Hunting and fishing from a boat are incredibly fun and can make for a thrilling experience. They are two of the most practiced hobbies around the world. Hunting from a boat combines the two into one sport. Pretty neat.
However, there is a risk involved. Just one accident and the fun time can turn into a dark experience for your family. In this article, we will talk about the safety precautions you should take when hunting from a boat.
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The Safety Precautions You Should Follow When Hunting From A Boat
If you love hunting from a boat, you have to be safe. Some safety precautions are mentioned here to make your next fishing or hunting trip as safe as it can be.
It is not always about what you do when you are in danger that may or may not save your life. Some things are to be done beforehand that can potentially prevent the dangerous situation even before it happens. Be sure to –
- Check Your Gear
You should check all your gears each time you go haunting. Make sure they are working properly. If your boat has an engine, be sure to check if it is working correctly.
Check the fuel line; if there is any sign of leakage, replace it even if it takes up extra time. Don’t forget to bring fire starting Kit and whistles and similar attention-grabbers.
- Keep First Aid And Emergency Kit At All Times
One of the most important things for any kind of boating activity is to bring first aid and an emergency kit box. Bandages, band-aids, emergency blankets, tourniquets, scissors, antiseptic, meds like acetaminophen and ibuprofen, and plastic gloves are items that any first aid kit should have.
With these kits, you should be able to take care of any minor wound. It is a good idea to keep a flare gun, extra snacks, water, batteries, and an emergency whistle.
- Don’t Overload Your Boat
Most of the time, people use a small craft for hunting. So, it’s necessary to know how much weight your boat can handle. This way, you can make sure your boat is not going to sink due to being overweight. If you choose to ignore it, you may have to face serious consequences or be forced to throw stuff away later on.
- Dress According To The Season
Dressing up according to the season is quite important. In case it’s summer, you should put on breathable clothes with light colors to reflect the sun. A pair of glasses to protect your eyes from sunlight is also important. Using polarized shades will be recommended.
But if it’s winter, you should wear long, warm clothes. Gloves, beanies, thick socks, waterproof jacket or poncho, and boots are all excellent choices for this kind of weather. Or you can go out in your summer suit. I am not here to judge. I am here to try to save a life, not to force.
- Know The Weather
You have to keep your eyes on weather forecasting. Know your limits and don’t do any suicidal act like hunting in stormy weather.
You’ll likely have your phone on you anyway. But you may struggle to get a signal. So always keep a radio standby on your boat to further ensure safety. If you get any warning from the weather forecasting center, then don’t hesitate and get back to land as fast as possible.
- Have A Plan, And Make It Known
Inform a relative or a friend where you are going, what you will be doing, an estimated time and location, and how long you will be gone. If you are in trouble and do not make it in time, they can reach out with help. This way, the chance of your survival will increase.
- Learn How To Swim
Wearing a life jacket or PFD will keep you from drowning, but it won’t get you to safe, dry land. Hence, it would be best if you still learned how to swim. In case your boat sinks, you might need to swim back to shore or the nearest rock. Therefore, it’s necessary to know how to swim. It’s mandatory if you are hunting solo.
- Learn safety Drills
Learning safety drills is an important part. It increases the surviving rate. In the case of hunting, applying a tourniquet and how to bandage a wound is mandatory.
Practice how to swim while grabbing an unconscious person. Learning CPR could prove to be useful in case of an accident. You should also be acquainted with the type of buoys and have proper knowledge about the markers in the water.
On The Field
If your preparation is good enough, you should not fall victim to a deadly situation unprepared. But still, something has to be done in case you do find yourself in a pickle. When you are on the boat, be sure to –
- Always Wear A Life Jacket/Protective Flotation Device
Firstly, always wear a life jacket or any other personal flotation device. You should wear one even if you know how to swim. In fact, wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) is mandatory in some waters.
Especially in cold water where your body loses heat faster, and your muscles go numb because of cold. It’s better to get help from your companion if you are not alone because the faster you move at this time, the faster your body loses heat.
- Don’t Shoot Or Cast From A Standing Position
If you are using a small boat, then you have to worry about tipping over. When you cast your line, you use all of your body in a sudden fast move. And if you are standing, the center of gravity will be higher.
Thus, you may fall because of unstable balance. So, it’s better to cast when sitting down, even if it’s a little challenging. It’s safer this way.
- Distribute The Weight Evenly
Boats, kayaks, and other small crafts are more unstable than larger vessels. If you are using one of these, then you must make sure to distribute the weight as evenly as possible. Otherwise, you may tip over and fall into the water at the time of hunting. Falling into cold water is quite dangerous if you are on your own. So, be careful.
- Keep Your Deck Clean And Organized
A clean and organized deck makes your hunting easier. You should have a clear path to get in and get out of the boat without any problem. So, it’s better to keep all the gear on either side of the boat and properly tied down if necessary. Make sure to clean the deck every time after hunting and keep the deck dry as much as possible.
- Remember To Stay Hydrated
Don’t forget to bring food and enough water on board. Store them at a safe place in your boat.
A protein-rich food is better for fishing and hunting trips. It is a good way to refuel your energy. Dehydration is common among inexperienced people. So, keep drinking water and stay hydrated.
- Leave All Drinks At The Shore
Try to avoid drinking at the time of hunting. Better to leave them at the shore. Remember, alcohol dulls your senses, but it is the key part of hunting. The same applies to drugs. Don’t use them when on board or even before setting out.
If you are hunting for the first time on a boat, it’s better to go out with someone with a lot of experience. If you are not sure about the regulations, contact your city’s local municipality specializing in hunting and boating. They can provide you with the necessary information.
Hunting and fishing from a boat are quite dangerous on their own. But you can take these precautions to make your trip as safe as possible. And lastly, use your common sense to avoid any danger.