I've fished out of the 12' Pack Old Town. I think this is the 30 something pounder you have (I like it better than a kayak because it carries a lot of weight and is easy to handle). Take it out without any gear and find the tip point - once it goes it is gone. I don't know if you have the cane or plastic seat but I know people lower the seat in order to increase stability. I would do that if I were hunting out of it (I haven't). Get a 230 or larger kayak paddle - more efficient than a canoe paddle with a j-stroke.
You've got the boat nailed. That's the one, with the web seat, not the kayak seat. I didn't like the kayak seat because it was too low and prevented kneeling. And you've also nailed the reasons why I got it over a kayak; it carries gear more easily and is easier to carry.
Once the water warms up I do plan on taking it out and tipping it and practicing re-entry. I've found the "instability" to be overblown IMO, as it went away after the first 15 minutes or so on the water. Of course, I bicycle, ice skate (sort of), have done rock climbing, kayaking, and have canoed some in the past. I can stand in an Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 without tipping, so I imagine this canoe will be fine.
FWIW, I currently work at a sporting goods store, so I have test paddled various kayaks and this canoe before. We also sell firearms, ammunition and fishing equipment!