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What Safety Precaution Should You Take When Hunting From a Boat?

Safety Precautions When Hunting From A Boat

There are a high number of boat-related deaths that occur daily, whether it’s from boat hunters or people that like enjoying boat rides. Just knowing the basics, essentials of boat riding, and many safety precautions will save people from accidents, and a lot of hassle.

There are a lot of safety precautions that people tend to avoid that is due to the case of ignorance and even ignoring the rules altogether.

These rules are meant to keep the boat dwellers safe, keep their equipment and themselves falling into the water, and even some legal reasons that might get them arrested if they don’t comply with the said rules. This especially is essential when it comes to hunters that prefer finding their prey on boats.

Safety precautions when hunting from boats:

For hunters and fishers alike, taking your boat out into the water and hunting your prey is unmatched. Considering the thrill of spotting your prey and getting the shot in, safety is paramount.

There are loads of actions that are serious safety hazards and may get you into trouble. Knowing the safety precautions can get you a long way without any trouble or any problems related to your hunting expeditions.

Just one person in the boat can endanger all the other passengers, so knowing the basic safety precautions is essential. The following steps can help keep yourself and others on board safe from any danger:

  • Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) is a must-have whenever you’re embarking on water. They keep even the heaviest passengers afloat. This is especially essential when the passengers don’t know how to swim, or even children on board that can’t stay afloat for too long. These devices come in a variety of styles. There are around five types of devices that you can use. They all come in a variety of designs and styles, not just the bland orange color.
  • Depending on the climate and the temperature of the water, its good to dress accordingly. You could die from the shock of hypothermia if you happen to find yourself within the water. Dress warmly under your PFD, and if you have any waterproof clothes, make sure to wear them to avoid moisture absorption.
  • Getting your prized target in sight is exciting and all, but making sure its safe enough to take the shot comes first. Make sure the boat is at a standstill before you take the shot. That means that your boat’s engine should be turned off, and even anchoring your boat is a better option.
  • When taking the shot, make sure you’re seated and not standing up. This avoids the chances of the shooter from falling off the boat. Taking the shock causes vibrations, which sends ripples down the water, which causes the boat to rock a lot. All of this causes the loss of balance, which will most likely cause the shooter to fall off the boat.
  • This is a no brainer, but avoid using any intoxications such as drugs or alcohol. These intoxications won’t keep you in your normal state of mind and will result in dangerous results.

Laws concerning boat hunting:

Various states have their laws concerning boat hunting. Everything from the allowance of certain boats on rivers, swamplands, etc., the guns you can carry for boat hunting, and even the game you can hunt with your firearms. Contacting your local law firm or just checking your state’s websites can help you learn about the various laws concerning boat hunting.

You will need to have hunting permits, hunting licenses, and even permits for boating at certain times of the year. Make sure you have all the legal documents so you can start your hunting expeditions.

Knowing how to swim:

Although this should be very obvious, there are various drowning related incidents. Whether the boats are capsized, or people go overboard, the number of drowned people is staggering, hence knowing how to swim is an essential skill.

Avoid any boating trips till you have a good grasp of keeping yourself afloat and some basic swimming techniques learned, just to be safe.

No matter the depth of the water, it takes a few inches to drown a full-grown adult completely. Having an expert swimmer onboard reduces the risk of drowning, so have people that are skilled swimmers at all times.

Float plan:

This would be a backup plan if something unforeseen were to happen to you. Take a piece of paper and insert essential questions of your boat hunting trip. This document is a sure-fire way to ensure that someone comes looking for you if something happens.

  • The piece of document will need to include several pieces of information. It must include:
  • The location of your boating trip.
  • The expected duration of your trip, with departure and return mentioned.
  • The number of people that will be accompanying you.
  • Any contact of local officials that may take action, which concerns your boating trip.

Give this document to someone reliable, who isn’t participating in the trip themselves. They will alert the officials or take appropriate action for your search and rescue. Always choose safety over risk. This document is an excellent example of this saying.

Ideal boat shooting position:

Hunting for the game is one of the oldest activities that the human race has taken part in. Back then, it was more essential for survival, and these days it’s more for enjoyment.

And with the techniques, we’ve also developed better technology. With boating, though, people need to take care of certain aspects of hunting to ensure safety and maximize hunting capability.

First of all, to have a better visual of your surroundings, sit back to back. This helps in detecting any changes in the environment and for better tracking of your prey. Usually, people’s blind spot is the back, and this technique helps in solving that problem.

