What safety precautions should you take when hunting from a boat?

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When planning on boat hunting, it is natural to start thinking about the safety measures. Water bodies can present all different sorts of risks, particularly in the remote and uninhabited regions that we usually choose for hunting. So, doing a bit of research, being prepared mentally, physically, and with the equipment is quite essential.

In this article, we discuss and list some of the basic safety tips for you to keep in mind the next time you go out into the waters for hunting from a boat.

Safety precautions to take when hunting from a boat

Check out the laws of the region, carry license

You probably know this- the hunting laws (or for that matter, all kinds of laws) may be different in different regions. A bit ahead of your boat-hunting trip, do a little research on the local laws on hunting in the region to where you are headed. Ideally, make sure you have any license or pass etc., if you are entering a restricted territory. The last thing you’d want when your hunting is going great is being in trouble for petty legal requirements you didn’t heed to.

Learn how to swim

The arguments that you are carrying a life-jacket and every other essential doesn’t lower the importance of knowing how to swim when you are going to hunt from a boat. There couldn’t be unexpected situations when you are in the waters and there can be deadly situations, depending on the region you are headed to. Sometimes, people don’t get enough time to even fasten their life-jackets.  Knowing how to swim will not just give you confidence, but also a better chance at survival if things go south.

Be well-rested before the hunt

Taking a good, long rest before you are out on the hunt will not only let you enjoy the hunt to the fullest but will also let you be alert and in your best senses- something that really matters when you are hunting from a boat.

Pack balanced and smart: don’t overload

It is good to plan in advance for your boat hunting trip. Plan and pack smartly, according to the number of people on, and the capacity of the boat. Do not overload the boat with things that aren’t absolutely necessary, they just speed up the capsizing or sinking if something goes wrong.

Inspect the boat

More thorough, the better. In case you aren’t exactly sure what to look for and where to look for, hire, or take help from somebody who does. You really wouldn’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere on a non-functioning- or worse, a sinking boat.

Life jacket and appropriate clothing

We don’t need to say that it is an absolute must. It doesn’t matter if you are a pro-level swimmer- life jacket is a must. Unprecedented situations are specialties of water bodies. While you are at it, don’t carry the life-jackets or floating equipment for the name-sake. Carry the good and reliable ones- ones that wouldn’t deflate or tear up at an average pressure. This is something you shouldn’t be compromising with.

Similarly, cloth appropriately, particularly if you live in regions with varying or cold temperatures. You should be prepared for survival in the worst-case scenario and being covered and clothed well enough is one of the basics.

Be in your senses: No alcohol and drugs

I know, I know, it can be very tempting to have some fun and loosen up when on a hunt- especially when the core motto behind the trip is having fun and relaxing. But, on waters, it wouldn’t as much of fun as it is a risk. Even when in your complete senses, there are enough risks involved in hunting from a boat. You most certainly don’t want the additional threats brought in by incompetence of senses. The simplest instance would be if you happen to fall out from the boat or if your boat overturns- you wouldn’t be able to react quickly or swim efficiently without being in your sense. So be very clear of it- no alcohol and drugs when hunting from a boat.

To note before firing from a boat:

Before you go ahead and fire a 223 rifles from a boat, make sure that-

  • Your boat has been brought to a complete stop
  • Your boat has been anchored
  • You are well-positioned and balanced
  • Preferably, you are seated.

You are careful when loading your gun up, more so if you have people around.

It is important because if you just take the shot without composing yourself first, you’ll probably end up throwing yourself off balance and even overturning the boat. Particularly, if you are not a well-experienced in hunting from a boat, it would be the most ideal to take time to compose and balance yourself and not to take risks of shooting from a moving boat.

Additional tips:

It is best to have company when you are going on hunting from a boat. While many of us prefer going out on a hunt alone, it would be best to not go alone when it comes to hunting in water. Now, given you are going as a team of two or more, divide shooting territories, way of communication, and duties so there is no confusion. Arrange seating angles and shooting territories in a way that covers 360 degrees. This would not give you a better chance at a successful hunt, but would also let you watch out properly for any imminent threats.

Plus, you should plan in advance the time frame for which you’ll be gone and let your people back at home know about it. This is so that just if you aren’t back within the planned time, they can alert the rescue team or guards if needed.

So, that is pretty much it. To wrap up, be wary of your surroundings, work with the local laws, carry life jackets, and be prepared for worst-case scenarios too. Things to avoid involve irresponsible attitude and alcohol or drugs.

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