The first time you hunt from a sink-box can be slightly unnerving. Sitting at eye level to the water is not a perspective many hunters are accustomed to, but that’s part of why this hunt on Quebec’s Lake Saint Pierre is so exhilarating.
A natural widening of the St. Lawrence River, Saint Pierre is 40 kilometres long and 24 kilometres wide, encompassing almost 13,000 hectares of channels and marshes that attract thousands of staging and migrating waterfowl each fall. From a sink-box, you can experience a hunt that harkens back to the days of market gunning, when hunters set out to maximize their harvest.
Modern sink-box platforms are oblong, about four metres long by two metres wide, with a steel box suspended in the middle. If the waves pick up, a ratchet system allows you to raise the box a few centimetres to prevent water from spilling in over the sides. With the sink-box surrounded by decoys, you’re nearly invisible to approaching ducks, so shooting opportunities can be at very close range.
There are few waterfowl hunts as unique as gunning from a sink-box
When you hit the migration just right, flights of bluebills, redheads and goldeneye provide plenty of action, although from the unfamiliar water-level perspective, it can take a flurry or two to get your shooting eye trained. Between flights, a tender boat idles a few hundred yards away, ready to pick up any downed birds. If you’re up for a new experience, there are few waterfowl hunts as unique as gunning from a sink-box.