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Author Topic: Using a kayak for hunting?  (Read 1652 times)

Offline Hoosierarcher88

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Using a kayak for hunting?
« on: July 11, 2019, 10:03:28 PM »
Well my wife just bought me a kayak for one heck of a deal. Its a sit in 10' sundolphin with the livewell etc. I was just pondering about using it to access my hunting spots on public land as i always hunt on backsides of lakes which normally involve a very long walk. Whats everybody's thoughts on this. Im thinking takedown bow so its easily stored and carry an extra life vest and some rope in case i shoot something i can just strap the life jacket to the deer and pull it back across the lake instead of dragging it through a mile of spillbanks.
Northern mist Shelton 66" 53# @ 28"

Offline OkKeith

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Re: Using a kayak for hunting?
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2019, 11:15:40 PM »
From personal experience (a BAD experience) you should plan on putting anything you get in the boat. Trying to paddle a kayak straight while dragging a body behind it will prove more difficult than schlepping it through that mile of spillbanks. If you don't field dress it, it will be that much heavier, the body cavity will eventually fill with water and act like a sea anchor and drag you down. Field dressed the chest cavity will scoop water and make it impossible to make any headway or be able to track straight.

If you think you wanna try it, take an aired up spare tire and tie a rope around it and try paddling while dragging that. Then multiply it by whatever size and weight of deer you might kill.

All is not lost though! If it is legal in your state to quarter or even butcher and debone a deer carcass after a successful hunt, most average deer will fit in a cooler you can strap on your boat.

I have a sit on top kayak and have hunted out of it quite a bit. I had a great turkey spot picked out that I was going to access from the river but ran up against some odd regulations (or maybe just an odd interpretation of the regulations) that prevented any access other than "at official, established entry points". Other than that I have deer hunted and squirrel hunted from it a lot. It is a great way to get to places others can't like islands in the river or public land that is cut off by private no access land.

I knew a guy that planned to deer hunt with his kayak. He went and got a 50lbs sack of feed, sealed it up in a contractor grade trash sack and practiced paddling around with it strapped to his boat. I haven't gone that far... but it's an idea.

Good luck with the new kayak. I have really enjoyed hunting and fishing out of mine.

OkKeith
In a moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.
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Offline Hoosierarcher88

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Re: Using a kayak for hunting?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2019, 11:23:12 PM »
From personal experience (a BAD experience) you should plan on putting anything you get in the boat. Trying to paddle a kayak straight while dragging a body behind it will prove more difficult than schlepping it through that mile of spillbanks. If you don't field dress it, it will be that much heavier, the body cavity will eventually fill with water and act like a sea anchor and drag you down. Field dressed the chest cavity will scoop water and make it impossible to make any headway or be able to track straight.

If you think you wanna try it, take an aired up spare tire and tie a rope around it and try paddling while dragging that. Then multiply it by whatever size and weight of deer you might kill.

All is not lost though! If it is legal in your state to quarter or even butcher and debone a deer carcass after a successful hunt, most average deer will fit in a cooler you can strap on your boat.

I have a sit on top kayak and have hunted out of it quite a bit. I had a great turkey spot picked out that I was going to access from the river but ran up against some odd regulations (or maybe just an odd interpretation of the regulations) that prevented any access other than "at official, established entry points". Other than that I have deer hunted and squirrel hunted from it a lot. It is a great way to get to places others can't like islands in the river or public land that is cut off by private no access land.

I knew a guy that planned to deer hunt with his kayak. He went and got a 50lbs sack of feed, sealed it up in a contractor grade trash sack and practiced paddling around with it strapped to his boat. I haven't gone that far... but it's an idea.

Good luck with the new kayak. I have really enjoyed hunting and fishing out of mine.

OkKeith
i dont have a spare tire to test out well but i do have a very well fed friend that i may be able to talk into strapping up for a test paddle. As you said worst case in my state i can at least cape and quarter a deer to get it out.
Northern mist Shelton 66" 53# @ 28"

Online Chain2

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Re: Using a kayak for hunting?
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2019, 05:10:59 AM »
I never brought anything home with a kayak but I have with a canoe. And in some fast water too. I think the quarter or bone out strategy would work. Or if you get something down, hang and return with a bigger vessel.
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Offline OkKeith

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Re: Using a kayak for hunting?
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2019, 04:44:59 PM »
Hoosierarcher88-

That would be a GOOD friend indeed... for a little while anyway.

