Is there such a thing as a kayak specifically designed for duck hunting? What are your alternatives, if there are? Your objective is to hunt birds that other hunters cannot locate and to go where other hunters cannot. Read this article to get the best duck hunting kayak.
Best Duck Hunting Kayaks – Quick Comparison
|Product image||Product name||Editor's rating||Price|
|Pelican Sentinel 100X||4.9||See pricing details|
|Sevylor Coleman Colorado||4.8||See pricing details|
|Pelican Argo 100X||4.8||See pricing details|
|Lifetime||4.7||See pricing details|
|Brooklyn||4.7||See pricing details|
Top 5 Best Duck Hunting Kayak Review
1. Pelican Sit-on-Top Kayak – Sentinel 100X
Pelican’s Sentinel 100X Angler is another versatile option to function as a kayak for duck hunting. A 30-inch width and multi-chine flat bottom hull assure stability, while RAM-X polyethylene construction keeps the kayak’s weight at a manageable 44 pounds.
It will be difficult for one person to accommodate all their gear with that weight restriction, much alone if you are a vast man or hefty guy. It includes a mesh deck cover, detachable ExoPak pocket, and bungee rigging, all good storage alternatives. The 275-pound maximum weight capacity, however, does not excite me.
Pelican’s Sentinel 100X was created primarily as a fishing kayak. Therefore I’d say Pelican failed on this one. If you’re just starting kayak duck hunting and want something a little more entry-level, consider buying this kayak. It’s a rigged-but-lightweight kayak and would be something to think about if you’re new to the sport.
- Storage spaces with an ExoPak box in the front and back
- Integrated carry handles make it simple to move to the water
- It is portable and straightforward to use.
- The flat-bottomed hull and broad beam assure stability.
- Not cozy enough for extended hunting expeditions
- For duck hunting, the load capacity is much too low; it would be better appropriate for a fishing kayak.
- Lacking a watertight storage hatch
2. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
The Sevylor Coleman Colorado is an affordable, lightweight, and portable kayak for duck hunting.
Coleman Colorado is a two-person inflatable duck hunting kayak focusing on portability and simplicity of use. The 18-gauge PVC structure, several air chambers, nylon cover, and tarpaulin bottom make this sit-on-top kayak durable enough for hunting settings. It only weighs 32.9 pounds, however.
An inflatable kayak’s weight restriction of 470 pounds sounds reasonable in terms of capacity unless you’re two prominent men hauling a lot of gear. In this inflatable kayak, standing up to shoot is not an option owing to the lack of stiffness. The breadth of 39 inches adds to the stability and roominess of the kayak.
- Extremely broad compared to its length
- Possibility of adding a trolling motor
- Construction that resists punctures and a multi-chamber design
- Lightweight and inflatable for portability
- There aren’t enough storage alternatives for two persons and their hunting gear.
- For heavier paddlers, the 470-pound capacity may not be practical.
- The floor isn’t firm enough to support standing.
3. Pelican – Argo 100X – Sit-in Kayak
When I was a college student, I began hunting with this kayak. As you shall see, it falls into two of the top kayak categories for duck hunting. This kayak is ideal if your budget or weight are concerns. One of my favorite spots to hunt in college involved a short walk of about a half-mile.
Hunting in this area would be pretty challenging with a kayak longer than 10 feet and weighing more than 75 pounds. This is why having a lightweight kayak is so helpful. Because of its shallow profile, I can conceal myself where others cannot—in shallow undergrowth. Quickly, it is my preferred method of duck hunting.
The Pelican 100 is a great entry-level kayak for leisurely paddling. You can make it into a fabulous custom kayak duck hunting outfit with a few tweaks. It is compact, light, and affordable. Its double-arched hull offers outstanding stability. View my whole kayak blind construction.
The Pelican 100 is not the best if you want to hunt in wide water or far paddle distances. However, I would still rank it as one of my most effective waterfowl hunting equipment for wetlands with walk-in access in shallow water. This is also a well-liked recreational kayak, so if you’re willing to search, you can find it secondhand on neighborhood buy/sell sites. There are several possibilities available to you with this kayak.
- Shallow profile
- Excellent accessibility and affordable
- Probably the lightest kayak arrangement you will find is for duck hunting.
