Once I first began utilizing a kayak to hunt, there was virtually zero info on-line about it. I searched and searched, and sometimes got here up empty handed except for a couple of duck looking articles. It made it very tough to organize for my first season of kayak looking when there weren’t actually any specialists providing recommendation.
For me, all the things was discovered solely by expertise within the discipline, or I suppose, on the water. Today it appears there’s been an uptick in curiosity. A number of die laborious hunters have discovered that that is an extremely efficient strategy to get to unpressured areas, and it’s peaked the curiosity of individuals throughout the nation.
Fortunately, new kayak hunters now have a good quantity of content material to devour to assist them get into the sport of looking with a kayak. That being mentioned, I need to share with you 5 suggestions from issues I’ve discovered all through the years of efficiently looking from a kayak. I hope this helps you in your preparations, and possibly will get you one step nearer to paddling out that large buck.
Planning to hunt from a kayak this season? Listed below are some issues to contemplate.
1. Security Above All Else
I’ll admit that this has been my weak spot in relation to looking from a kayak. I’ve not at all times adopted the mandatory security guidelines in addition to I ought to, however have slowly discovered the significance of it. Kayak looking naturally entails extra effort than a hunter could also be used to, so it’s simple to skip among the steps out of comfort. Nevertheless, it additionally entails fairly a bit extra threat. Do not forget that your life and security must be the primary concern earlier than you step foot within the kayak.
Listed below are a number of methods I believe you possibly can lower the danger concerned in kayak looking.
First, put on a PFD (life jacket). This has been one space that I’ve not been trustworthy. The very fact is, looking season is normally very chilly. I do know from expertise that making an attempt to swim in under freezing temps is nearly unattainable. Your physique freezes up. Your limbs don’t transfer as rapidly as they need to. It’s a scary state of affairs. To not point out that should you’re carrying rubber boots, they’ll refill with water and principally turn out to be weights connected to your toes. It’s not a great state of affairs.
Today there are PFDs you can put on that aren’t cumbersome. The co2 charged PFDs, just like the one from Onyx, are an funding, but when wanted, they’ll be crucial piece of kit you’ve got.
One other security precaution is letting somebody know the place you might be always. If you happen to’re doing it proper, you have to be going into locations the place there’s minimal human intrusion. Which additionally implies that there shall be nobody there that will help you, ought to you end up in a nasty state of affairs.
While you exit, share your location with somebody and ensure they know precisely the place you might be. Have a time set so that you can verify again in whenever you’re out of the woods. If you happen to don’t verify in by that point, that individual will know one thing has occurred and be capable of inform the right authorities to make sure your security. The vast majority of your time on the water throughout a kayak hunt shall be earlier than and after daylight, so once more, the danger is there.
One other security measure is having a 360 diploma mild someplace in your kayak. This permits different boaters to have the ability to see you. In most states that is really a regulation, so be sure you know your space’s laws earlier than you go. There are numerous extra security precautions concerned in kayak looking, however you must at all times use sound judgement. If you happen to suppose there’s even a chance of hazard, simply keep in mind that there are individuals who need to see you make it out alive.
A completely loaded kayak could make issues powerful. Do you’ve got a plan to maintain issues protected?
2. Have a Success Plan
I’ve at all times been the kind of deer hunter that will go into an space with out first eager about how I’m going to get an enormous buck out if I had been to kill one. In spite of everything, our essential aim is to kill deer.
That being mentioned, a kayak hunter ought to at all times have a plan in place to get the deer out, ought to they achieve success. In my Nucanoe Frontier 12, it’s very simple to load a full grown buck within the boat with out compromising my security throughout transport.
I additionally understand that most individuals should not utilizing a kayak of this caliber, so the transportation facet may presumably get just a little bit fascinating.
There are numerous methods I’ve seen it executed, however listed here are three that I believe may very well be comparatively simple for anybody:
Pack Out Methodology – If I had been planning to make use of a kayak with a decrease weight capability, this might positively be my first selection for transportation. Quartering up your deer entails just a little bit extra work, nevertheless it considerably decreases the quantity of weight you must put in your kayak. Not solely does it lower weight, nevertheless it cuts down on the quantity of area it can take up. I might counsel having a backpack that’s designed to pack out recreation, and also you’ll be set!