Again through my own trial and error (mostly error) I have found that contrary to my initial thought, it's better to be a little bow (as in the front of the boat, not your hunting implement) heavy as opposed to stern heavy. I was trying to haul a big rock back to the truck in my kayak and strapped it in the tank well behind me. I had zero steerage with the nose in the air. I guess it was kinda like trying to ride a wheelie on a bike through the woods. I shifted it to the front and even though I took some water in my lap I made way much better so that solved the issue.

Now... the issue of how my wife talked me in to paddling a 150lbs rock back to the truck because "it was interesting and would look nice in the flower bed", I will not speak further of.

OkKeith
In a moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.
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Online pavan

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Re: Using a kayak for hunting?
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2019, 06:54:37 PM »
Rocks never make good ballast, even in a canoe.  The canoe empty may stay at the surface, but fill if full of water and then a 20 pound stone, many fancy kevlar canoes will go to the bottom and keep the rock.  We used to paddle upstream to hunt a particular place and take the river out in the dark.  Beavers can be very curious creatures in the dark.   I use a water proof rubber back pack half full of water when I use my kevlar Mad River Explorer solo.  The sit on top kayak may not like an entire deer in the front half.  Heavy in the bow with those is no free ride either. You may need to sit partially up on the rear storage area to keep it balanced front to back.  Three kids here tried to put a similar boat in a flooded pond earlier this spring here.  It tipped two of them out in shallow water, when it started taking on water.  They were on sale at a local store for less than 200 bucks, it may be easier to tow gear and possibly a  deer in a second one or better yet, call someone with a canoe if you get a deer.
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Online caleb7mm

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Re: Using a kayak for hunting?
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2019, 08:48:59 PM »
I float mine and have never had a problem. I have a large super stable kayak though. If you pull your friend behind to test it please take picture!  :goldtooth:
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Offline J. Holden

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Re: Using a kayak for hunting?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2019, 06:56:11 AM »
I've never used a canoe/kayak for access to a hunting spot.  Although the idea intrigues me.  But I was reading the replies and thought to myself "Why not use the kayak for access and if you kill a deer carry it out like you would without a kayak?"  Not to sound negative but you most likely won't kill a deer every trip right?  Use it to hunt and if you kill a critter revert back to what you would have done before the kayak was in the picture.

Might be a little more work.  But I'd rather have that work than the work of paddling and maybe drying everything our because something went wrong.

Best of luck!

-Jeremy :coffee:
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Online Jim Wright

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Re: Using a kayak for hunting?
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2019, 10:41:09 AM »

For years I used a Perception "Illusion" 14' sit on top kayak to access fishing areas along LA.'s coastal marsh. The boat was a jewel, fast, stable and straight tracking. I seldom kept fish but when I tried putting a trailing stringer with 2 or 3 redfish behind it I was amazed at how much it affected performance. I cannot imagine trying to paddle with a carcass trailing.

Online pavan

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Re: Using a kayak for hunting?
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2019, 02:56:06 PM »
Talking about this same subject with a local compound shooter, he told me how his brother shot a deer along the Iowa south Dakota border. The deer made it across the Sioux River.  The rivers have been high here.  He had a blue sit on top plastic kayak, so he went home and got it and put into the river above where the deer crossed.  He floated down to the spot and found his deer in short order.  Dressed and put it in his blue kayak and tied it down.  His goal was to just get across to the Iowa side.  He sat on top of the deer, pushed off got about half way across the river and it dumped him into the river.  He said, "That God for water proof cell phones and life jackets".  That was the coldest swim he ever had.  I am pretty sure any number of guys with jon boats would have run out there to help him out.
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Online KentuckyWolf

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Re: Using a kayak for hunting?
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2019, 03:20:29 PM »
If a kayak is what you got to work with...and a canoe is not a option, then consider rigging your kayak with a(n) outrigger(s).
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Online Sockrsblur

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Re: Using a kayak for hunting?
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2019, 05:57:33 PM »
So as previously stated probably not the best boat for getting an animal out. For what it’s worth I’ve been down a similar road though and can share my thoughts. I was going into the Adirondack Mountains in NY with a friend on a bear hunt. We entered through the water taking kayaks. I was not willing to leave my expensive Kevlar kayak and paddle while hunting so I took in a cheap $200 12’ plastic kayak. There is a 250# weight limitation on that boat as there is on yours. I go 185. Point being not a lot of room physically or load wise even if you push the limits some.