- It needs to be modified to become a kayak duck blind layout
- This kayak’s maximum weight capacity is 250 pounds. Therefore it is best for lighter users.
4. Lifetime 10 Foot, Two Person Tandem Fishing Kayak
For a tandem kayak, its weight of 73 pounds is meager. You’ll have access to a 6-inch hatch, bungee deck rigging, and onboard storage. The Lifetime kayak has a 500-pound capacity for onboard storage; it weighs just 73 pounds. It’s one of the best kayaks for bird hunting with a friend.
The Lifetime 10-foot tandem kayak’s stability is guaranteed by the hull’s rotomolded polyethylene structure and 36-inch beam width. Although you’ll have to give up some speed in exchange, it has a trolling motor mount for maximum stability.
Lifetime has made a perfect kayak, but it was a little too small, in my opinion, for two people. The kayak’s marsh brown color will help it blend in with its surroundings, and when used with a trolling motor that runs quietly, it will give ninja-level stealth.
- Features a rear storage hatch and deck rigging.
- Appropriate for solo and tandem paddling
- Trolling motor mounting bracket
- A large, stable hull
- A tandem kayak is relatively compact and lightweight.
- A little too small for two duck hunters.
- Straight lines are hard to keep.
- The hull’s construction may have an impact on speed.
5. BKC PK13 Pedal Drive Kayak
The pedal-powered Brooklyn BKC PK13 kayak is the one for you. It might be challenging to control your paddle, decoys, and shotgun when on a hunt. So, opt for this kayak if you want to paddle hands-free and completely covert. It is trustworthy in every manner, making it the hunting enthusiast’s fantasy come true.
The 13-footer pedal kayak is made of rotomolded high-density polyethylene, providing much-needed toughness. The stability and on-deck storage space of the 33-inch-wide hull should make up for the weight. This kayak weighs a not-so-lightweight 80 pounds and is camouflaged to blend into the water.
With a very excellent 550-pound weight capacity, it has two hatches, accessory plates that can hold a gun mount, and a tank well with bungee tie-downs that can double as vegetation straps.
- Astonishingly sturdy hunting platform
- Pedal propulsion enables hands-free movement.
- Numerous storage possibilities and a 550-pound load capacity
- Works well for fishing and hunting
- Due to the size, maneuvering in remote locations might be challenging.
- Because of its size, storage and transportation may be difficult.
How To Choose The Best Duck Hunting Kayak? Buying Guide
Kayaks come in handy year-round, and anywhere you travel.
Once duck hunting season is over, there’s still plenty of time to use a kayak on the water. Kayaks are allowed in many lakes, rivers, and streams where motorboats are not, allowing you to use them all year. You may use them for fishing, exploring the open seas, or paddling around your favorite lake.
Kayaks are conveniently portable.
With a kayak, there is no need for a trailer, dock, or any other essentials to move a rowboat or motorboat. All you need is a roof rack for your kayak to transport it wherever you go. Everything is so much easier.
Kayaks are less expensive than a boat.
A top-rated duck hunting kayak costs a fraction of a bigger rowboat or a powered watercraft. Some even let you attach a little outboard engine to make it more powerful. It offers the most value at the most affordable cost.
Read more: How Much Does A Kayak Cost?
We Can Bring This Much Gear
Most kayaks have no trouble supporting a duck hunter and a few hundred pounds of gear. Most sit-on-top kayaks offer enough space for a hunter and their equipment up front and a sizable lab in the back. Several kayaks can accommodate two hunters. By the way, most water dogs perform well while riding and working from a kayak.
A duck hunting kayak may be disguised with a minimal amount of material. The reflection from the plastic surface of the kayak will be reduced by draping a covering of camouflage fabric over the decks. A few locally-cut reeds or branches will serve to break up the sleek and artificial forms, which is the entire point. Comparatively speaking, it is considerably simpler to conceal kayaks than a full-sized duck boat.
Read more: What To Wear Kayaking?
Kayaks are sly-running vehicles.
There are no engine noises, heavy breathing, or gasping from the strain of rowing a big boat. You may paddle softly or not at all to paddle along in complete quietness with the river. The ducks won’t notice your approach anyhow – they’re used to it now!
Kayaks are great for exploring distant, challenging terrain.
A kayak can travel shallow or constrained waters, but larger-powered boats won’t be able to. The little draft and excellent agility of a kayak make it ideal for paddling.
