Best Kayaks For Duck Hunting-Ultimate Buying Guide

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Kayaks are a good investment, especially if you love waterfowl hunting. With so many alternatives available, a beginner kayaker could feel overwhelmed. To keep you informed, we did our research and created a review of the best kayaks for duck hunting. So read on and choose from the list below.

Our Top Picks-Best Kayaks For Duck Hunting

1. Sevylor Coleman Colorado Inflatable Kayak

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Sevylor Colorado 2-Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak, Complete with Paddle & Rod Holders, Adjustable...
  • 18-gauge PVC Construction: Rugged and lake-use friendly
  • 1000D Tarpaulin Bottom and 840D Nylon Cover: Provides durable puncture protection
  • Multiple Air Chambers: Allows another chamber to stay inflated if one is punctured
  • High-Quality Inflatable Kayak: Ideal for fishing and lake adventures
  • Adjustable Seats and Carry Handle: For comfort and easy transport

Last update on 2024-06-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Sevylor Coleman Colorado kayak meets all of your shooting and angling requirements. Its size and interior space make it easy to accommodate two duck hunters inside.

Image Credits: amazon.com

Although it is not a kayak for waterfowl shooting, it is fairly wide, which gives it excellent stability and the capacity to withstand any sudden changes in weight distribution as you paddle.

Colorado has a port on the stern where you can install a small trolling engine, freeing up your hands for your gun or fishing rod while moving. It's also simple to move, store, and set up.

Pros

  • It has built-in rod holders
  • It has double-threaded Boston valves for easy inflating and deflating

Cons

  • It has little dry storage space

2. Lifetime 10-Foot Fishing Kayak

Last update on 2024-06-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Lifetime 10-foot is an effective waterfowl hunting kayak that isn't expensive if you're beginning out. It is only 10 feet long, but it feels much larger than that. It even has a second seat so you can kayak with a friend, but it is also responsive and agile enough to be handled alone.

Image Credits: amazon.com

It has a 500-pound weight limit, so leaving shooting equipment behind won't be a problem. Having said that, there isn't much place for dry storage, and there isn't much room for dry bags on the deck with a second individual aboard. However, for the price, you get a sturdy canoe more than capable of transporting you and all of your hunting gear to your preferred hunting location.

Pros

  • Huge load capacity
  • You can paddle it solo or in tandem

Cons

  • No dry storage

3. Sea Eagle 385 FTA

385FTA Fasttrack Angler 1–2-Person Inflatable Green Fishing Kayak-Rigid Keel, Drop Stitch Floor...
  • Patented, state of the art, external, rigid, inflatable NeedleKnife Keel for true tracking
  • Sharper, narrower, tapered bow for faster entry through wind, waves, current and water make this an angler's dream...
  • Rugged inflatable fishing kayak designed by and for fishermen who wish to adventure outside traditional methods to...
  • Glide right into the heart of where the trophy fish are!
  • Non-slip tough as crocodile hide protective padding, built-in rod, tool, hook and lure holders, built-in Fish...

Last update on 2024-06-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is the best option to maximize space while minimizing weight. This inflatable kayak from Sea Eagle weighed much less than most other options on our list. However, it still had a ton of storage space and a strong weight capacity, making it ideal for carrying our hunting gear around all day.

Image Credits: seaeagle.com

It is comfortable for two people but manageable for a single paddler. We enjoyed how sturdy it was; whether we were lying down, sitting, or standing, the kayak did not tip over. Also, never assume that "inflatable" equals "easily demolished." The hull was constructed of 2000 denier PVC fabric, nearly unbreakable even when exposed to jagged pebbles and pointy branches.

A crocodile skin EVA foam pad was included on the deck. The crocodile skin EVA foam pad on the deck provided additional protection against punctures and was slip-resistant, so we could stand there securely even when the boat was wet. The kayak tracks well and performs magnificently in every situation thanks to its prominent keel and accompanying (completely detachable) skeg.

Pros

  • Super-tough inflatable kayak
  • Lightweight, easy to inflate/deflate quickly
  • Compatible with motor (extra cost)
  • Multiple seating options for up to three paddlers
  • Excellent handling, very responsive
  • Perfect for lying down all day long (the seat is removable, and the deck is padded)

Cons

  • It has to be inflated/deflated before/after every use
  • It can be blown around a bit in windy conditions

4. Nucanoe Unlimited

Last update on 2024-06-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is the best choice if you want a kayak to mount a motor quickly. The Nucanoe Unlimited is equipped with the PIVOT Drive pedal system and is compatible with bow mount, outboard, or Torqeedo motors. Still, it is a fantastic choice in case you want to upgrade—without having to carry out a lot of costly DIY changes to incompatible kayaks.

