Duck Hunting CJ / Snake River With a Kayak?

Discussion in 'Idaho Flyway Forum' started by MMRemington, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. MMRemington

    MMRemington New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Hey All,

    So, I just went out and bought a call, some decoys, decoy weights, etc. and am excited to go out duck hunting soon! I've been a couple times before, but never on my own / with my own gear. A friend of mine who had everything we needed was who I've been with, but he just moved to Montana, so no more free ride for me!

    My question & topic of discussion I guess is: Am I kidding myself thinking I can hunt CJ Strike / Snake River with a kayak and without a dog? Any suggestions on how to approach this? I considered just hunting the shoreline and not even bothering with the kayak, but then again I also don't want to go swimming this time of year...so I'm pretty sure my only option would be drop the kayak in, find a decent spot w/ some cover, set up my little spread of decoys, and cross my fingers?

    Any thoughts on how & where to hunt would be appreciated. If it helps, here is what I have at my disposal:

    Kayak w/ paddle (not a fancy motorized one, unfortunately)
    6 Decoys & weights
    1 "triple threat" call
    Shotgun & Shells (3" #2)

    Just trying to get as prepared as possible, since I'm still rather new and haven't had to plan things out before. The couple of times I've gone it's been my buddy saying "meet at my house at 6:30am, bring your camo, gun, shells, and a couple beers", and then he took care of the rest (including shooting most of the birds).

    Anyways - thanks in advance for any input & suggestions you all have! Have a great weekend!
     
  2. WaterFoulHunter

    WaterFoulHunter Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    227
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2016
    Location:
    Hayden, ID/Roseville, CA
    Sorry no one has stepped up to help a newbie. Any help for this guy?
     
  3. Rick Egner

    Rick Egner Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    155
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Location:
    california
    Welcome to waterfowling, it's addicting! My take on this is to sell the kayak and buy a dog and it will make your hunting much more enjoyable. A good dog is the most important piece of equipment you can buy! I personally think it should be against the law to hunt the Snake without one! I had a conversation with a F&G officer Wednesday about this very topic, birds that are killed and can't be retrieved! Twice this year already I've had hen mallards float through the rocks after I've shot my two, the answer was, let them float! It sickens me! Please buy a dog, you won't be sorry!
     
    WaterFoulHunter and Curt Gibson like this.
  4. seal

    seal Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    meridian,id
    OMG....this is a joke.....right?? I will bite.

    Sure you can do what you are asking about, but I don't see that being even remotely close to what I would call successful. With the gear you have, ditch everything but the kayak. Float the edges of the river and jump shoot birds. You would be way better off with that method than six decoys and a triple threat duck call.

    Rick-
    You assume there was an inability to retrieve the hens. I am more prone to believe there was no effort to retrieve. I see lots of hens floating, but rarely do I run across drakes. Coincidence?? I don't believe in those. What I do believe is that guys make a mistake that pushes them over the hen limit. Instead of risking the violation, they let it float. I firmly believe that most floating hens are shot by hunters who already have their two hens.

    If they are floating, they can be retrieved by boat. I have yet to see a dog retrieve a Snake River bird that couldn't have been retrieved on foot or in a boat. But I have retrieved lots of birds by boat that a dog wasn't ever going to get to.
     
  5. salthunter

    salthunter Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    16,072
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    Location:
    SE Idaho
    Im going to start with how good are you with your kayak. I lost my best childhood friend duck hunting. So safety first.
    I do not know the areas your talking about. But driving past the Snake seems like there is more slow huntable water with a kayak on the west end.
    Ive moved a number of times as an adult. And tend to find new areas. Get out and look around. Ask your local C.O. where there are safe places to hunt with birds.

    Here in Idaho and Utah,, if there is water there is ducks, ,,,,,,sometimes,,,,,

    If your into kayaking get on the water and cover some water
     
  6. HaydenHunter

    HaydenHunter Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    11,716
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2000
    Location:
    Hayden Lake, ID USA
    Nice to see you post, seal.

    Gotta make it down there and hunt with you again some day.
     
  7. MMRemington

    MMRemington New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Cool, thanks for the input everyone. I understand what you're saying about retrieval, but that's why I'd bring my kayak. I was thinking "call, shoot, paddle out to retrieve, and repeat". I was also thinking that I'd setup in a cove & where the current was minimal.

    The jump shooting technique is a good idea though seal. For some reason that thought hadn't even crossed my mind until you mentioned it, but maybe I'll just do that until I'm able to get my dog trained and/or a boat (and some more decoys!)

    Thanks again everyone.
     
  8. jjohnson_714

    jjohnson_714 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    331
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Location:
    idaho
    Don't listen to all these naysayers... You don't need to sell your kayak to get a dog. We've duck hunted for well over 20 years and have never taken a dog with us and have used a rubber raft way back in the day to get downed birds. As long as you feel comfortable in your kayak, you'll be fine.

    for decoys, 6 mallards is a perfectly acceptable start. You'll shoot some ducks. Just be where the ducks want to be. Scout and see what else is flying and rafting up, and slowly add accordingly. Our spread got HUGE there for a bit, but we've slowly been cutting back over the years. Now we dont throw out more than 2 dozen if that with some wigeon, mallards, and divers. For the call, just stick to basic quacks. Think about getting a cheap wigeon/mallard whistle to do some mallard buzzes to change things up from what the ducks are used to hearing with everyone and their mom pretending they are a hen mallard.
     

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