Kayaks are simple to enter and exit.
Some kayaks have a sit-on-top construction, which enables any water to drain without bailing out. Just easily enter and exit!
Read more: How To Get Out Of A Kayak With Bad Knees?
Kayaks are compact
You can lug it on your back or pull it behind the rest of your hunting gear, slip it into the water, and start paddling in no time. When compared to a bigger powered boat, it is clear why duck hunting is still popular today and will probably continue to be so for some time.
Kayaks make for a less strenuous journey to and from your hunting location.
You don’t have to trek over mountains, woods, or marshes to get to your duck hunting spot. Launch your kayak upstream and allow the river’s water to work for you. You’ll show up at your hunting location rested and prepared to hunt.
Consideration Factors When Choosing Duck Hunting Kayak
To increase stability, duck-hunting kayaks often trade between maneuverability and speed. A giant beam provides excellent balance, but the kayak is slower and more challenging to turn.
You will maneuver your kayak through confined spaces, over and around submerged obstacles, and even into deep grass to position your blind. It will be more trouble than it’s worth if it handles like a barge – so choose a kayak that can handle the conditions you’re hunting in.
Read more: Kayak Speed
Durability is the second most crucial aspect when looking for a kayak for duck hunting. Your kayak will undoubtedly run into impediments (fallen logs, tree branches, rocks, etc.) and sustain damage when you pull it to and from the water, portage it, or traverse narrow and shallow rivers.
Some inflatable kayaks may be pretty robust since they are made of thick reinforced PVC that can survive significant damage. In light of this, getting a kayak cart and moving it whenever it is not practical could be a good idea.
Long-term sun exposure may cause polyethylene to degrade. The paint will start to deteriorate, and the plastic will become brittler, making it more prone to cracking or damage. A UV-resistant top coating should be included on a good duck hunting kayak to protect the plastic from the sun.
Weight and Capacity for Storage
If you’re going duck hunting, it’s essential to make sure your kayak is big enough to carry you and all the gear you’ll be using. This includes decoys, your blind, your rifle or guns, and your dog! Remember that duck hunting with a dog changes the game as much as duck hunting itself.
Duck hunting kayaks often have a larger weight capacity (350–500 pounds) than leisure kayaks. Therefore, you must first take weight capacity into account. Can the kayak support your weight, your dog, your gear, and all the ducks you want to bag?
Read more: How Much Weight Can A Kayak Hold?
Look for a kayak with the storage spaces and compartments you’ll need to carry your decoys and other gear in and out of the water. Consider the storage you’ll have as well as the size and weight of the lures you’ll be transporting.
The Correct Place
You will spend the whole day sitting straight or resting on your back inside the blind. If you have good camouflage (like a ghillie suit) and can conceal yourself in thick grass, behind a tree, or anyplace else where ducks won’t detect you, you’ll typically sit erect. You’ll want a seat with good lower back support and padding if you’re merely utilizing the kayak to get you and your gear to your destination on dry ground.
Lay flat for most of the day to optimize your concealment is probable if you’re using your kayak as a mobile layout blind. A seat that can be removed will serve you better since it will provide you more room to spread out and relax. You’ll have to paddle from a kneeling posture, which may be painful, but it’s worth it to make visibility and comfort more comfortable.
A kayak must be sturdy enough to keep you steady while altering your position and positioning for the shot and to absorb any rebound from your rifle or shotgun. Hunting kayaks often feature broader beams than ordinary ones, which produces a much more solid platform. Since you’ll be shooting from within the watercraft, you need a stable kayak to take an impact’s impact.
Read more: Kayak Stability
The most important aspect of a stable hunting platform is the kayak’s balance and stability on the water. Wider kayaks have superior primary stability (stability on calm, smooth waves), but poor secondary stability makes you more susceptible to tipping over in choppy waters. Although you won’t need speed for duck hunting, wider kayaks will also be slower than narrower kayaks.
A kayak is a great way to duck hunt, but how much trouble will it be to get it in and out of the water? It’s not nice to carry a heavy kayak on top of all your other hunting gear. Consider whether or not you want to have extra equipment if you’re duck hunting from a kayak.