Tow A Raft – This was my first thought for transport, after I initially determined I wished to strive kayak looking. Fortunately, each kayak I’ve ever hunted with had a excessive weight capability, however I nonetheless suppose this methodology may very well be very helpful and simple. Most kayaks have some form of dry storage inbuilt. I might counsel discovering an inexpensive inflatable raft you can maintain deflated in your dry storage compartment so it doesn’t take any area, after which you’ve got it able to go must you achieve success. Be sure to additionally pack a rope to tether the raft to your kayak, and simply pull it behind you. This methodology will sluggish you down considerably, however when you’ve obtained the buck, who cares?
Life Jacket Methodology – That is my least favourite of the transport choices, however I’ve seen it executed efficiently a number of instances. All you’ll do right here is carry an additional PFD, strap it on the deer, and pull it behind your kayak. It will be important that you don’t discipline costume the animal earlier than transport, because the intestine cavity will give added buoyancy. You additionally don’t need the water to taint the meat within the cavity. Just like the raft methodology, this can considerably lower your velocity. I might additionally not advocate this methodology should you’re within the deep south with gator infested water.
Do you’ve got successful plan?
3. Use A number of Leashes
My largest nightmare is that I’m going to have an accident on the water and all of my gear goes to fall into the depths of the lake, by no means to be seen once more. This really occurred to my dad whereas we had been looking one chilly December day in 2017. Fortunately, the water was solely about 15 toes deep in that spot, and we had been capable of get well all the things.
This made me a agency believer in protecting all of my gear leashed to the kayak always. It’s such a easy answer to make sure nothing will get misplaced, and it may be very low cost. Most out of doors shops will carry some sort of paddle leash, however that price begins so as to add up.
I take about 3′ of paracord and fix an inexpensive carabiner to every facet. One carabiner attaches someplace on the boat and the opposite to the piece of substances. It’s low cost, simple, and efficient.
4. Distance Scouting
You’ve learn loads at this level about your setup, however I need to share a little bit of kayak looking techniques right here. If you happen to’ve determined you need to begin kayak looking, it’s possible attributable to eager to get away from numerous hunter stress in your space. I’ve had minimal human intrusion in my kayak hunts, however after I do, it’s sometimes attributable to my lack of preparation and scouting that was responsible.
I do most of my scouting on onX maps. Usually I begin with a launch level and attempt to discover the general public areas inside a couple of 7 mile boat experience which can be the furthest away from any parking space or street system. Nevertheless, there have been simply a few events that I discovered an space that was considered land/water locked, solely to get there and discover a effectively used gravel street main proper into the parcel.
Your mapping app is nice, however you can’t beat in-person intel. For all the areas I hunt now, I’ll take a while to drive across the complete radius of the property to verify each potential entry level, and trying to find roads that will not present up on the map.
There’s nothing worse than paddling for an hour or two, solely to appreciate there’s a street system 100 yards out of your vacation spot. Distance, water, and terrain are the principle issues that deter most hunters from going into an space. One thing I at all times do is strive to verify I’m at the very least a mile away from any walk-in entry spot, with both steep terrain or some form of water system between. If I don’t have that, then I’m assuming there are folks looking it frequently. That doesn’t imply there aren’t deer within the space, however simply that it could be simpler to stroll in than kayak.
A mixture of satisfactory scouting and aggressive techniques can result in success.
5. Be Aggressive
One among my favourite elements to kayak looking is the truth that it’s so stealthy. I’ve discovered that deer don’t spook out of an space, even when they see me paddling by them. I can’t let you know what number of units of eyes my mild has shined earlier than daylight, solely to see those self same deer in the identical spot as soon as I’m arrange. They merely don’t affiliate the water with hazard. For this reason I actually like to make use of the water benefit as a lot as I presumably can throughout every kayak hunt.
If there’s a creek that may get me nearer to the spot I intend to hunt, I’ll at all times choose to paddle as shut as I can. Everyone knows that acquainted sound of leaves crunching underneath our toes. Effectively, so do the deer. The sound of a paddle going by the water is probably not quiet, nevertheless it’s a lot much less alarming to a deer.
Deer possible dwell their entire life near water. They’ve heard fish leap daily, beavers slap their tails on the floor, and a great deal of different sounds coming from the water that they’ve by no means needed to affiliate with hazard. I’m satisfied that utilizing the kayak methodology is probably the most stealthy strategy to aggressively entry your looking space, wanting having the ability to fly.
There are such a lot of benefits to kayak entry, I couldn’t even start to call them multi function article. The truth is that the majority of your information about this type of looking will come from time spent doing it. However I can promise you one factor, should you’ll persist with it, and don’t quit, you’ll set your self up for the journey of a lifetime when looking from a kayak.