LAYOUT BOAT HUNTS
As seasoned seaduck hunters, we know that layout boat hunting is hands down one of the most
effective ways to hunt seaducks, period. And with the addition of two fiberglass two-man
layout boats for our guide service, we can now share our passion with our clients1
Layout boat hunting is very effective and productive. Period. Throw in the excitement of birds decoying
within 10 yards, you have a very special experience. Imagine large flocks of bluebills putting their
feet on the water just 10 yards away, buffleheads so close that you can almost bat them away with
your gun and scoters decoying with such speed that they practically (and actually have) run straight
into the side of the boat! Shooting can be fast and furious and the experience gets the adrenaline
pumping for even the most experienced hunters.
Part of the effectiveness of layout boats is the fact that you can put them just about anywhere.
Divers and seaducks in particular prefer open water and typically do not want to land close
to shore. Furthermore, at some point, all duck hunters have watched birds land en mass in open
water, a few hundred yards from shore. Putting a layout boat out in the open water, hundreds of
yards from shore, solves this problem and birds will flock to a raft of decoys placed around
a layout rig. They are also deadly on calm, bluebird days when the birds shy from land and stay
out on the open water.
Our two boats are custom-made (by us) in order to best accommodate our conditions and our clients.
Based upon the legendary Busick design, the boats provide plenty of room for two hunters, their guns,
shells and all necessary safety gear. Painted a dull gray/green color and with a relief of less
than 8 inches, they literally blend into the water and become invisible from a distance. Even though
we typically only use the boats in calm waters, the boats have a clear canvas spray-skirt that keeps
you dry from any small wave or wake.
A typical hunt starts with us anchoring and positioning the boat (typically at least 300 yardds from
shore), placing decoys and waiting for shooting light. Once it becomes light enough to see, we help
the hunters get in the boat, and they get read to shoot. During this time, I position myself in the skiff
out of the fly-way. When you're in the rig, we stay in constant contact with you via a handheld VHF
radio and, in addition, I have binoculars on you at all times so that I can retrieve your birds as
fast as they hit the water.
What will really surprise most hunters is how comfortable our boats really are - they are extremely stable, dry and with out big backrest - quite comfortable. This may sound ridiculous - but we have had so many people comment upon how surprisingly comfortable our boats are! With the great in-your-face hunting - most people completely forget about the tight space and just have fun with it. You will be pleasantly surprised - let me put it that way.
You can stay in the rig as long as you want (or as long as it takes to get a limit) and, if you have
three in your party, we can rotate hunters whenever you would like. Even though it's a fantastic experience,
layout boat hunting is not for everyone. While our boats are designed to be as comfortable as
possible, conditions can still be crampedand cold as you're very close to the water. So we encourage
all our clients to dress accordingly and keep the realities of this hunt at heart. If you're up for
it, you won't be disappointed.
As always, your safety is paramount. When you're in the layout boat you will have everything
that you need; a VHF radio, life-jackets and flares, etc.