It may be wise to look around for a lightweight kayak if your hunts need a lot of portaging. It would help if you were ready for some more weight since you don’t want to choose anything too tiny. But remember that someone will always have to carry the kayak and that someone is you, so consider its weight!
Read more: How Much Does A Kayak Weigh?
The excellent understanding of ducks may be up to two or three times that of humans. That implies they will undoubtedly see you paddling along in a vivid red, yellow, or blue kayak. Therefore, duck hunting kayaks have drab or camouflage paint schemes. Even a drab brown, tan, or green can do; nevertheless, the mask is always preferable.
If you’re looking for an easy way to cover your kayak with camouflage, you may want to consider making a ghillie suit out of natural or synthetic materials. Once you choose an excellent location to conceal your boat and yourself, as long as you wear camouflage clothing, you will fit in seamlessly. You can also make your boat appear to be another piece of marsh or swamp land by covering it with what’s known as a ‘swamp suit.’
Mounting Options for Motors and Accessories
Fishing and duck hunting kayaks come with or have space for the gear required to mount a small trolling motor. Because kayaks are quiet when moving, it will be simple for you to enter and exit your hunting location covertly. But at the end of the day, you may need to paddle back upstream. It’s simpler to utilize an outboard motor than only your muscular power.
Read more: How To Put A Trolling Motor On A Kayak?
If you don’t want a motor, you should consider adding additional gear to your kayak to simplify duck hunting. Paddle clips, for instance, may keep your paddle handy yet out of the way while not in use. Using carabiner rings, you may attach a tiny anchor, net, or dry bag.
The Best Kayak Type for Duck Hunting
Each of the three primary types of kayaks has benefits and drawbacks.
A sit-inside kayak is a kayak that you can sit inside rather than on top like a sit-on-top style kayak. When paddling, this kayak style keeps you drier than the others, but getting in and out of it is more complicated. With additional gear and thick clothing or waders, it could feel claustrophobic depending on the size of the sit-in kayak you have.
A sit-inside kayak is often the least expensive style you can buy compared to other designs. They are also simple to adapt and low in weight. This can be a good option if you’re searching for a multi-use kayak for activities like paddling and hunting. But it is not the best kayak design for duck hunting.
Read more: Sit Inside Kayak vs. Sit On Top Kayak.
Sit On Top Kayak
Unlike a regular kayak, which moves water with an open cockpit, a sit-on-top kayak’s design depends on the buoyancy of the air contained in the sealed hull to float. Because you can take a few waves over the side and not worry about sinking, this kayak style is ideal for open-water fishing. The water drains out of the scupper holes; it’s simple to get into and out of and popular among duck hunters.
This is an excellent style to buy if you want a kayak that can be used for fishing and hunting. If you already have a sit-on-top kayak, don’t let that stop you from using it for hunting. The lower sides make it more challenging to construct a blind around it, and its sealed hull makes it more difficult to alter.
A hybrid kayak is a combination of the first two types. It may or may not have a sealed hull, but it often lacks a top cover and has exposed deeper sides. These are my favorite kayaks from all the ones I have seen or used for duck hunting, and other hunters often agree.
Read more: Kayaking Tips
Advice for Kayak Duck Hunting
Plan Your gear Ahead of Time
Preparation is vital – ensure good decoys, ammunition, food, and other essentials. Take just what you need; bringing too much weight might make it difficult to paddle and handle the kayak. Before setting out on the water, try loading your kayak on the dry ground to get a good idea of weight distribution and placement.
Following and Handling
Some kayaks may desire to shift or turn every time you paddle, depending on their size and hull type. This may make paddling against the wind challenging and exhausting, traversing further distances. Think carefully about how your kayak handles if you want to use it for transporting.
Read more: How to Choose a Kayak?
Also, keep how it will paddle after a duck hunting kayak blind is mounted on it. There are trade-offs in kayak duck hunting, so consider your hunting circumstance and pick which features are most important to you.
Make sure to clear the kayak of any plants once you’re back on dry ground and wash it down inside and out. Transporting invasive organisms across various bodies of water is the last thing you want to do.
Read more: How To Clean A Kayak?
The Need for Secrecy
Reeds, pond/swamp grass, or trees are often present and make good hiding places. However, to optimize concealment while hunting from a kayak, you need to set up a blind. Ducks have good eyesight and need to be out of sight to pursue.
