At the risk of being hammered for my feebleness and "turd missions," I have some questions about hunting out of a layout boat for mallards. After I retired from teaching in Florence, I headed to Klamath Falls area of Oregon. I built a layout boat similar to the Mighty Layout Boys, but without the splash back shield. Although I love the design, I made it too heavy for me in terms of dragging and lifting up to the truck bed. (110 pounds.) The few times I used it in Oregon on shallow ponds with tulles, it worked great. I built up a frame for my lab. The actual height from the water to the combing is eleven inches, but with the alum. framing for the dog and me sitting up reached 24-inches. Hunting the East Bay of Flathead Lake is tough because I do not have the strength to drag it over weeds and muck to get to good cover. OK, listen I am not whining about creeping old age, but I do have physical impairments. I have little use of my right shoulder and arm so I have to have my shotgun propped up. Second, I have had two blood clots in both eyes and I have lost about 40% vision. Stop! I am not looking for sympathy or getting flamed. Here is the problem. I can't lay down flat because I can not lift my shotgun very high. I can not pass shot. They have bierds come into the dekes. Second, I have to move my head to scan the horizon. Compounding the problem is that I have been bringing my yellow lab, and he is worse than I am for flashing his face. So, I will leave him behind. Here are my questions to those of you experienced in hunting from a layout boat.
1. Is it possible to bring in mallards out on the mud flats with no cover and without completely laying down in a prone position?
2. What is the highest level I could keep my head up? (I will have some cover over my head.)
3. Is 18 dekes enough?
4. I just never got around to buying a Robo duck. If I get one, how far away from the layout boat should it be?
5. How far away should my dekes be from the boat?
6. If I pulled the layout boat out with a motorized boat, how far away should I anchor the other boat? (Just an idea.)
I'll go back to putting camo on my face. I wear glasses and the masks fogged up my glasses. I am a better duck boat builder than I am a duck hunter, but I need to get back to basics because one never knows how many seasons are left. I hope someone has some advice. My guess is that I will be told I need to lay down flat, quit moving my face, leave the dog home and invest in 100 to 200 bluebill and redhead decoys and move out in the bay. Oh, well...