Imagine a full day on the water, starting with an early morning hunt and a day of fishing! We like to call that a good old Cast and Blast; a personal favorite fall and winter activity for me.
Similar to kayak fishing, hunting from your kayak will allow you to get to remote spots on the water that you may not be able to reach by wading or by boat. Though it takes a good amount of planning and some unique pieces of gear, I can almost guarantee this different style of hunting will be a new personal favorite for you too.
Check out these 4 tips to hunt from your kayak:
1. Stay Dry
During the cold-weather hunting season, you want to stay as dry as possible. Sitting still can be extremely difficult when you’re shivering from being cold and wet. We suggest using the proper apparel and accessories to stay dry when kayaking. This is your chance to pull the trigger on that pair of waders and those waterproof boots you’ve been eyeing for so long.
As for accessories, paddle drip rings are a quick and affordable way to stay dry. These rings keep water from running down the blade of the paddle to your hands.
Not only does staying dry apply for your body, the same also goes for your gear. You want to protect your gun by using a waterproof/floating case. This added security will prove beneficial if anything causes your gun to fall overboard during the paddle. Also, be aware of your blind materials during the paddle. If they get wet, chances are they will hold water, resulting in a heavier load and tougher paddle.
For more information on keeping dry, check out our blog: “Kayaking Tips – How to Stay Dry When Paddling”
2. Remain Unseen
As important with any style of hunting, you want to do everything possible to remain unseen. Your traditional camo apparel will get the job done, but we encourage you to build your own blind on the deck of your kayak.
It can be homemade from brush and other natural materials. However, there are specific products made specifically for kayak hunting. This YakGear Ambush Kayak Cover and Hunting Blind is a great option for a quick and easy solution to conceal your kayak.
Lay down and wait for your shot, then sit up and you’re ready to fire. There is also a flap in the back for access to the tank area to grab anything you might need. Boat handles are accessible at the front and back through slits that are pre-cut into the cover.
There are ton of hunting blinds and other materials designed for concealing your kayak. In most cases, you’ll back your kayak into the reeds and only need to build a blind on the front half of your kayak. We recommend checking out the spot you’ll be hunting before the day of the hunt to get an idea for what blind setup will best suit your hunt.
“Hunting from your kayak will allow you to get to remote spots on the water that you may not be able to reach by wading or by boat.”
3. Have a Plan
Be aware of your surroundings. If you’re going to be hunting on public land, take notice of where you are hunting and the proximity to high-traffic areas. Consider all directions in which you may fire your gun and be sure there are no boaters/paddlers in the general direction.
Even amongst your own group, it’s a good idea to have a well-communicated plan including times, specific locations, and decoy strategies. Take time to paddle around the area you hunt prior to the morning of the hunt. In most scenarios, you will paddle to your spot before sunrise. Having a understanding and feel for the paddle will make navigating in low light easier.
Remember, when paddling in low-light situations, you’re required to have a 360º light above the deck of the kayak. We also recommend wearing a headlamp and carrying a back up flash light.
4. Be Organized
Kayak hunting requires a good amount of gear. Especially if you’re planning on a day of cast and blast. With everything you need for the morning hunt, along with your fishing gear and tackle, the deck of your kayak will get crowded quickly.
Keeping organized will prevent you from scrambling around to find gear when it’s dark while trying to stay quiet and stealthy. Utilize your hatches as to store fishing gear in the hull of your kayak and swap it with your hunting gear as the day goes on.
It’s time to mix up your routine this year! Hunting from your kayak will add a different aspect to your yearly duck hunting season. You’ll be able to reach places you can’t on foot and at a lower price point than traditional motor-powered boats.
If you’re looking to go kayak hunting for the first time, check out this video for all the basic gear you need for a successful day out on the water.