Have you ever thought about Hunting from a kayak?
There are an ever increasing number of hunters who see hunting kayaks as the way to escape the hassles of a small gas powered boat as their waterfowl hunting platform. Not to mention how it is easier to sell to the significant other as a very economical investment if you are using it as your hunting kayak and a fishing kayak.
There are all kinds of kayaks on the market but the best kayaks for fishing are the same ones that are best suited for hunting kayaks and these are the Hobie Mirage Drive™ kayaks by Hobie Cat.
The ability and reasons for needing to be hands free while in a Hobie Mirage Drive™ kayak are self explanatory. Try shooting a gun while holding a paddle sometime and you will immediately see the hunting kayak advantage of the Hobie Mirage Drive™. Not to mention the built in rudder, and convenient storage that Hobie Kayaks incorporates into every one of the Kayaks in their line.
We have been using Hobie Kayaks with the Mirage Drive™ as waterfowl hunting kayaks for several seasons now and the freedom and maneuverability that the Hobie Kayaks affords the hunter are second to none. We have quietly approached all types of waterfowl on the water without any fear by the ducks and geese. Sometimes you get so close in the Hobie mirage™ kayaks that you can’t shoot. All this in areas where people hunt from waterfowl blinds and the waterfowl will not fly within 100 yards of the blinds.
Ways to hunt from a kayak.
There is jump shooting (check your local regulations) which is legal in most areas when you are in a human powered craft. This has been my personal favorite because there is no need to get up at zero dark thirty to catch the ducks flying in. When you jump shoot you can be out on a bay, float a river or even a lake and it is quite effective. Retrieving the downed waterfowl in a Hobie Mirage™ Hunting Kayak is simple and easy. Just a few pumps with your legs and a turn on the rudder and you’re picking up your fast food.
Hunting from a blind has been a water fowling tradition for centuries.
Now your hunting kayak can become your hunting kayak mobile waterfowl hunting blind. Wind changes, no problem. Waterfowl is landing over there on the other side of where you are no problem. Mobility in a Hobie hunting kayak is so easy that if you hunt, you need to give this a try. You can also use your hunting kayak a your transportation to and from your fixed position duck blind.
Hobie has a camouflage dodger that covers your legs and conceals the movement while keeping you protected from the elements. The amazing thing is it only takes a few minutes to set up and take down. We have been using Mojo Outdoors gillie grass in addition to the Hobie Camo dodger with tremendous success on our hunting kayaks.
Hunting over decoys and with dogs is also popular. We have used the decoys with great success. If you are using a dog to retrieve your downed game, you may want to build a small platform and cover it with indoor outdoor carpet in a dark color. In the Hobie Mirage Kayaks we have used, the platform was set in place using the existing built in rod holders. Depending on which kayak becomes your hunting kayak, you may choose to add outriggers for stability when retrieving your dog. I would check out the Hobie AMA Sidekicks available at www.kayakfishingstuff.com this Hobie accessory is sold as a complete kit, and easily installs on most sit on top kayaks.
As almost everyone who hunts knows, hunting regulations change from state to state. And sometimes from region to region within a state you can have regulation changes. So be smart and always check the state hunting regulation before you head out on your hunting kayak adventure.
Some do’s and don’ts for Kayak Hunting
Safety should be your number one priority. Personal Floatation (PFD) devices are mandatory. I personally like the manual inflation styles because they don’t interfere with my shouldering of the gun. Plus they are available in camouflage but you need to try and find what works best for you.
Shooting from a hunting kayak is easy. But don’t try shooting from a hunting kayak while standing up unless it was specifically designed for stand up activities. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to hunt from the new Hobie Mirage Pro Angler kayak this past season. WOW, is this boat awesome! Standing up and moving around was as easy as it could be on a boat this size. The seat on the Hobie Pro Angler made shooting from this hunting kayak feel like you were playing a video game at home. Absolutely needs to be on your radar if you’re looking for a hunting kayak or a fishing kayak.
Getting the right protection from the elements is important for any outdoor activity and kayak hunting is no different. We have used waterproof knee high boots and they worked fine. Everything depends on the conditions where you hunt. We have also used waterproof breathable waders while kayak hunting. The advantage with waterproof breathable waders vs. neoprene waders is that you don’t over heat while using the Hobie Mirage Drive™ . With Neoprene waders you may be a little warmer but mobility is much better in the waterproof breathable style and all you need to do is vary what you wear underneath them based on temperature.
So get out and get your self a two season kayak!
M Weiss NJ