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Fishing season is coming to an end and hunting season is almost in full swing. So, can you use a kayak for hunting and what hunting kayak accessories are available? What features make a good hunting kayak? Hunting from a kayak offers unique opportunities and a stealthy approach, but how do you choose the best kayak for hunting? Let's look at some of the basics:
1. Kayak & Weapon Safety
Safety is paramount when hunting from a kayak. Make sure you have the necessary kayaking skills and knowledge of the waters you're navigating. Wear a life jacket at all times and check local regulations in regards to requirements for the colors hunters are allowed to wear. In some areas, orange is a requirement depending on your location and what you are hunting for. In colder weather areas, consider cold water safety gear like dry or wet suits in case you capsize or enter the water.
Always handle firearms safely. Keep your firearm unloaded until you are ready to use it, and practice safe firearm storage. Make sure you have the right type of ammunition for your intended game. With less room to work with than a boat or on land, storing your firearm or bow safely is paramount while in a kayak. See below for kayak accessories for hunting.
2. Regulations & Permits
Be aware of local and state hunting regulations and obtain the necessary permits or licenses. Regulations can vary widely, and hunting laws may be different for waterfowl or small game. Every state has different laws and regulations for hunting. Check your local regulations for both your hunting permits and whether or not your kayak needs to be registered.
3. Choosing Your Kayak: Our 5 Best Kayaks for Hunting
Sit-on-top kayaks are often preferred for hunting because they offer more space, stability, and ease of movement. If hunting is something you are interested in doing from your kayak, consider the environment you will be hunting in. In particular, consider the surroundings and colors. Will you be hunting in grassy areas, wooded areas or open areas? Now, consider these colors when selecting your color and pattern for better camouflage and concealment.
Length: 11'3" | Width: 33" | Weight: 63lbs (without drive) | Carrying Capacity: 375lbs
Stability and maneuverability make the NuCanoe Flint versatile enough for narrow rivers to large lakes. Designed for all-day comfort, the Flint features a custom height seat and a wide-open deck to give you complete control of how you build your kayak.
Hunters will love the four flush-mount tubes, accessory tracks for gun/bow holders, storage pockets and five accessory tracks throughout the kayak. Additional features include a transducer recess, integrated foot pegs, and multiple storage options. NuCanoe's Flint is a blank canvas waiting to be painted by hunters who know exactly what they want.
Length: 12' | Width: 41" | Weight: 77lbs (without drive) | Carrying Capacity: 650lbs
Considered one of the most stable kayaks on the market, the Frontier 12 is the bigger sibling to the Frontier 10. Built for both anglers and hunters, the Frontier 12 is a hybrid sit-on-top kayak capable of taking on salt water, rivers, or hunting in marshes.
At 41" wide, hunters don't need to worry about stability when standing or transporting large game in the open deck. With NuCanoe kayaks, hunters have the choice to set out stripped down or rigged up with accessories. With four accessory tracks, ample storage, anchor line cleats, battery box home, and many more features, the Frontier 12 is a fully-customizable hunting kayak that can accomodate tons of gear or two hunters.
Length: 12'6" | Width: 41" | Weight: 84lbs (without drive) | Carrying Capacity: 650lbs
A kayak that was designed to get through any obstacle, the NuCanoe Unlimited's hull is built for speed, stability and to take on any water conditions. Ready for pedals, power, and electronics, the Unlimited is ready to be rigged out however any serious angler, or hunter, desires.
Featuring the new Tarpon Drainage System, a GearPod, watertight hull integrity, 22' of aluminum accessory tracks, thru-hull wiring ports and a transducer pod, the NuCanoe Unlimited is ready for any hunt you can throw at it. Other features include storage pockets, tandem capable and easy wiring access ports and plates. Big game, or waterfowl, the Unlimited is built for hunting.
Length: 13' 2" / 4 m | Width: 34" / 86 cm | Weight: 86 lbs / 39 kg | Carrying Capacity: 425 lbs / 193 kg
At just over 13 feet, the Sportsman BigWater 132 Fishing Kayak provides more stability for standing and in larger bodies of water. Including a non-slip EVA foam deck for extra traction and stand-up comfort, the Old Town Sportsman BigWater 132 takes your fishing game to the next level. If you prefer staying seated, you'll love the premium breathable, quick-drying Element seat.
Designed with anglers in mind, the Sportsman BigWater 132 has six accessory tracks, multiple rod holders, a center console mod pod for stashing tackle or bait, and a dry storage area. The Sportsman BigWater 132 is structurally similar to the Old Town Predator/BigWater 132 fishing kayak but has different color options available. Kayak anglers looking for more stability on bigger water and more customization options will find the Old Town Sportsman BigWater 132 exactly what they need.
Length: 13' 2" / 4 m | Width: 36" / 91 cm | Weight: 96 lbs / 43.5 kg | Carrying Capacity: 500 lbs / 227 kg
Formally known as the Old Town Predator PDL, the Old Town BigWater PDL 132 is a newer, better version. Equipped with a forward/reverse pedal drive, an updated seat and newer color options, the Old Town BigWater 132 Fishing Kayak makes the Predator a distant memory.
Old Town's new BigWater 132 Pedal Drive system also includes a patented easy-docking system to make launching and landing pain-free. Measuring just over 13 feet, the Old Town BigWater 132 is ready to take on open water and still provide the necessary stability when standing. Accessory rails are located both in the front and the back for multiple mounting options. A new adjustable seat design with lumbar support, breathable mesh covering, and adjustable leg length on a shuttle track provide all-day anglers the needed comfort for long fishing trips. Built for anglers, the BigWater 132 PDL also includes molded-in rod holders, a universal transducer mounting system, and tons of storage. If you hunt fish in large bodies of water, the Old Town Predator/BigWater 132 combines stability, space and agility for long days in waves.
4. Gear & Accessories for Kayak Hunting
Rigging your kayak out with accessories can play a huge role in both your success and your enjoyment while hunting with your kayak. As you probably know already, the primary market for sit-on-top kayaks is fishing. As both sports grow, new accessories become available all of the time.
We will list a few accessories that you may find useful, but the list will continue to grow as time passes on. If you know of any useful hunting accessories for kayaks that we don't offer, please drop us a comment so we can expand our accessory line!
NuCanoe Gun/Bow Mounts
YakAttack BlackPak Pro
Perception Kayak Saddle Bag
5. Concealment & Camouflage
Stealth is the name of the game no matter what you are hunting for. Camouflage your kayak and yourself to blend in with your surroundings. Use natural vegetation, such as reeds or grass, to create a blind on your kayak. Avoid making sudden movements that might spook the game.
If hunting is something you plan to do from your kayak, be deliberate when selecting your color pattern. Think about where you will be hunting and choose a kayak color that will blend in with your surroundings.
Once you've chosen a color, think about how you can further camouflage your kayak. Kayak duck blinds are becoming more readily available each season.
Ask Questions & Use Your Available Resources
Hunting from a kayak is a completely different experience. Kayaks offer lots of advantages when hunting but also come with a bigger learning curve. If you have questions, a great place to start is our public community, The Kayak Anglers Resource. You can ask questions of members who have real experience. Or, check out our YouTube channels for reviews and how-tos: Eco Fishing Shop and Kayak Anglers Resource.
Learn more about fishing/hunting sit-on-top kayaks with some of our previous blogs:
Browse all of our blogs and Buyer's Guides to most of our brands below. To check out our full range of the best fishing kayaks and accessories we have to offer, available to you via free and fast shipping, click HERE. We are happy to help and answer any questions. Click the chat button, give us a call or ask your questions in the public community, we will be there to answer no matter how you communicate!