I don’t see any posts about hunting from a canoe, which I’ve been doing for nearly 30 years. Seems to me it’s a perfect solution to the age old issue of getting the game out once the kill is made. It also gets you where roads can’t, which is important if you don’t like the Kmart variety of hunting. Anyway, I was wondering if some of you out there in internet land also hunt from a canoe, and what kind of hunts you take. Right now, I’m planning a 5 day solo hunt in northern lake country (brrrr).
The perfect hunting canoe
I’m not a hunter but I ran into a builder who makes a canoe that he designed to be big enough to stuff a deer into. I was looking for a decked canoe at the time. If I was looking for a hunting boat I would have bought this one in a heartbeat. Read my review here.
Here’s his website.
Just started last year
I did a little duck hunting from the canoe last winter. Actually didn’t hunt from the canoe, but use it to haul two hunters and decoys & other gear to islands that don’t get much hunting pressure.
I’ve been working on a plan to do my deer hunting in a similar fashion, but it will probably be a solo activity also. I was going to do it this year but didn’t feel like I was really ready for it. Next year for sure though. I have the route and the hunting area all picked out, and I will be using the Prospector for that. It will haul everything I need - going in and coming out.
This year, I am using a canoe to get to a quail spot and maybe for ducks again. I don’t hunt a lot these days, but combining hunting and paddling gives it a new twist that makes it more interesting for me. And yeah - I thought of that aspect of an easy carry.
A 5-day canoe trip with big-game hunting sounds like a great time. I’d be interested to see a trip report and to know what works and what doesn’t (as far as the canoeing and camping aspect).
Sounds like a great time,…
I love to hunt and I love to canoe. It’d be great to combine the two, but it just doesn’t fit the hunting I do (archery for deer and small game). Now, if I was a duck hunter it’d be a different story.
might be illegal in some states
Good luck on your hunt and do you dress to swim?
Do you paddle out the same day?
Or hang your kill?
I quarter the deer.
Lately, with CWD being an issue, I take the leg quarters whole, remove the backstraps, and cape out if it’s a trophy. No gutting, no splitting the spine. It can take several trips to get the buck back to the boat. Sometimes, if I’m closer to water, I’ll take the meat and rack to a beach and come get it in the canoe. Generally, I try to get the meat out quickly, which means packing up camp and heading out within a day.
Have thought about it.
Ever since my dad quit all types of hunting (partly due to age, and when it comes to deer hunting, I think also combined with no more opportunities for "old-style" cooperative hunting with a 6 or 8 other people), I've barely hunted at all. However, unusual hunting opportunities that allow the use of a boat to get to inaccessible places does appeal to me. Today, I checked out water access to a pretty inaccessible patch of high ground within a big tamarack swamp, and I was not thinking about hunting at all. However, once I hiked around for a while it occurred to me that there's SOME chance that it would be a good place to wait for deer that might be fleeing the bits of brushy land in the surrounding farm country. If there were a bit more woodland in the area, other than the big tamarack swamp, and a LOT less "country homes" scattered around (which remove lots of prime habitat from available hunting land), it probably would be an excellent possibility. Maybe I'll give it a try just the same. There's also one place I could try that's very close to home. In most years, both of these locations become ice-bound by the third week in November, but this isn't shaping up to be one of those years.
Oh yeah, I also hunt ducks on occasion from a canoe, mostly jump-shooting on small rivers, but the place I went paddling today seems to have some promise for sit-and-wait duck hunting.
Duck Hunt a Few Times a Year…
…with my canoe at a local wildlife area. Never used it to deer hunt from, but if you read the “Boundary Waters Journal” you will find articles every fall about accessing deer camp via canoe. Seems there was an article last issue. WW
funny you should ask
Arrowed a nice doe in early October with my Brackenbury recurve. Easiest way to get her to where it was reasonable to haul her overland was to use the Indy.
Could see a scenario where you might actually take a shot with archery gear when drifting down the right river.
Excellent to get to a stand downwind so as not to leave scent.
Ducks and geese a no brainer whether drifting or blind hunting.
Perfect for trapping!
I saw the biggest whitetail
of my life on a canoe hunt along the Miami River. I was hunting a stretch of woods that merged into a reserve. The only other access was across a huge soy bean field. This monster moved behind a tree on the old Erie Canal levy, and I came to full draw. He went down the levy away from me and I was left with a big hole in my soul. Deer moved at liberty through that wooded river bank to eat in the fields, then back to the protection of the reserve. I killed a couple deer there 30 years ago, but that guy was a P&Y. No real way to get there except to paddle in before daylight. Stomping 1/2 mile across a field is not a productive way to hunt such places. Anyway, that area has gone commercial now so I bet it’s not a viable place to hunt anymore. I don’t hunt except in wilderness settings anymore. Never much for sitting in a fencerow or in a tree. Canoeing helps make it more interesting for me, as does the backcountry setting. That tamarack swamp sounds like just the kind of place that a canoe could make all the difference. You’re talking about a sanctuary, which is a good bet if you can get there quietly when the pressure begins. Depending on how big it is, you might want to stay out of there before the season. I’d find a good landing spot that you can find in the dark and use topo maps to get the lay of the land. Once you’ve been there a time or two, you’ll know where the trails are and where to stand.
I hunt squirrels from my bedroom
window.I even have a squirrel retriever.
we dedicate a day to floating and hunting for deer. Our method is to use aggressive calling while quiet paddling and slow floating. The deer come to the bank to see what is up. We also stop at the major crossings and set up back in a few yards and call. We have not taken home a deer this way but had lots of close encounters. We just failed to close the deal.
Closing the deal…not a big deal.
The thrill is in the hunt. I wouldn’t have thought of calling while drifting. Thanks for the tip!
Ferral Hog Hunting In FL Green Swamp
25 years ago I used an old 15' aluminum Grumman canoe to hunt feral hogs on the Withlacoohie (Sp?) River in the Green Swamp in Florida. Worked really well.
The Green Swamp is a 40,000 acre hunting reserve.
Hogs are super smart, and the first day of hunting season was like a monster truck rally. They go deep cover, but too smart to cut themselves off from water. Also made it very easy to get a 125# hog out of the brush.
Florida law allowed shooting from boat, as long as it does not have a motor. I used a Ruger Super Blackhawk .44.
It was a one off deal. You can not skin a hog. You have to have it cleaned with a pressure steam cleaner, so might as well have it butchered while you are at it.
I kept the tenderloin and the resulting BBQ was tough, and not that tasty.
I gave the lesser cuts to a Salvadorian family. The BBQ at their house was much better. They roasted in a pit for like two days.
At the end of the day, its not about being a good shot, its about being a good cook.
You need to call aggressively
and often. They need to hear it and decide to come to the bank before you float by and are gone. My bud somehow dropped the arrow off the string during draw back and dry fired at a buck at about 15 feet. Sure thing if the arrow was on the string. Those bucks came running out to a bleat call. Three of them came to the shore to see what was up. Had quite a few come to the bank like that. We need to do this during early muzzleloader season too. Never tried that yet.
I plan on using the canoe to acess some wetlands for deer. I will pole to scout. I’m using a Mad River Explorer 16. Plenty enough boat to haul it out. Good luck to all you deer hunters out there in pnet land.