It turns out that Poole Harbour’s famous Pool canoes were not always flat-bottomed skiffs developed for use with a small outboard motor – in their earlier versions they were double ended rowing boats used for wildfowling.
There’s some interesting history about punt gunning here, including some stuff about the dangers of dealing with all that recoil when your boat is light and tiny, and the gunner is likely on their own, and some slightly disturbing stuff about ‘droppers’ and ‘cripples’ and ‘your man’ collecting the spoils.
PS – Retronaut has some good gun punt images here
PPS – And there’s a striking illustration of the power of these guns here. And no, it’s still not something I’d want to do.