Many hunters use vessels for duck hunting or to get to their favorite hunting grounds. If you are using your vessel to hunt, you should: Understand that you are still responsible for obeying all boating laws and should follow all safe boating rules. Take extra precautions to avoid capsizing or swamping your vessel. Hunting from a boat differs greatly from hunting on the ground. First of all, the most obvious difference is that you will be hunting on water, which increases the dangers by tenfold. Second, when hunting boats, different rules apply. We should take some slightly different safety precautions to make your hunting trip as safe as possible. So we’re going to be ans in this article.
What Safety Precaution Should You Take When Hunting from a Boat?
1. Learn how to swim
It’s a no-brainer tip. If you’re going to be near a body of water anywhere, of course, you’re going to have to learn how to swim. Whether the said water body is deep or shallow, swimming skills can save your life or that of someone else. It’s also best if your hunting buddies all know how to swim because it’s hard to get everyone to safety if one or two of them don’t know how to swim to shore, for example, if a boat is capsizing.
Before you go on your boat, you should also come up with a safety plan. Where is the nearest shoreline if the boat is capsizing? How are you going to stay together for safety while swimming? And if this happens, how do you get back on the boat? To be extra safe, you need to think ahead.
2. Wear a life jacket or personal floatation device (PFD)
Just like an orange hunting high-visibility vest, a personal floatation device is a piece of clothing that can save your life. So, whenever you go in or near the water, you should always wear one. A PFD may also come in camouflage print, so that during boat hunting you can mix in with your surroundings. The bottom line is: make sure your PFD is always strapped to your body, even if it’s hot. The first priority should be your safety. It’s also recommended that you make sure you have your own PFD on your boat. I also think it’s best, apart from that, to keep a spare in the compartment of your boat at all times, just in case.
3. Know when to fire a weapon
Whether you’re hunting with a hunting rifle or a bow and arrow, the same rule applies: just fire your gun once your boat is still and anchored and the engine is turned off. Also, make sure you’re sitting before firing your gun. If you fail to do so, your boat may turn over and/or cause you to drop off.
4. Make sure you have a hunting license and know the local laws on boat hunting
You should, of course, always bring in your pack your validated hunting license. Keep it on your body or in your pocket if possible. Besides that, it’s also mandatory that you review your area’s local laws on hunting and fishing. This will prevent any legal issues that might arise if you do otherwise.
5. Pack smart
Overloading your boat is capsizing. You should always make sure that your load is balanced and not excessive, whether the baggage is people or gear. Just pack the necessary items on your boat and leave the rest on the shore or in your car to make sure you don’t overload. Food, water, weapons, ammo, an ice box, a kit of first aid and a communication device are some of the essential things.
You should also make sure that animals or other hunters are safe from the stuff you leave on the shore. Hide or secure them in a safe place where possible. Better yet, in your car, leave them. Tip: Pack small equipment and supplies in plastic resealable bags to keep them dry if you drop them in the water or if the boat is capsizing. This is best for things such as phones, GPS, food, flashlight, lighter, etc.
6. Wear the right clothes
If you’re out hunting in the wilderness, cold is one of the biggest enemies. In the case of boat hunting, cold water is next to capsizing your greatest danger. You should therefore always make sure that you are dressed properly for the weather of the day. Under a waterproof jacket (which, in turn, should be under a PFD), thick clothing is recommended. If you bring an extra set of clothes on your boat just in case you get wet, it would also be wise. Also, your hunting boots should be well-insulated so that while hunting you don’t get cold feet. You should be very, very careful not to get wet if you’re hunting in cold water. Getting soaked or even dampened by cold water will make you more likely to get hypothermia.
7. Make sure to bring a trained hunting dog
Hunting on a boat is another obvious safety tip, but most hunters choose to ignore it. If you’re on a boat, it’s definitely no-no to drink alcohol or take recreational drugs. It can be a disaster recipe, which is completely unnecessary. Save the alcohol when you’re on the shore, therefore. Bring a radio or book to keep you entertained if you get bored during a boat ride.
Boat hunting is a serious affair, and safety tips about this type of hunting should not be taken lightly. You should always know what safety precautions you should take when hunting from a boat for all hunters who are hunting on a boat or for those planning to try it out. They shouldn’t be too hard to follow at all, and you should seriously treat them as they could save the life of yourself or someone else. I hope you’ve picked up from this article a lot of safety tips. Please feel free to leave them in the comments below if you have any questions or comments about this article. Share this with your hunting friends so that you can quickly round them up for a boat hunting trip! Thank you very much for reading!