Image Credits: nucanoe.com

The sit-on-top kayak was made to go as quickly as possible without compromising stability. It was short and streamlined, making it appropriate for even choppy water. The seven scupper holes ensured that any water that came in rapidly drained out, keeping the hunting blind dry. We could easily remove the seat if we wanted to lie down.

It could hold 650 pounds, ideal for carrying a dog and all our hunting equipment.

Pros

  • Versatile motor selections and compatible with NuCanoe's pedal drive
  • A spacious, open style that is cozy
  • Easy to remove the seat
  • An above-average weight capacity, satisfactory tracking, speed, and stability

Cons

  • More substantial than the typical hunting kayak
  • There is no way to elevate or lower the seat; remove it.

5. Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 with 360 Drive

Hobie Mirage Passport 12 Pedal Drive Kayak with MirageDrive GT Kick-Up Drive (Slate)
  • Suspended Mesh Aluminum Frame Seat
  • Features MirageDrive GT with Kick-up Fins
  • 8" Twist and Stow Hatch
  • Includes paddle
  • Stowable Rudder

Last update on 2024-06-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Mirage Pro Angler 12 is the ideal hunting kayak if you want one that can travel farther and quicker. It has the MirageDrive360, a small but potent pedal system that allowed us to cross the water much more quickly than with a paddle. Hobie's pedal drive used fins rather than a propeller was a huge benefit in shallow waters.

Image Credits: hobie.com

The fins kicked up when they encountered an underwater obstruction, allowing us to travel over submerged logs without risking damage to the prop. We had complete control over the pedaling direction thanks to the exclusive 360 Drive, which spun on a dime and entered (and exited) even the tightest locations. And the best quality is usually costly, so prepare your pockets well for this kayak.

Pros

  • Pedal and paddle-powered
  • It is durable
  • It is Versatile and beautiful maneuverability even in the tightest places
  • Kick-Up Fins are perfect for shallow water where normal pedal drives might get stuck or broken
  • Ideal for covering a lot of distance quickly

Cons

  • Blue coloring may be highly visible in ponds or swamps
  • Heavy

Why You Need a Kayak For Duck Hunting

Many traditional duck hunters may complain about kayaks, labeling them a “newfangled fad” or a “passing trend.” However, if you speak with a duck hunter who has begun using a kayak, they’ll tell you it’s a game-changer in every way, and they’d never think of duck hunting with any other boat.

Why is that?

1. Kayaks Are Small and Portable

You may practically tow it behind you while hunting or carry it on your shoulder. Slide it into the water, and you’re ready to go wherever. Compared to a bigger-powered boat, it is clear why duck hunting is still popular today and will probably continue for some time.

2. Kayaks Can Be Easily Maneuvered

You can paddle into any narrow canal, make quick turns, or even travel through or underneath dense vegetation. Comparatively speaking, they are the easiest boat to operate.

3. Kayaks Are Lightweight

Indeed, all you need is a roof rack for your kayak to transport it wherever you go. No requirement for a trailer, dock, or all the other necessities

4. Kayaks Are Simple To Enter and Exit

If you need to get off the kayak and onto land, you can slide over the edge and then drag yourself back. Some kayaks used for duck hunting have a sit-on-top construction, allowing water to drain without bail. Simply easily enter and exit!

5. Kayaks Make Traveling To and From Your Hunting Location Less Strenuous

Consider this: to get to their hunting location, other duck hunters must trek over mountains, through woods, or across marshes. Launch your kayak upstream and allow the river’s water to do the labor-intensive lifting. You’ll get to your hunting location.

6. Kayaks Are Excellent For Remote, Challenging Locations

A kayak can travel shallow or constrained waters, but larger motorized boats will only be able to. A kayak can travel almost anywhere due to its little draft and excellent mobility.

7. Kayaks Are Covert Runners

There are no engine noises, heavy breathing, or gasping from the strain of rowing a big boat. You can paddle quietly or not at all to float along in complete quietness with the river. The ducks won’t notice your approach anyhow!

