Across vast areas of heartland however most duck hunting is done on foot, but in coastal bays and some other areas, duck boats are considered the minimum equipment for duck hunting. Many duck hunters have an interest in buying or building a duck boat. Wherever you hunt, boats tend to expand your options, and options are what it takes to consistently bag your birds.
Blind boats vary considerably and many hardcore hunters have more than one. A full size boat in the 14-18’ range and a layout boat (or one-man craft meant for small waters and individual use) complement each other well. Both have their place.
Blind Boat Basics
- Match the boat to the roughest water you will hunt
- Motor design matters
- Pop up or permanent blind design
Hunting the bays and big waters can turn dangerous in a hurry. Buy a boat designed to handle the roughest water you may encounter. Walking away from a hunt and having a backup plan in extremely rough seas is a part of staying alive. Each year there are hunters lost at sea due to not having enough boat for their load and encountering rough seas. The most popular duck boat design is the relatively flat hulled Jon-boat, which is great for use on calm days but not meant for the windy rough days that duck hunters tend to love.
Standard outboard motors are still the normal duck rig, however mud motors designed to work in incredibly mucky shallow situations open new doors in areas where mud flats abound. Outboard jet motors also open up the shallows, as do airboats in the everglades.
Blind design consists of a metal frame covered by camouflage fabric. There are an abundance of designs available commercially. Many hunters design their own frame system and camouflage system as well. Overhead cover is a big design priority as an uncovered boat is easily recognized from above. Tucked up against a lake shore, island or tule reeds, boat blinds let you hunt where the ducks are giving you the needed options for success.