Duck season closed this past weekend, which means I’ve already started thinking about next year’s season. And one of my primary goals is the acquisition of a duck-hunting boat. Not a big boat, but a sneaky little boat to slip into isolated backwater areas I can’t reach by walking. But here’s the rub: I need one big enough for myself, the dog and decoys, but small enough so I can load and unload it by myself. I need it stable enough to get in and out in waders and let the dog load up, but easy enough to paddle a couple miles if need be.


There are many small waterfowling boats out there, as well as jon boats, canoes and kayaks. If it floats, someone somewhere is duck hunting out of it, but not all of them work well with dogs. I could, of course, just go buy a big duck boat with a blind, outboard and dog ladder and be done with it. But my money tree died last year and until the sapling starts producing more than quarters that won’t happen.

Anyone use a small boat with their dogs? What works best: Sit-on-top kayak or hybrid? Sneak or layout boat? I’d love to hear your experiences, advice, and words of warning.