8. Kayaks Are Less Expensive Than A Boat

A top-rated duck-hunting kayak costs a tiny fraction of what a bigger rowboat or even a powered watercraft would cost, as you can see from our list above. Yet, here’s the kicker: some of them even let you attach a little outboard engine. It offers the greatest value at the most affordable cost.

9. Kayaks Can Accommodate All of Your Duck-hunting Equipment

All of your decoys, hunting equipment, and accessories fit within.

10. Kayaks Are Functional Year-round and Anywhere

Even once duck hunting season is gone, you may use a kayak for fishing, exploring the open seas, or simply paddling around your favorite lake. Kayaks are legal in many lakes, rivers, and streams where motorboats are not, allowing you to use them all year long in various breathtaking locations.

Factors to Consider When Choosing The Best Kayaks For Duck Hunting

Certain kayaks are more suitable for waterfowl hunting than others, given the variety of sizes and forms. Determine your needs first, and then we’ll look at which of these kayaks best satisfies them. Yet you should open your search to something other than a highly specialized kayak for duck hunting. If they have the correct characteristics and attributes, kayaks that can be used for fishing and hunting can be just as exceptional.

1. Durability

When picking the best duck hunting kayak, your primary considerations should be durability and general construction quality. Your kayak will be tested as you seek prey in shallow waters while dodging rocks, logs, and other obstacles. It makes sense that a sturdy, trustworthy, long-lasting kayak that can endure this abuse and yet survive is an absolute necessity.

Choosing a durable hunting kayak

Image Credits: oldtowncanoe.com

To that purpose, we suggest high-density polyethylene construction, ideally rotomolded and with a UV-resistant layer for hull protection during those long hours on the sea. Nevertheless, inflatable hunting kayaks are still a possibility. These days, inflatable “yaks” are surprisingly strong and tough.

2. Camouflage

You’ll need to hide in your plastic boat from ducks. As absurd as it may have sounded, the element of surprise is the first guideline for duck hunting: Hunting success depends on approaching unaware prey covertly and making your move without being seen.

a man duck huntin on a kayak

Image Credits: nucanoe.com

You will thus require a kayak that mixes in with the natural environment. Depending on the surroundings, a brown or green colored hull should suffice, or at the least, a camouflage paint job. Certain kayaks, however, may be converted into an aquatic equivalent of duck hunting blinds if you want to step up your camouflage game.

3. Stability & Maneuverability

If you’ve ever paddled a kayak before, you know how unstable and tippy some of them can be. However, you will consider stability to avoid setting out on a hunting excursion in a shaky, capsize-prone kayak. Unstable kayaks, let alone hunters who require a steady shooting platform, are dangerous for anybody paddling.

A winter duck hunter on a stable kayak

Image Credits: fredricknewspost.com

The most important quality to seek in the ideal kayak for duck hunting is undoubtedly stability. Bear in mind that the kayak’s stability—or lack thereof—is determined by its beam width and hull shape. It’s a basic fact that a kayak will be more stable and balanced if its hull is broader and flatter. While stability should still be a top concern, you should maintain the boat’s maneuverability, a typical problem in bigger kayaks.

4. Onboard Storage & Weight Capacity

A kayak with designated onboard storage will be useful and very effective for its intended function on a waterfowl hunting excursion when it comes to a duck hunting kayak setup.

Duck Hunting from a Kayak

Image Credits: outdoorlife.com

A kayak with storage is useful. But, it becomes even more important to have a lot of additional capacity for your gear when you’re out duck hunting. You should have a convenient location for ammunition, a gun, baits, decoys, and lures in addition to your personal belongings in your kayak.

Watertight hatches, bungee deck rigging, cargo nets, gear mounts, and tank wells should be available for onboard storage. Checking if the kayak has the maximum load capacity to sustain all that additional weight is equally vital. The greatest kayaks for duck hunting have a weight capacity of over 500 pounds, but generally, anything above 350 pounds should be sufficient.

Tips For Duck Hunting On A Kayak

Do you intend to go duck hunting with your kayak? Here are some pointers that can make every journey safer and more fruitful:

a). Put On A Proper PFD

Kayak duck hunting has occasionally resulted in accidents, though it’s not usual. The kayak may flip over if a strong wind blows or you unintentionally lean too much in the wrong direction. The water can be chilly enough to cause hypothermia and paralyze your muscles, especially because most duck hunting occurs in the cooler months of fall and early winter.

