How to Duck Hunt Out of a Jon Boat


Jon boats are useful tools for duck hunters who hunt over water. Hunters can load all of their equipment into the boats and then paddle or motor to their hunting spot. Rather than hunt from land, some hunters decide to stay in the boat and hunt from it. Jon boats also are useful in instances where it is not possible to hunt on land and hunters need conceal themselves among cattails, reeds or other emergent vegetation.

Things You'll Need

  • Jon boat
  • Oars or motor
  • Shotgun
  • Shells
  • Decoys
  • Blind material
  • Dog
  • Load your decoys, guns, shells and other equipment into the boat. Load everything in so the weight is evenly distributed throughout the boat. This will reduce the risk of the boat tipping.

  • Motor or row to your designated hunting spot and set out your decoys. Jon boats are especially useful for getting to places that would be difficult to reach with larger boats, like river backwater areas. Space your decoys far enough apart that ducks can land between them, but make sure your entire spread is within your shooting range.

  • Maneuver the boat against the shoreline, or among emergent vegetation. Use the vegetation to conceal the boat, especially that part that faces the decoys. If there is no vegetation, set up blind material on the side of the boat facing the decoys. Either way, you will be visible to ducks flying overhead, but at least partially concealed from the birds that approach your decoy spread.

  • Scan the sky for ducks. Crouch down when you see a flock that seems like it is going to fly near your decoys. Keep an eye on the birds, but make yourself as small as possible to reduce the chance that they will see you and veer off.

  • Shoot from a seated position, and try not to shift your weight much as you are shooting. Even though your boat is in shallow water, falling in would be dangerous.

  • Send your dog to retrieve any ducks you kill. While the birds will float, it's a good idea to retrieve them as soon as you shoot them. That will reduce your risk of being unable to find them later on.


  • Photo Credit duck image by Henryk Olszewski from
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