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Best New Waterfowl Boats & Motors for 2015

by David Hart   |  July 28th, 2015 0

Snow pelted us, the rush of cold air finding every gap in our layers of clothing. Whoever said getting there is half the fun never tried to reach open water across three miles of sheet ice in a Utah winter storm.

The few minutes of agony were worth it, though. Avery’s Josh Noble eased back on his airboat’s throttle, tapped me on the shoulder and pointed. Ducks by the hundreds—green-wings, shovelers and goldeneyes mostly—lifted off the open water of the Great Salt Lake.

Noble shot his seven-bird limit just minutes after we set up. I shot mine nearly as fast. Even better, there wasn’t another hunter in sight.

That’s the beauty of duck boats these days: Choose the right one, and you can reach places many other hunters can’t. There is some type of vessel perfectly suited for every hunter and every type of duck hunting. Big, sturdy sleds designed for the salt, man-powered skiffs ideal for secret sloughs, airboats for ice or skinny water and johnboats for everything else.

Of course, it takes power to get a boat to the birds. For every rig on the market, there’s the right motor for it. Today’s mud motors are more reliable and powerful than ever. They push boats across dense mats of vegetation and boot-sucking mud and skim over water a regular outboard could never cross.

Getting there isn’t always half the fun, but with the right rig, you can rest easy knowing you’ll get to the ducks.

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