Kayak Duck Hunting

Image Credits: wildfowlmag.com

Deep water may also be deadly if you tip your kayak over and are not a good swimmer. Even in shallow and constrained waters, always wear a good PFD when kayaking. If you capsize, a life jacket can prevent you from drowning. Consider wearing a dry suit for protection if you’re kayaking and duck hunting in chilly weather. Always keep a safety knife with you, just in case. Moreover, ensure adequate warm gear to ward off the chill (gloves, a cap, many layers, etc.).

b). Prepare Your Equipment In Advance

Take only what you need; bringing too much weight might make the kayak sink or be difficult to paddle and manage. Ensure you have good decoys, ammunition, food, and other necessities as you pack your kit the night before. Try loading up your kayak on dry ground to obtain a solid idea of weight placement and distribution before you set out on the water.

c). Take Caution While Choosing Your Route

Choosing a Hunting Route

Image Credits: oldtowncanoe.com

Your kayak will be more difficult to control and less nimble since you are heavily loaded with equipment. Severe currents or rough water need to be avoided at all costs. Each extra pound of weight you are carrying increases your chance of capsizing. Whenever possible, stay near calm water.

d). Choose Your Hide Location

When deploying your decoys, you should always plan where you will be hidden from view. You may then position them without leaving your hiding area so that you have the best sight of any approaching ducks.

e). Camouflaging Is Vital

Ducks have excellent vision, so it’s crucial that you are hidden and out of their line of sight. Reeds, pond/swamp grass, or trees are frequently present and make excellent hiding places. Yet, to optimize concealment when hunting from a kayak, you need to set up a blind.

f). Prepare Your Kayak For Shooting

A duck hunter shooting

Image Credits: greatdaysoutdoors.com

Tilt your kayak at 10 and 2 o’clock so you’re firing parallel to the hull. This will lessen the possibility that the recoil may knock you back and knock you over. If you are right-handed, angle the kayak slightly to the right, and if you are left-handed, slightly to the left. You will have a better, more convenient aiming angle as a result.

g). Take Back Your Used Casings

Like empty beer cans or plastic wrappers, spent bullet casings are waste that will contaminate lakes. Gather your expended shot casings before setting out on the water to recover your game.

h). Put On Waders

Waders will keep you dry and toasty because you’ll be on and around water all day. The waders keep you dry even if you don’t get in the water as you drag the sopping wet ducks and decoys into the boat.

I). Pack Wet Gear For Your Gear

Hunting Waterfowl

Image Credits: mensjournal.com

Always keep a dry bag with room for all your necessities (phone, keys, GPS, compass, etc.). Make sure your firearm is in a waterproof case and that you have your ammo in a waterproof ammo box.

j). Get Larger Lights

Although you can kayak after dark with a headlight, utilizing bigger LED floodlights is generally safer. You’ll not only have a greater area of illumination and vision, but it will also be simpler to navigate through choppy waters.

k). Maintain Your Kayak

Be sure to clear the kayak of any plants once you’re back on dry land and wash it down inside and out to get rid of germs or algae.

Frequently Asked Questions On The Best Kayaks For Duck Hunting

1. Is kayak duck hunting safe?

Absolutely! Kayak duck hunting is as risk-free as duck hunting in a canoe, rowing, or boat powered by a motor. The sole difference is that the boat is smaller, which makes it stable and easier to paddle than bigger boats. You can also check out the best duck hunting boats to get a better experience.

Kayak Duck Hunting

Image Credits: nativewatercraft.com

You may get incredibly helpful advice on improving stability to boost your safety on a kayak by reading the “Tips for Duck Hunting on a Kayak” section above.

2. Can you hunt ducks in a kayak without getting too cold?

It might get too chilly to hunt ducks from your kayak because most duck hunting occurs in winter. Wearing a lot of clothes and safety gear is the secret to successful cold-weather hunting.

It may consist of:

– Base and mid layers with quick-drying and moisture-wicking capabilities

– A waterproof top layer (even a windbreaker or raincoat will do, as long as you have more layers beneath)

– Waders

– Cold-weather-resistant boots

– Waterproof gloves and hat (to keep the water out)

Featured Image Credits: fieldandstream.com

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books

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