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The Newest Products

Waterfowl-Works has introduced its 2 man layout boat. The Legacy

Layout Hunt Guides

Looking for a Guide that provides Layout Hunting? Here is a list of Guides we would suggest.

Down East Sea Ducks
Caribou Creek Outfitters
Reedy Creek Outfitters

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  Copyright 2008

Open Water Layout Hunting

Rapidly becoming a renewed style of waterfowling, layout hunting history  goes back to the commercial hunting industry of our fore fathers, in which layout boats quickly replaced sinkboxes (now illegal in the United States) of commercial waterfowlers.

The principle, layout hunting from a boat is very much like layout hunting in a field, in which you literally lay down to create a low profile. Layout hunting from a boat is based on the fact that diver ducks  in flight skim just above the water.  Flying  low they can't look down and see you, so to hide, you lie in a boat riding so close to the surface that your decoys conceal your profile. Unlike traditional styles of hunting layout hunting is generally close in your face fast paced shooting. Lastly layout hunting does not require getting up at 2am to secure your favorite spot. or being set up and ready for first flight. Diver ducks will fly around all day in search of food and rest. Scouting can provide some very fast and quick action from the true Open water layout boat.

Layout hunting is not for the weak at heart, it requires a crew of  3 people minimum and a tender boat capable of holding 100 decoys (blocks), the layout boat, and the hunting crew and all their gear. Layout hunting is done generally in the worst conditions mother nature could provide so Safety is the ultimate concern. And we should never second guess our surroundings and mother nature when using a layout boat. A orange flag, cell phone 2 way radio's are a must.  The tender operator and gunner in the layout should each have a radio or cell phone and the gunner should also have some sort of distress flag incase the radio or phone gets wet and does not work. The Tender should be within eye site of the rig and paying close attention to what is happening around him at all times.  Remember that the gunner is quite safe inside the layout however anything is possible and Full attention must be paid to the gunner in the layout at all times.

A true open water layout boat is designed to sit low on the water and blend into the background so the incoming knots of diver ducks cannot distinguish the hunter laying waiting patiently as the flight of birds enter the run way headed straight into the set.  The Layout Boat is anchored and then 100+ diver duck decoys are set using longline methods. Each long line is strung holding 10-18 decoys per line and generally set creating a runway type of approach for the incoming waterfowl to follow. Several pods of decoys are set around the boat to help hide its profile as well.  The hunters will switch places after the gunner has taken his turn in the layout. Generally until he fills his limit or gets to take a few shots what ever arrangement is made. The Tender will pull along side the layout and remove the gunner from the layout and then switch duties and again pull up to the layout and place the new gunner into the layout for his turn.

Layout hunting is definitely something I would strongly recommend to everyone to try. There are several guides using layout boats in there fleet and hiring a guide for a layout hunting trip would be a great way to see if you like the style. In my years I have yet to find someone who does not like hunting from a layout boat. While its a lot of work the Rewards far out way the work.

Written by Tony Homer 2008

Layout Boats
Looking to purchase a true open water layout boat? Try these Manufacturers.
Bankes Boats
Layout Boat Plans
4 Rivers Boats
Bobcat Boats
Muddy Water Boats
Lock Stock and Barrel
Mighty Layout Boys

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Marsh Boats

A versatile craft sometimes referred to as a layout boat.

FA Brand
Duck Water Boats
Arthur Armstrong Boats
Jammer Boats
Lock Stock and Barrel
Bankes Boats
4 Rivers Boats
Bobcat Boats
Mighty Layout Boys

Featured Guides

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