Like any other type of hunting, boat hunting has its own precautions. Boat hunting can get dangerous if you don’t follow its safety precautions, which are simple and easy to keep in mind always.
These safety precautions will help you to keep safe all through your hunting trip and will do a great job at boosting your confidence. But what safety precaution should you take when hunting from a boat?
In this post, I will give you some of the top safety precautions that every boat hunter should practice. Hopefully, they will be of help, and that at the end of this post, you would have improved your boat hunting prowess.
With that said, here are the best safety precautions that you can practice when out hunting in a boat.
Always Wear a Protective Flotation Device
There is no shortcut to wearing a personal floating device (PFD) if you are out hunting or just riding in your boat. The PFD is an important safety gear that’ll keep you afloat in case you fall in the water and can or cannot swim.
PFD is again important for guys who hunt during the cold season since cold water can be very dangerous. In case you fall inside, your body can get into a state of shock that can turn fatal so quickly.
PFD keeps you afloat no matter the circumstance and indeed is the main difference between life and death.
Never Overload Your Boat
For some people, this may seem like a joke – but it is not. Every boat has its weight limit. This means the maximum amount of weight that it can support.
However, when this weight is exceeded, the boat will sink. So read through your user manual to determine what the weight limit of your boat actually is.
Please work with the weight that your boat can handle such that you keep it afloat, easy to control, and safe. It is a simpler way of getting a great experience.
Use Space Wisely
Apart from knowing the weight limit of your boat, you must use the space wisely. Here is why. For most hunting boats, space is something that you won’t have in plenty. What this means is that you must use it wisely.
Do not overload one side of the boat while you leave the other side empty. This is another recipe for disaster. Instead, the best thing that you can do is to distribute the weight in your boat evenly.
This maximizes stability and prevents the boat from overturning. It places the center of gravity in the right place and leaves you with easy paddling and controlling experience.
Keep Your Deck Properly Organized
While it might not be evident until you try it out, keeping your deck organized allows you to handle your shooting gun quite easily. Nonetheless, these same tips will allow you to have a better casting experience in case you were out fishing.
Here are a few tips that can help you to keep your deck clean and neat at all times. They a simple and easy to remember.
- Keep hooks inside a tackle box
- Keep your arrows inside their quiver
- Store knives in sheathes
- Keep your catch in a cold box
- Fishing rods should be kept on rod holders
Cast and Shoot in Proper Position
Maintain your balance in a moving boat can be tricky. That’s why you need to shoot or cast while in the right position. So which is the correct position when casting or shooting in your boat?
Don’t shoot or cast while standing in the boat. You could easily lose your balance and fall into the water. In addition to that, ensure that you’ve got a clear path that you can use to get in and out of the boat easily.
Dress to Match the Climate
You have the right clothes for the type of climate that you will meet when casting is very important. If you are hunting during the summer, chances are it will be sunny outside, so wear clothes that are breathable and which provide a good air wicking touch.
Again, you should wear clothes that are long, warm, and thick during the cold winter season. Gloves, waterproof jackets, thick socks, and beanies will come in handy during the winter season too.
Proper clothing helps you to prevent sicknesses, hypothermia, and protects you from the harmful sun’s UV rays.
NOTE: Since the deck of your boat is likely to get wet, it is advisable that you wear shoes that have got a non-slipping sole.
Have a First Aid and Emergency Kit
Again, if you are wondering what safety precaution should you take when hunting from a boat, this should always form your checklist.
Never forget a first aid kit. Remember that any boating activity can become fatal faster. And before the lifesavers get down their is could be too late. The best thing to do is to have a first aid kit.
Your kit should contain some of the most basic caregiving medicare accessories that you can use to handle minor injuries. These include:
- Meds (acetaminophen and ibuprofen)
- Emergency blankets
- Plastic gloves
The list is not complete. You should find every necessary caregiving supply that you can have in your first aid kit.
Learn How to Handle Your Weapon Safely
It is common sense that a gun shouldn’t be corked when not in use. However, you can only know this if you’ve used a gun before. In short, learning how to handle your weapon safely will prevent accidents.
Practice how to use your weapon so that you understand every safe weapon handling technique too. Some of the best weapon handling safety tips include the following:
- Keep the gun’s muzzle pointing downwards.
- Keep your finger off the trigger unless you are shooting
- Monitor how the boat moves before you can shoot
- Ensure you know what lies behind your target when shooting
- Memorize safe weapon handling techniques
Learn How to Swim
The surest way to remain safe in the water is to learn how to swim. This is irrespective of wearing the PFD. Learning how to swim will help you to save yourself in case the boat overturns, and you are closer to the shore.
You can also swim to the nearest rock, log, or any floating device that you can find around. This is a sensible thing to do if you are going to hunt from water.
Check Your Personal Gear
Depending on the gears that you have carried, you must ensure that they are all working and in great shape. From your fishing rods, guns, range finders to kayak, make sure that every gear is in its best condition.
- Look for holes on the kayak’s hull
- Check the paddle’s blade
- Look for any fuel leakages in motorized boats
- Inspect the gun’s barrel
NOTE: A hunting or fishing gear that works best will leave you with more efficiency and a better experience too. It is easy to handle and will amount to a bigger and better catch every time that you step out.
Beware of Your Surrounding
You could be so into what you are doing that you’ll forget what’s happening around you. Needless to say, you’ll be making a huge mistake. If you were on your own, it could get worse if you do that.
Remember to look out for the winds, changes in tides, clouds, and any other dangerous animals around the shore. It’s a huge job, but someone got to do it.
Manage Your Speed
Do not ride your boat so fast that you can hardly control it. A manageable speed limit is very important, especially when you are riding on your own or if you are nearing the docking areas and the piers. Do not endanger the lives of other people while at the same time risking your own.
Take the Right Lessons
Apart from the boating lessons, angling and hunting will take time to master. Make sure that you learn every one of them. For boating, here are some of the things that you should learn before you get out there.
- Engine control
So, what safety precaution should you take when hunting from a boat? In my opinion, practicing safe boat hunting precautions is the thin line between success and disaster.
In other words, there is no shortcut to having an awesome hunting experience. If you are looking for the best time when out hunting with your pet, loved ones, or close friends, these hunting safety tips that I have rounded up here must stay with you.
Make sure that you apply them where they are necessary. Do not rush into choosing tips that won’t help you. Remember again that you can always combine the safety precautions to get the best out of every hunting experience that you have.
More importantly, understand your type of hunting and the dangers it entails if you don’t practice these safety tips.
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