Anyone use a boat to access hunting grounds?


January 5, 2014, 02:15 AM
So iv been thinking of looking for a small boat to be able to access more hunting area. Around here its all river swamp and marsh. I really don't want to spend a fortune and I need something that I can easily handle by myself, yet that can cover a few miles of river reasonably quickly. The old standby down here is a 15 ish foot aluminum flat boat with wither a 25 hp outboard or one of the various mud motors. Is this the best way to go or would anyone suggest a different route?

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Dr. Sandman
January 5, 2014, 10:16 AM
My boat is a 14 foot aluminum lady that cost $350 and it came with a trailer. I put a Go-Devil longtail outboard on her that cost about ten times as much as the boat did! I have got to say, the Go-Devil is a lawnmower engine on a frame with a tough and massive prop. It has never given me any trouble and I have beat it up much over the years. If water is deep enough to float the boat, the motor works.
I think that this a really good setup. You do not need a new boat, spend your dough on the motor. This kind of setup sounds like it is just what you need.
I have never taken my boat hunting, but several of the duck guys at work are constantly salivating over her.

Bailey Boat
January 5, 2014, 11:37 AM
I professionally guide here in NC and use both my 16' flat bottom as well as my 17' canoe to get hunters into places no one else can reach. It increases the chance of success and lessens the exposure to other hunters. The flat bottom is outboard powered until things get too skinny and then I break out the pole. The canoe is self explanatory but I have it on a small trailer so it's easier to handle. Only way to go!!

January 5, 2014, 01:55 PM
I have been thinking about this as well. I am looking at either a Nucanoe Frontier 12 or a traditional canoe with the capability of adding a trolling motor, like an Old Town. This will be used for accessing new deer hunting areas. I get tired of sitting in box stands. I would also like to hear from others who hunt this way.

January 5, 2014, 01:58 PM
I use a 15 ft canoe for my deer hunting. Access to remote corners of lakes and reservoirs is my game plan. I bought my Grumann canoe second hand for $225.


January 5, 2014, 02:03 PM
I use a Gheenoe knockoff with a 15 HP. Works well for deer and ducks. ( (

January 5, 2014, 03:42 PM
A canoe with a trolling motor will get you just about anyplace a flat bottom boat will, but probably a little slower, with a bit less baggage. Spring Creek outfitters ( if they are still in business) online used to have everything from special motor mounts to outriggers to make any canoe more versatile & stable.

January 6, 2014, 12:17 AM
Thanks for the replies guys! I like the looks of Cazador 's rig. I need something with a bit more range than a canoe or trolling motor. Most places I want to access are several miles from launches. My favorite WMA is I believe 60k acres. About 1.5k is road access able and usually swarmed with the pumpkin army, but the other 58.5 thousand acres is all for the guys with boats. :banghead:

January 6, 2014, 12:25 AM
Ok I just broke out the google-fu to figure out just what exactly a gheenoe is. That looks perfect! Small, pretty affordable, capable of shallow waters and decent speed and range. I think that's the setup I'm after.

Fred in Wisc
January 7, 2014, 03:01 PM
If you are a do-it yourself kind of guy, you can get plans to build your own gheenoe (a modernized version with the same mission) here:

I built one (scaled down a little due to the space I had available to build in) about 8 years ago and it's a GREAT little boat.

January 7, 2014, 05:01 PM
Havent used mine in a while, but it's been used for duck hunting in addition to fishing. :D Old 62 Starcraft hull with a 96 25 HP Evinrude on a new galvanized trailer.

BTW, the cats never retrieved.

January 7, 2014, 08:36 PM
For several years, my dad and I used a 17 foot bass tracker with a 25 hp to access hunting areas off of rivers and creeks in the area. It was an early 90's aluminum bass tracker with a shallow v bottom. It worked great in all but the shallowest of water. It can be really cold during those winter mornings on the river though.

January 7, 2014, 09:37 PM
I have a 12' john boat, no trailer it fits in the bed of truck with tailgate down.
It's light with a 5hp kicker (Johnson).. I can handle it myself with no problems.

I don't use it like I use to cause I don't hunt the WMA any more. I took quite a few deer back in the swamps I hunted 15 yrs ago.. PS Good Luck & get there early so you don't jump the deer that's bedded ;-)

January 10, 2014, 06:34 AM
In my opinion, the ideal size hunting boats are 14-16ft in length with at least a 48" wide bottom. Surface drive, mudmotor, or outboard according to what kind of water you will be going on. My friend had a Gheenoe and that thing was pretty awesome. It sat real low on the water and was very stable even with 2 big guys and a bunch of duck hunting gear. You will want a motor that will let the boat plane out even with a load in it. I can't describe how frustrating it is to not be able to get up on a plane especially when your "spot" is a few miles away.

January 11, 2014, 12:07 PM
All of our guided bear hunts in SE Alaska are from a boat. Either an aluminum skiff, or a zodiac. It's all roadless islands in the areas we hunt so we glass the shore lines for beach combing bears. Or in fall stalk wade, walk up the salmon streams looking for bears.

January 14, 2014, 12:11 AM
Thanks for all the great info guys. I'm currently torn between a gheenoe with a 25 hp Yamaha 4 stroke, and a gator trax rogue with (prodrive?) Mini 27 hp surface drive.

I feel that the gator trax would get me more places, be more helpful during hurricanes and such, and the aluminum would do better bumping into stumps and cypress knees and such.

But the gheenoe would be faster, more comfortable, better in choppy water, and just plain cooler. IL probably have to go with the little gator trax...

January 14, 2014, 02:35 PM
First boat I hunted from was a fully decked 3 seater 12" aluminum and stainless steel bottom airboat with a conti 0-470-f as our camp was well off the beat'n path in the everglades. dad took it as trade from a guy that could not pay for his AC system and he never had interest in it so at 16 me , my ole truck and that boat spent lots of time in the glades frog'n and harvesting deer as you could shoot from a boat back then. Than was 42 years ago !! I have or had one photo. It was not good 20 years ago so don't hold much stock in finding it today.

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