My answer to this was to pull a 2nd kayak behind me that my girlfriend affectionately called the bear boat. In short this worked ok. These kinds of boats without rudders, short, flat bottoms, get pushed around in wind bad, track poorly, and take any waves not so great. If your ok with all that then that’s fine. It’s doable but not ideal. The farther you travel or the harder the conditions the more this will become apparent.

If you do it wear a good life jacket any strap everything you care about down. You should be prepared If the boat tips with foot wear, clothing and all your gear. I don’t want to sound like a negative nelly but just some things to think about. Best of luck, keep us posted  :campfire:

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Online pavan

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Re: Using a kayak for hunting?
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2019, 06:59:43 PM »
The problem with good out riggers is that they cost as much the plastic boats.  On Canadian canoe trips, when we had to run dangerous open water, we sometimes lashed two canoes with a couple of ten foot sturdy samplings, with a couple of feet in between canoes, tied in the middle and tight ropes controlling both ends of the canoes.  It is remarkable how much big water such a rig can paddle, as long as everyone paddles about the same.  Don't go and buy a $300 system, this will work for what you need, you can play around with the amount a floatation and give yourself adjustable freeboard with extra weight on board, as long as you don't have too far or too much wind and current to deal with.  https://goneoutdoors.com/homemade-canoe-stabilizer-5486458.html
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Online KentuckyWolf

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Re: Using a kayak for hunting?
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2019, 07:13:52 PM »
I agree the cost of outriggers is ridiculous....was suggesting a more ‘redneck’ engineering solution.

Lots of homemade examples out there. 
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Online pavan

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Re: Using a kayak for hunting?
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2019, 09:23:40 PM »
The one issue with shorter craft is where to put the outrigger so there is still paddling room.  There is one I seen on a local sandpit for a plastic job that he bought at Bomgars Hardware with a plastic out rigger that was suppose to be made for the craft.  It mounted behind him originally and left him no paddle space, so he jerry rigged it to way forward and then said that he would have been better off if it was behind him.  I will give it credit, he was standing and casting for bass.
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Offline Hoosierarcher88

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Re: Using a kayak for hunting?
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2019, 09:24:54 PM »
I had honestly thought about homemade pvc pipe outriggers. This boat will never see moving water, just strip pits which are fairly sheltered by trees so even wind isnt of much concern. There are just many spots that either are not accessible by foot or would involve several hours of weaving back and forth to get to that would only take 10 minutes for me to reach via a small boat.
Northern mist Shelton 66" 53# @ 28"

Offline OkKeith

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Re: Using a kayak for hunting?
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2019, 10:32:53 PM »
Hoosierarcher88 -

Couple of scouting trips and I bet you would be good.

I was doing some searching on the internet and found several folks that use innertubes to float deer out. They pack them deflated and have a hand or foot pump stashed in the bottom of the kayak. Makes for a small package. When needed they unfold them, pump them up and strap the deer to two of them in tandem and paddle out towing it.

I gonna give this a try. Sure will make it easier the next time my wife sees a rock she has to have.

OkKeith
In a moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.
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Online KentuckyWolf

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Re: Using a kayak for hunting?
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2019, 10:38:04 PM »
I like the inter tube idea....compact, lightweight, only put out when needed.
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Online Possum Head

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Re: Using a kayak for hunting?
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2019, 10:07:04 AM »
I’ve fished from kayak and like them for that. Can’t comment on hunting use because I too use a canoe. Your concept of using it to access otherwise hard to get to places is exactly why I got my canoe and it works great for that. At 45# it’s a breeze to move from truck to water and even at 11’ 9” it works for hauling deer and climbing stand. Both it and my bike have aided me in escaping pressures from shallow woods hunters.

Offline Hoosierarcher88

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Re: Using a kayak for hunting?
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2019, 10:16:06 PM »
Hoosierarcher88 -

Couple of scouting trips and I bet you would be good.

I was doing some searching on the internet and found several folks that use innertubes to float deer out. They pack them deflated and have a hand or foot pump stashed in the bottom of the kayak. Makes for a small package. When needed they unfold them, pump them up and strap the deer to two of them in tandem and paddle out towing it.

I gonna give this a try. Sure will make it easier the next time my wife sees a rock she has to have.

OkKeith
the innertube idea sounds like your on to something. Our local tire shop deals with a lot of ag tires so im sure carries some medium sized tubes. I may pick one up and believe i have a foot pedal pump that should easily fit into my pack
Northern mist Shelton 66" 53# @ 28"

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