Waterfowl Layout Boats │ Get to the Best Duck Hunting By Chris McLeland As hard core waterfowl hunters, you know the importance of getting on the best duck hunting spots. Your success rate can be exponentially increased if you are able to locate and get to where the birds want to be. Your success rate continues to increase if you are able to effectively reach the best duck hunting spots while the competition cannot, through a little stealth and concealment. A good waterfowl layout boat can be the key to a good day in the marsh. In duck hunting, there is a wide array of gear and equipment on the market, which often makes us better waterfowl hunters – like Hard Core duck decoys. If you are a fan of duck hunting backwater sloughs, moist soil marshes or shallow areas such as flooded crop fields then a waterfowl layout boat is something you should consider this fall. Also referred to as a poke boat or sneak boat, waterfowl layout boats are designed specifically for duck and goose hunting, and can greatly increase your success this fall. The art of waterfowl layout boat hunting is one almost as old as the modern day duck hunting heritage. Many seasoned waterfowl hunters have most likely owned or are at least familiar with waterfowl layout boat hunting. However, in today’s duck hunting world it seems as though they have somewhat fallen out of popular use. Layout boats offer many advantages to the waterfowl hunter, both in transporting duck decoys, goose decoys, other gear and waterfowl hunting in general. Waterfowl layout boats are very sleek in design, with most only sitting a few inches out of the water when carrying a waterfowl hunter and equipment. This low profile design helps to keep waterfowl hunters concealed when using these boats as blinds. Waterfowl layout boats come in many different designs and configurations. Today, almost all manufacturers of waterfowl layout boats are made from a heavy duty, fiber glass mold. These molded boats are extremely tough and come in a wide range of models such as youth, single or two man boats. Almost all waterfowl layout boats these days will come equipped with a transom, rated for either a trolling motor or small outboard engine. However, despite having the transom, these boats are light enough that they can be easily moved by simply utilizing a push pole. If you are looking for a summertime project to keep duck hunting near and dear to your heart during the off season, there are many different plans that you can find on-line that can give you step by step instructions on how to correctly build a waterfowl layout boat. While building a homemade layout boat can be a fun and exciting challenge, there are some draw backs. Depending upon your experience level, the cost can sometimes be comparable to the cost of purchasing a waterfowl layout boat from a manufacturer. Homemade layout boats are often heavier than boats purchased from a manufacturer, which maybe something to consider if you will be duck hunting alone. Also, homemade layout boats are made of wood and fiberglass. These often require more maintenance down the road than a molded layout boat. All that being said, a homemade layout is just as effective in putting greenheads on the game carrier this fall, it is simply a matter of choice. Waterfowl layout boats offer a unique opportunity for waterfowl hunters, which allows you to be more versatile while in the marsh. Many hunters simply utilize waterfowl layout boats as means to access certain areas that would be inaccessible otherwise, or simply as a means to reach their destination faster than the cmpetition when duck hunting public areas, which is always an advantage. However, if you truly wish to experience the full advantage of waterfowl layout boat hunting, then duck hunting out of your layout boat is the only way to go! How many times have you seen group after group of waterfowl lock up and commit to an area out in the middle of the marsh, where there is very little cover to hide? This always seems to be an occurrence that happens multiple times in a season. If you are limited to sitting on a marsh seat, then most likely you will not be able to make a play on these birds. A waterfowl layout boat will allow you get out to the best duck hunting in this case, and have a fun filled day of finishing waterfowl right in your face. There are wide ranges of waterfowl layout boat accessories that exist today that can help you conceal your boat, and keep birds in the duck decoys. Many layout boat manufactures provide waterfowl layout boat blind kits that are similar to the double door system of most layout ground blinds such as the Man Cave from Hard Core Brands. These kits can typically mount to any boat, whether manufactured or homemade and can easily utilize natural vegetation or manufactured grass concealment systems to help you blind in to the natural surroundings. If you enjoy duck hunting while sitting in the comfort and concealment of your Man Cave, then you will love shooting a limit of greenheads from the comfort and concealment of your waterfowl layout boat. There is absolutely nothing like having the ability to be where the ducks want to be, and be concealed so well, that you literally have birds trying to land on top of you. One of the best times to utilize layout boats is in areas with high pressured birds. These ducks and geese have heard it all and seen it all, and have become trained hunter spotters. In many cases, these birds will shy away from duck decoys and key in on areas with less vegetation, simply due to the fact that they can see anything that may be hiding in the cover. Utilizing waterfowl layout boats in these situations will keep you squeezing the trigger, and keep the freezer full of meat this fall. If you love duck hunting and have never tried waterfowl layout boat hunting, we suggest you give it a whirl this fall, we know you’ll be glad you did!