In the first part of using small boats for hunting, I wrote about how small boats can give you privacy, better access, more payload capacity than a backpack and a chance to hunt areas never hunted before by humans. What I want to do now is give you a few examples of how using a small boat can enrich your hunting opportunities, and show you that do not have to live in a rural area to get away from the hunting crowds.
The best story I have about using small boats for hunting happened in the city limits of Portland, Oregon. Anyone who has been there knows there is no shortage of people, but the cold waters of the Willamette River run right through the city and on the west side of Portland, Columbia Blacktail deer thrive.
A friend of mine who was a long time resident of Portland got tired of being squeezed out of his hunting properties and he decided to get a boat and start exploring some of the islands and heavily treed areas on the banks of the Willamette. In a short amount of time, he found enough bowhunting spots to last his lifetime and in two year’s time, he had killed a Boone & Crocket blacktail by boat.
Another great story involves an acquaintance of mine who is an avid whitetail and turkey hunter who lives on the Kansas side of Kansas City. About five years ago he started seeing turkeys during the spring time where no turkeys had been seen for decades. He took a kayak ride one weekend and as it began to get dark, he heard multiple flocks of turkeys flying up to roost right against the banks of the small river that ran through the area. In no time, he had also discovered that deer were also living near these spots and he no longer had to drive an hour from home to do his hunting.
Finally, a buddy of mine in Alaska got really tired of not having the money and resources to be flown out to prime moose hunting spots, so he bought a small Zodiak inflatable with a small motor and began scouting small lakes that he could drive to. His first year he did not have much time to hunt, but his second year with the boat he killed a moose and a caribou in one trip. Small boats can open up a whole new hunting world to you, too.