January 19, 2016 at 8:59am
I have hunted out of pirogues and kayaks for the last few years and think it is a great way to get out and hunt. You can get to the more secluded/shallow areas away from the crazy boat people and also utilize the state WMA limited access areas. Only drawback is you might have to paddle a mile or 2 (glass half full: you get a good workout in) but with a double-sided paddle (HIGHLY recommended) you'll be fine. But I'll elaborate a little:
Size/Storage: If you want to purchase a hunting kayak I advise one with a bit of storage space as Mandevillian said. If you can get a little storage in the bow and stern (enough to carry a few decoys/gear and you can store your gun inside the seating area that way it is easily accessible for shooting or in the bad case of flipping) you should be good. 12'-14' is ideal if you have a truck, otherwise you will probably have to trailer the thing, and at that rate you might as well get a boat.
Camo: purchase one that has a good base color (green, brown) and paint it yourself. The camo paint ridiculously boosts the price, so just do it yourself its cheaper. You can buy 8'-10 'x 4'-5' size mesh nets that you can drape over the front/back to easily conceal you. Also, when looking for a hunting spot, try backing it into some overhanging brush/cane/bush to conceal the stern and face your decoy setup with the wind at your back. In the kayak you can pick the ideal location.
Shooting: the best thing about actually hunting IN the kayak is that once you down a bird you can immediately go retrieve it and not have to worry about it swimming off or floating away. it may take you 3-5 minutes, but your re-setup is quick and easy. Another good thing is that while you are retrieving you still have your gun and can continue to hunt. Be cautious of shooting perpendicular to the kayak because you risk flipping, but hey, to each their own.
Where to hunt: I have hunted all areas surrounding Lake Ponchatrain (Joyce WMA, Fritschie Marsh in Slidell, Big Branch in Lacombe) and Point Aux Chenes in Montegut/Golden Meadow. There are limited access areas at most of these and you can utilize them best, but keep an eye on water levels and tides because getting stuck out there with only your 2 legs as horse power SUCKS. But most are fine with a south wind.
Last of all, have fun with it. It is the old fashioned way of getting around and you can hunt the ducks with absolute stealth. If something isn't working for you in the decoys, go tweek it real quick. If you see birds landing in other areas, pick up quick and get over there. Mobility is your best friend. Good luck Notmepappy, and if you ever wanna get out there with me, send me a direct message.