All of the sewing is done and I included brushing straps on the flip blind doors to insert brushing material. I planned to use zip ties on the mesh panels at the bow and stern and on the dog blind. The original plan was to use Avery Killer Weed, a Rafia grass product, over the whole boat. That didn’t work out as well as planned…
First Attempt = Failure
I blended Avery Killer Weed’s All-Terrain and Cattail Slough together thinking it would be an effective color combination. Here’s how I applied it.
I experimented with the end panels first and applied the brushing material with zip ties.
The dog blind was next.
I zip tied the material to the brushing straps on the flip blind doors.
There are three rows of brushing straps on each door and I cut the material to slightly overlap the lower layer.
Here’s the final product…very brushy! I applied way too much to the doors. Once Killer Weed gets wet, it gets heavy. Less is better.
Unfortunately, it was the wrong color. We nailed our opening day location at a remote wild rice lake and saw hundreds of ducks. However, we were the wrong color and all the birds flared before committing to our decoys. I was so frustrated, that I cut $150 worth of Killer Weed off and threw it in the trash when I got home! That was rash as I should have cut only half of it off and blended in natural material with it…OOPS!
I decided to go with all natural brushing material.
I sewed brushing straps on the end panels to make this easier.
Here’s the boat with all natural brushing material.
I cut some vegetation from the area we hunt. Here it is resting in front of the dog blind. You can see that the color is a good match. We now have ducks landing in the decoys or at least coming for a close pass that often proves fatal.
Here’s a photo from today’s hunt. We weren’t a perfect match, but were close. We cut vegetation from behind us and threw it on the boats. Some mallards decoyed and we took home two.
A closer view. We were packing up, so you see some decoy bags in the background. Copper’s face can be seen, but that doesn’t seem to flare the ducks.
We’re learning the importance of matching your location on the day of the hunt. The only way to do this is with natural vegetation. We carry machetes to supplement our brushing job and blend it in better. All-natural brushing material is sort of a pain as it needs to be topped off before every hunt. I don’t load the boat with a tremendous amount of brushing material, so the brush that falls off needs to be replaced before the next hunt.
We’re enjoying some successful hunts and had diver ducks just pouring into our decoys the other day. We limited out quickly and rowed home early!
Next season I plan to add a thin base layer of Rafia grass in a better matched color. I’ll then supplement that with natural vegetation to blend in at the hide sight.
1. I’m glad we built the Kara Hummer boats. It’s an awesome design.
2. Building them heavy was a double-edged sword…they’ll last a very long time, but they’re difficult to cart around on muddy trails.
3. I would consider using CPES from the Rot Doctor to seal up much of the boat if I were hoping to build a lighter boat. I’m using it on my teardrop camper build and am quite impressed with the product so far.
4. Our outfitting job made all the difference in comfort and utility. The flip blind doors keep you warm and dry in the worst weather. The layout board is comfortable enough to sleep on… we take turns napping during longer hunts. The dogs squeeze into their blinds well and are comfortable for hours at a time.
5. My fancy oarlocks weren’t worth the hassle while rowing through heavy, early season wild rice. I switched to cheap, clamp-on oar locks. The ash oars are great and absolutely bomb-proof.
6. One boat couldn’t do it all for our hunting environment. Later in the season, I bought a used 13’ solo canoe for hunting the most remote lakes by myself. I plan to make brushing panels for it and will use it similar to a layout boat.
7. These make great fishing boats for small lakes. We absolutely love our pedestal seat conversion for the summer fishing season.
8. I’d build this boat again without hesitation.
That’s it for my Kara Hummer build blog! I hope it proves helpful to fellow builders.
-- Mark, Minnesota