in mind at all times during kayak duck hunting. Some examples of good clothing include:
- A quality life vest with plenty of reflective tape and other features can save your life and make you much more visible while out on the water after dark or in foggy conditions. It should fit snugly but comfortably without restricting movement or breathing too much – especially around the arms and shoulders.
- A good pair of polarized sunglasses is a must in bright conditions. If you wear prescription glasses, be sure to bring your prescription glasses along so that you can continue to enjoy the beauty of nature while duck hunting.
- Long pants and a long sleeve shirt provide warmth when needed and protection from sunburn in other situations. The right shoes for kayaking will keep your feet comfortable and safe as well – just make sure they fit well or else blisters could quickly turn into dangerous infections.
- Gloves are an often overlooked yet very important accessory that helps keep hands warm when hunting ducks on kayaks, and can help prevent accidents caused by using slippery surfaces (like metal) with bare skin
Bring Plenty Of Supplies With You Whenever Possible
There are many reasons why it’s important to bring plenty of food and water along for kayak duck hunting. First of all, if you become lost or stranded, you’re going to need these supplies in order to survive until help arrives.
- -Food will also provide you with the energy that you need to stay safe and sane during your trip, so make sure you pack plenty of snacks or other sustenance inside your backpack along with some water containers.
- -Don’t go overboard on food though – most hunters find that they are ready for a snack after about an hour of kayak duck hunting, but there’s no reason to take more than 2 hours’ worth or else it could start spoiling which is just as dangerous as not having enough to eat.
Bring Along A Cell Phone, GPS Device, Map, Etc.
These days it’s pretty much impossible not to bring your mobile phone with you when duck hunting on kayaks, even if you plan to use it only in an emergency.
- Most phones come equipped with a GPS system these days which can be extremely useful when duck hunting in areas that are unfamiliar (and especially around the water) – the GPS feature will pinpoint your location and transmit this information directly to search & rescue groups or other relevant parties.
- Having a fully charged battery is also very important, and leaving certain apps like Skype and Facebook running in the background can quickly drain your charge even when you aren’t using them (usually around 8% for every hour they’re left running). Try not to use too much data either – surfing websites or uploading files can slowly eat away at your usage allowance which would probably be better off left for emergencies only.
Carry Bug Spray
It is a good idea to have bug spray on hand whenever going out hunting ducks from kayaks, especially if you’re going to be spending a lot of time near trees and other vegetation.
- There are several different types available which range from traditional sprays that can be applied all over the body, or there are liquids that come in small bottles that only need to be applied to certain areas.
- You can also find ones with DEET which helps keep bugs away for much longer, but take care not to get any of this stuff on your clothing as it could damage some materials when they dry.
Use A Shotgun Or Rifle With Good Accuracy At Close Range
There’s a reason why most people choose to use shotguns or rifles when duck hunting on kayaks – the bullets travel faster and are more accurate over shorter distances.
- Rifles (usually .22 caliber) also provide you with an easier opportunity to shoot at multiple ducks without having to worry about them separating too far from each other.
- Using guns with larger calibers is usually only necessary if your kayak is near enough to where you think the birds will land that they can actually hear the gunshot (which would be best avoided).
Practice Shooting Before Going Out On A Hunting Trip
If you’re a beginner hunter or if it’s been quite some time since you last went hunting, you should definitely take the time to get in some practice shots before actually going out and start hunting duck from kayaks.
- It doesn’t matter whether it’s with a shotgun or rifle – so long as you know how to use it properly and can hit an object within 100 yards every time when using proper ammunition.
- You may not think that this is necessary when duck hunting on kayaks, but even professionals miss their targets sometimes when they’re in high pressure situations such as having multiple birds flying around them at once (it happens more often than most people expect).
Be Careful Not To Trip Or Fall Into The Water
Plain and simple, this might seem like a pretty obvious tip but it’s still something to keep in mind.
- Remember that you will have a loaded gun with you at all times so if there is a chance of you falling overboard, or even if you just brushed up against your firearm, be sure to immediately holster it as soon as possible.
- In other words, keep those fingers off the trigger until the gun is safely out of harm’s way.
Hope these tips help you be safe and successful when duck hunting from kayaks! Have fun & good luck!!!
Arthur G. Moore is a veteran paddler. He has over 10 years of whitewater kayaking experience in his kitty. When he was young, he used to love kayaking in rapid III and rapid IV but as time went on, he decided to concentrate mainly on covering long distances on a standard touring kayak. He is currently working as a senior editor for Kayak Manual.