Wear the Correct PFD
Most duck hunting occurs in the cooler months (autumn and early winter). The water may be so chilly that it might cramp your muscles and induce hypothermia. The kayak may flip over if the wind stirs up the water or you unintentionally lean too much in the wrong direction. Deep water may also be hazardous if you’re not a good swimmer.
Always wear a good PFD when kayaking, especially in confined or shallow water. If you capsize, a life vest might save your life. Always keep a safety knife with you, just in case. Ensure you have adequate warm gear (gloves, a hat, many layers, etc.) to keep off the cold.
Read more: When Should You Discard A PFD?
Purchase larger lights
You’ll not only have a greater area of light and vision, but it will also be simpler to navigate through choppy seas.
Select Your Hide Location First
You may be able to position your decoys without leaving your hiding area so that you have the best view of any approaching ducks or geese.
A flat or pontoon-style hull is crucial for the best kayak for duck hunting. On calm water, the flatter hull seems to provide additional stability. They give far more support considering most duck hunting circumstances, including shooting from a kayak. But they don’t travel as smoothly in choppy water.
Most kayaks will be more rounded than flat when shopping for a high-performance paddling kayak. Consider a rounded hull if you want to use your kayak for transportation and not for shooting. But I beg you to take my word for it when I say you don’t want to shoot out of one. When you transfer your weight to the side in response to an overhead crossing shot, the gun’s recoil will probably cause you to lose your balance and fall out of the kayak!
Read more: What Is A Modular Kayak?
Pick Your Route Wisely
Your kayak will be more challenging to control and less nimble since you carry a lot of gear. Every pound you have more weight raises your chance of capsizing. Stay as close to calm water as you can to avoid capsizing.
Pack Your Gear to Keep It Dry
Always keep a dry bag with adequate room for your essentials (phone, keys, GPS, compass, etc.). Ensure your shotguns are in a waterproof case and your ammunition is stored in a waterproof box. The last thing you want is for your shells to be uselessly wet and for you to miss that ideal shot.
Set Up Your Kayak for Target Practice
Tilt your kayak between 10 and 2 o’clock, so you’re firing parallel to the hull. This will lessen the possibility of the recoil pushing you back and knocking you over. If you are right-handed, angle the kayak slightly to the right, and if you are left-handed, lightly to the left. You will have a better, more convenient aiming tip as a result.
Read more: Kayaking As A Hobby
FAQs About Duck Hunting Kayak
Why We Use A Kayak For Duck Hunting?
If you are a traditional duck hunter, kayak hunting may seem like something of a fad to you. But there are numerous reasons to give it a try. Hunting kayaks have the edge over full-sized, motorized boats in terms of weight and are simple to travel in.
There are no restrictions on where you may travel in quest of prey. Half the problem is getting up on the ducks quietly. Your duck hunting kayak won’t be creating much, if any, noise other than the paddle striking the water. The second significant benefit is that kayaks are covert and can cut through the water while being quiet.
The purpose of acquiring a kayak is so you may outfit it with your preferred gear and extras to make it a duck-hunting machine. However, you can also go kayak fishing or use the more basic model for leisurely paddling. The cost will be a decisive issue if you attempt to stay within a limited budget.
Read more: Kayak Parts – Parts Of A Kayak.
What Kind of Water Can We Hunt In?
For duck hunters, kayaks are the best “all-terrain” boats. Kayaks can travel in six inches of water or less of water. Kayaks may even be hauled over dry terrain to access secret duck-holding waterways. Scott Kennedy, a seasoned hunter, provides his opinions on the best times to utilize a kayak.
A paddle boat will make retrieving fallen ducks much simpler than larger outboard-powered boats. Most water dogs find exiting and entering a kayak considerably simpler if a dog is utilized than a higher-sided, bigger powerboat. Paddle your kayak over to the bird once you’ve fired your shot to retrieve it.
Owning a kayak will provide you with additional alternatives for all of your hunting circumstances if you hunt ducks or geese on the water. If you’re seeking the best duck hunting kayak, maybe this list has given you some helpful information. Kayaks are special equipment to have on hand when duck hunting.
Finding the ideal duck boat is key to successful kayak duck hunting. It should be robust, resilient, agile, and have enough storage room in addition to a high load capacity. Many of the kayaks shown today certainly meet that criteria, while some do so better than others.