JonBoats and ducks

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Dora1
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2008/06/30 15:55:54 (permalink)

JonBoats and ducks

Hello everyone I am new to this forum and any advice you guys can give would be a very big help.  I have a 13 month old black lab and am getting into duck hunting this year for the first time.  My first duck will also be my labs first duck.  I have access to a big swamp to hunt and was wondering what kind of boats you guys duck hunt out of.  And also is it worth getting a duck boat in Pennsylvania.  What kind of motors do you guys have mounted on your boats.  As I stated earlier this area is a big swamp that looks pretty nasty to navigate through.  Does anyone else hunt this kind of terrain?  And if so how is your boat outfitted?  Any advice you guys can give would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks and I look forward to discussing waterfowl with you guys.   
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    IUP30
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    RE: JonBoats and ducks 2008/07/01 12:22:42 (permalink)
    Welcome aboard!  The waterfowl board doesn't get too much action so you may want to also give a shout on the Duck Unlimited message boards too.
     
    Anyway, I'm a duck hunter and I've got a 15' modified V that we use as my duck boat.  For what you want to do, something with a flat bottom like a jon boat would be fine (for most days anyway - always gotta be careful about wind and waves).  The wider the better in my opinion since you'll have a dog, yourself and gear and wider will give you more stability when (if) you stand up to shoot.  Another hunting buddy is usually a good idea when hunting water in the fall/winter period just in case. 
     
    As for the motor, I've got nothing fancy -- just a 9.9 that will move my boat along.  Always keep oars also for pushing yourself through thick stuff if you're in a big swamp.  Those mud motors are cool but I've never used one so can't really speak about them. 
     
    I've built a pop up blind on mine that needs some repair after this season but I couldn't spend $500 for a factory build one when I made mine for under $150 including all materials. 
     
    PM me if you want some pictures to get an idea on how it all comes together.  Good luck to you and your pup -- you'll be proud on that first retrieve. 
    #2
    Trap Jaw
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    RE: JonBoats and ducks 2008/07/13 12:43:32 (permalink)
    Welcom to the wonderful world of wasting large amounts of time and money better known as waterfowl hunting.  If all you are hunting is a swamp then any size boat will work.  If you are planning on hunting the bay you will probably want to go for a larger boat.  Right now I have a home-made 8 foot "duck boat" that is made out of plywood.  It is great for smaller bodies of water, but I started hunting the bay last year and it was woefully inadiquite.  I am thinking of upgrading to a 12 foot or larger boat as we speek.  Depending on how large the area is I prefer to use human power to get in.  I could never get motors to work right in swamps and the like, always getting clogged with weeds.  If you need any other advice let us know.
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    IUP30
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    RE: JonBoats and ducks 2008/07/16 16:48:47 (permalink)
    Go larger than the 12, Trap -- you'll want it if you're hunting the bay.  Unless you're purchasing a layout...but then you'll need a boat to haul it out there too.  Plus, a larger boat can fit more decoys and hold more weight -- often what a good diver set-up calls for.  Lots and lots of decoys, plus hunters and possibly your retriever and you'll be wishing you had a 19 footer soon.  I know I do...
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    Trap Jaw
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    RE: JonBoats and ducks 2008/07/19 19:01:00 (permalink)
    I guess I should have mentioned that it was my first time hunting by myself.  Oh, don't worry IUP, if I was planning on doing any layout hunting I'd just take the boat I already have.  16' fiberglass deep v open bow Sturey with an 80hp Merc.  The only hunting I do on the bay is out of blinds.  I weigh 230lbs+ and have the coordination of a pig on roller skates so there is no way I'll ever try a layout boat.  I just want a 12 footer so that I can get downed birds a bit easier, since I could put the 4hp kicker on it.  And don't worry about the dog, I don't have a waterfowl dog and probably never will.  All I need a boat for down there is to get to the birds that drop too far away from the blinds, or hit the water swimming.  I will probably still keep the 8' boat since it is great for smaller bodies of water.
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    AFISHN
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    RE: JonBoats and ducks 2008/07/22 12:12:50 (permalink)
    My 2cents>Try to find someone who is experienced to take you out a few times.

    I have been hunting waterfowl for 40 years(South Jersey ,MD,DE.PA,NYS).
    Post up on waterfowl boards and you probably will get someone to show you the ropes.

    PM me for some websites if you want.
    Good luckl
    Tom
    post edited by AFISHN - 2008/07/22 12:13:34

    'when I'm not AFISHN,I'm a huntin'....."
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    IUP30
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    RE: JonBoats and ducks 2008/07/22 16:14:23 (permalink)
    Sounds good, Trap -- I was more of suggesting the bigger boat for actual hunting situations, going to and from blinds, and of course - safety.  Glad to hear you've got the boat for getting birds mainly -- the 12' should do just fine.  I hate seeing guys out there with no dog and no way to get to birds that are wounded or blown out by the current.  We've just been getting into doing more layout boat hunting and my 15' modified V just sits too low to the water and I'll only chance it on days with 1 to 2 foot waves at most on the bay.  Not trying to go for a swim ANYTIME from October through January.
     
    What blinds do you hunt?  Did you manage to draw one last year??  Friends and I had one a few down to the east of the Niagara launch.  Can't remember the exact number for the life of me right now... oh well.
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    Trap Jaw
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    RE: JonBoats and ducks 2008/08/08 20:31:24 (permalink)
    I didn't hunt one day east of the rangers station.  No blinds of our own, but did good and bad out of others blinds.  I've developed an new theory about hunting down there, you need deep water in front of the blind.  And the blinds down east are rather shallow.  I think in the group of guys that I know that hunt down there we had something like 10 birds taken to the taxidermist.  Just so many mature beautiful birds last year.
     
    I agree Dora, get ahold of one of us and we could show you what we use.  If you want to see my little dinghy I have no problem showing you.  The other thing that I just thought of as an option.  If you can wade to a lot of spots is to get a float tube.  I have one that I only use on opening day in Geneva.  I hunt on a little spit of land that you don't even need to really wade to get to.  But there is a creek channel that runs right behind my spot and if I drop something on the other side I need a floatation device to get across.  A boat is overkill, so the float tube is great, I can cary it in with no problem.  Not perfect for every situation, but another option.
     
    Just found someone selling a 12' jon boat on another site...  Oh, I hope...
    #8
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