Safe Boating Tips for Every Duck Hunter

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With the second split of duck season underway, it’s important to remember that “Duck hunters are boaters too.” Remember these safe boating tips the next time you prepare for the next duck hunt.

  • Wear a life jacket – Make sure everyone on board has on a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Several manufacturers make camouflage options that you can wear while hunting.
  • Use an engine cut-off switch – The boat operator should always connect the engine cut-off switch. This ensures the engine will shut off immediately, if the driver was to fall overboard.
  • File a float plan – Let someone you trust know the details of your hunting trip. Share simple information like departure location, expected return time, hunting location, and multiple ways to communicate with you.
  • Carry at least two communication devices – Cellphones often work when wet; however, don’t rely solely on a cellphone. Have another form of communication like a radio or PLB that will still work when wet.
  • Pack a first aid kit – It’s important to always have a first aid kit handy. Depending on your location, emergency response time may be slow, so have a stocked first aid kit to help with any situation you may encounter.
  • Always dress for the water temperature – No matter if you’re hunting flooded timber in waders or harvesting ducks from a boat, be mindful of the water temperature and dress accordingly. Carry spare changes of dry clothes in case anyone gets wet to prevent the onset of hypothermia. Learn about the dangers of cold water.

No matter the type of duck hunting you’re participating in, water is involved in some capacity and necessary precautions should be taken to make sure safety is the top priority. Best of luck this season!