What Safety Precaution Should You Take When Hunting from a Boat?

Having a successful boat hunting day is such a sweet adventure. You must, however, be intentional about your safety.

Before planning your next boat hunting excursion, take a minute and read through our article to find out what safety precautions you should take when hunting from a boat. 

Apart from use of proper equipment, the number #1 precaution tip is the most important. It will save you from falling overboard.

Precautions To Take When Hunting From a Boat?

Take a Boat Hunting Safety Course

Most states dictate that every boat user undertakes a boat safety course and acquires a valid hunting license.

A boat safety course allows you to handle the aircraft professionally.

The boat hunting safety course entails:

  • Basic swimming skills
  • Boat trip preparation
  • Boat emergencies and first aid administration
  • Boat safety gear
  • Popular boating sports like hunting
  • The state’s hunting laws
  • How to effectively remove water from a boat
  • How to avoid recreational drugs

You will be keen to observe the dos and don’ts of safe boat hunting.

Learn How To Swim

You are advised to take a preliminary swimming course before you embark on boat hunting.

Basic swimming skills are necessary for all boat users. These skills can be life-saving in the event of an accident.

Sometimes accidents are so unforeseen and you might not even get the time to put on and fasten a PFD.

Swimming skills will not only save you from drowning but will help you to rescue other boat members in case the boat capsizes.

Check The Weather

 A wise boat hunter lives by the popular saying, “Roll out when the clouds roll in”.

You must stay tuned to the weather forecast and cancel the trip in case of unfavorable weather conditions like storms.

If you plan to be on a hunting spree for more than a day, you need to do a long-term weather forecast. However, you need to check the updates in a shorter timeframe since weather conditions keep fluctuating.

The wind mostly influences your boating experience hence these tips will come in handy:

  •  Match the weather forecast to your boat.
  •  Know how much wind is safe or risky for your boat.
  • Use forecasting electronics to stay ahead of the wind.
  • Use your due diligence to know if the winds are safe or not.

Pack Smart

You don’t want to forget items you might need while offshore. You should therefore compile a list of the items you need in the order of your priority.

Make sure to include the following:

  • Warm drinking water
  •  Packed lunch or snacks
  • A valid boat hunting license
  • A fire-starting kit
  • A blanket
  • Compass
  • Waterproof storage for guns and ammunition
  • Water resistant lights
  • A float plan.

 A float plan contains the details of your boating r (the boat used, the number of passengers on board, and the schedule). This is the document the officers will use to rescue you in case of any emergencies.

Wear The Appropriate Personal Floatation Device

All boat users are advised to wear PFD while still on the shore. You don’t have to wait for the worst to happen to rush for the life jacket.

A U.S Coast Guard-approved life jacket is what we recommend. It must be well-fitting, worn before you board the boat, and maintained throughout the entire trip.

Make sure your lifejacket is in good condition; free from holes and rips.

You can also wear waterproof clothes (such as a float coat) to keep you warm in the cold winds.

Take a Hunting Buddy

Tag a best friend along when going for a boat hunting spree. Good company makes the adventure more enjoyable.

It will be best if your friend is an experienced boater who has undertaken a boat safety course so that you can count on them in case of any eventualities. You should create a boat plan together.

Your friend will help you look out for any possible danger. However, you will need to do the following to ensure maximum safety while on the boat:

  •  Employ a back-to-back sitting arrangement.
  • Strategize on proper firing. Plan individual firing zones; preferably 180° ahead of each other.
  • Firing in the same direction causes a double recoil which can make the boat capsize.
  • Watch each other’s movements. Your operations will be captured in your boat plan.

Take a Trained Hunting Dog

Carry a dog that understands its assignment well. Not one that freaks out in the storms.

Just because your dog is a jungle master, don’t assume that he will perform well in the sea.

It is also advisable that you get him a PFD as well.

Know Your Hunting Area

You must familiarize yourself with the zone you intend to go hunting.

You should keep off from restricted zones and private property. If you are permitted to go into such areas, make sure to shoot with utmost care not to cause damage and fatalities.

Also, look out for the recommended entry points. These points are mostly marked for the public to see.

Be Well Rested

Hunting on a boat is an exercise that demands a sober mind.

You should get enough sleep the night before the hunting day and refrain from taking any drugs.

Use Proper Equipment

  1. Boat

The boat you choose must be well-serviced and fit for the hunting activity. You must take a short test ride to confirm that the boat is in good working condition.

Also, choose the right size of the boat depending on:

  • The gear you wish to apply when hunting.
  •  The number of occupants you will tag along.
  •  The experience you intend to have.

Modern design boats like the inflatables and pontoon boats allow you to navigate through the waters and still hunt.

  1. Firearm

Since you are on a hunting spree, a firearm comes in handy. However, ultimate care is needed when handling it.

Your firearm must be well-loaded before you set off for the seas and placed safely in the bow.

Follow these tips to ensure that you use your firearm appropriately while hunting in a boat:

  •  Use a waterproof case to cover your gun.
  •   Keep the gun out of reach of unauthorized persons.
  •  It must be set to shoot when you seize your prey. It should never go off while in transit.
  • Never pull the trigger when the boat is in motion. You must turn off the motor before firing.
  • Position your fingers strategically outside the trigger guard as you prepare to shoot.
  • Get a convenient seating position
  • If you are in a sailboat, furl your sails first then fire.

You should never shoot when the vessel is in motion. It will make the boat capsize.

  1. Apps and GPS

There are various Apps available for boat hunters such as Huntstand, Duck, and OnXmaps.

These apps show the wind direction, topographic features, and the people around you in case an emergency calls in.

You can download these apps from your Android play store.

  1. First Aid Kit

A first aid kit comes in handy in case of emergencies. You can use it to nurse minor injuries or resuscitate casualties in case of a major accident like drowning.

A proper emergency kit contains the following:

  •  Personal protective equipment (medical gloves, surgical masks, and eye protectors).
  •  Painkillers e.g. ibuprofen.
  •  Antiseptic wipes for wiping bleeding wounds.
  •  An antibiotic ointment.
  •  Pressure and an adhesive bandage.
  •   A chest seal to use on victims of chest trauma.
  • Quality gauze to nurse bleeding wounds.

Learn And Follow The Hunting Laws

You don’t want your adventure to land you in trouble hence acquaint yourself with the stipulated laws on hunting.

Most state laws require you to have the following documents before you set off for boat hunting:

  • A boating license
  • A hunting license
  • Tags and permits for the exercise
  •  A float plan

Final Thoughts

Successful boat hunting requires you to follow the above safety precautions carefully.

Ignorance and negligence can overturn a hunting spree into a regrettable experience.

Make sure you check the weather, wear proper safety devices and use a well-serviced boat on your next ride.

Remember to carry some tools that would help you in case of an accident. These include a safety kit, a compass in case you lose direction and a flotation plan to help life-saving agents locate you.

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