Hunting with a companion brings not only fun, but a second pair of eyes – bettering your chances of capturing birds and remaining safe on your hunt. With a larger amount of ducks, the greater the opportunity; but safety still remains one of the major hunting concerns. Any picture-perfect hunt can become a nightmare if safety isn’t properly observed by both you and your companion. Knowing the main safety tips are crucial.
Duck Hunting in a Boat: Major Safety Tips
If you are hunting from a boat, you have to remember that you are responsible for obeying all boating laws and should follow all guidelines. Let’s examine the most prominent of them now.
- Ensure you are not overloading your vessel. Know its limits and make sure it can safely transport you, your hunting companion(s), your gear and your dog.
- Evenly distribute weight inside your vessel. Don’t forget to be careful as you load up or move around. Typically, hunting boats are flat-bottomed, so they are likely to tip over if care isn’t taken.
- Always wear a life jacket, and ensure that your mate wears one as well. Placing one on your dog might be a good idea too, as cold water can cause its muscles to cramp if it goes for a swim.
- Dress according to the weather conditions. Don’t forget that cold-water immersion can be deadly.
- If you fall overboard, try to climb back into or on top of the boat. If don’t succeed, try to stay close to the vessel and use decoys, oars or anything floating nearby that might help you stay afloat. If you fall into particularly cold water, remain clothed as it will help you retain body heat.
- Check your gear before every hunting trip.
- Install the Duckr app on your iPhone. (It has an SOS feature that can alert nearby Duckr users as well as an emergency contact that you are in need of immediate assistance) before getting on a boat.
- Always transport firearms safely with the action opened, unloaded and cased.
- Protect yourself once shouting, shooting, and other noises associated with hunting begin: wear hearing and eye protection. No duck is worth losing your eyesight or damaging your hearing for, right?
- There are different hunting safety courses out there, we recommend you to take one.
Now you’re a boat hunting safety expert, we suggest you also check this out. Below, we have prepared a list of boat hunting questions and their answers. Ready to test yourself and see how skillful you are?
General shooting issues
- Question: Where do you need to keep your finger until you’re ready to shoot?
Answer: You need to keep your finger outside the trigger guard.
- Question: There are four standard rifle firing positions. What’s the steadiest?
- Question: Can you fire shots when the motor is turned on?
Answer: No! You should not fire until the vessel is completely stopped the motor turned off, and the vessel properly anchored.
Zone of Fire for Two Hunters in a Boat
- Question: When hunting from a boat, what’s the safest position and why? What’s the zone-of-fire?
Answer: A back-to-back position with the zone-of-fire confined to 180 degrees in front of every hunter is the safest position, as firing in opposite directions maintains the boat’s stability.
- Question: Do you need to stand in a boat to take a shot? How come?
Answer: No! Don’t stand in a boat if you want to take a shot because you may fall or capsize the vessel.
- Question: What happens if two hunters are sitting back-to-back, then swing to the same side and start firing?
Answer: The double, unbalanced recoil will tip the boat in the opposite direction. That’s why other hunters are likely to be thrown off balance, capsizing the boat.
So, are you a real hunting expert? How did you do in the quiz?