With this technique, the two hunters in the boat can determine their shooting zones. With the two hunters, the 360-degree angle is divided into 180 for each, which makes it easier for each hunter to designate, aim, and shoot.

This also ensures that the action of one hunter won’t interfere with endanger the other hunter. You’ll have a better visual, aim, and overall stability within the boat.

Be sure not to aim in the same direction. Otherwise, you can tip the boat over. Communication is critical on boat hunting as the recoil of both the hunters shooting in the same direction can tip the boat over completely. That is inefficient, and hence being prepared for such preparations is key.

Both of the hunters should avoid standing up when firing at prey, this causes the loss of balance for the hunter and also makes the boat wobble a lot.

Sit down and aim calmly; otherwise, it can spell disaster for the people on the boat. Make sure to leave enough space between other people in the boat to avoid bumping into them because of the firing recoil.

Firearms in boats:

Taking care of firearms within a boat is paramount, including loading and unloading them into your vessel. Unloading firearms in your boat is like unloading them on any other land vehicle; you need to unload the case firearms, ensuring that the gun should be pulled down and the action to be open.

While boarding the vessel, make sure that the firearms are pointed towards the bow of your boat. All firearms should be pointing at one direction, avoiding confusion when a hunter will pick it up later.

If you have a company with you, task one with loading the firearms in one direction to avoid any later confusion, make sure to put the muzzle of the gun towards the bow of the boat before getting in yourself.

When leaving your vessel, make sure to repeat the same directions in reverse. The hunter gets out first and unloads the firearms from the boat; this also applies to the second hunter. It may take longer, but this ensures that the gun isn’t mishandled, and any mishandled accidents are also avoided.

Avoidance of boat capsizing:

You’ll need to do everything in your power to avoid the boat capsizing when on your expedition. This ensures that no threat to life is made, and all your supplies aren’t wasted, drowning into the abyss of the water.

There are certain tips that everyone on board will need to follow, and these rules are:

  • Smaller boats have a higher chance of capsizing, so make sure that you don’t rock it too much. This is also true for boats that have a flat bottom, such as canoes. Keeping a boat balanced is the first key to traveling in a boat.
  • If you have many people in the boat, or just a lot of items with you, make sure to distribute the weight evenly. Place the items on each part of the boat to evenly distribute the weight.
  • Be wary of the weight inside your boat and make sure the weight limit doesn’t exceed. Your boat can only take so much weight, so be sure to be mindful of the weight limit.
  • If you want your trusty, canine companion to tag along, make sure it’s trained. An excited dog can capsize the boat very easily. The best way to keep it in check is to keep the dog lying in the bottom, positioned centered in the boat.
  • Don’t shoot or fire arrows until your boat is fully stopped. Make sure that the engine isn’t running, or better yet, the ship is anchored.

Packing before departure:

Preparation is the name of the game whenever it concerns hunting. Having all your essentials for hunting, survival, and navigation is the first and most important step to consider, whenever you’re thinking of going on hunting, whether its on land or water.

Here are the following essentials that you need to pack:


Food and water are a must, and pretty obvious. Plan how much stock of it you’re going to take with you. Calculate the amount by the number of days you’ll be on the hunt. Pack an extra day’s worth just in case you want to spend an extra day or in case of an emergency.


For survival, its imperative to have guns and ammunition. You never know what’s lurking in the water, and to have a gun with you ensures you’re safe from any wild threats. Just be sure to carry your firearm permit with you.

Bring enough for hunting and an extra case of ammo just in case. Have a swiss army knife with you as well that will help with any situation in the wild. Bring a first aid health kit for any injuries that may happen on the boating trip.


Finding your way to your location and coming back is essential. Always have mediums of communication in order to tell about your whereabouts.

This can range from walkie talkies, radios, or your regular cell phones. Having a GPS on you is paramount. Don’t forget to bring your compass along with you, always to know which direction to head.

Apparel for hunting:

As discussed earlier in the article, the things you wear are equally important when going on any hunting trip. Hypothermia is the most dangerous thing to look out for as the shock from the cold can be enough to kill a person.

Wearing thick and warm clothes is the best option. Bringing along any waterproof clothes is also advised. Having big hunting boots along with you will also help. And most importantly, wear a PFD with you to help you float in the water. Packing an extra set of clothes with you is essential as well.

Conclusion: Safety Precautions When Hunting From a Boat

With all of this knowledge, your survival skills and hunting skills will indeed improve. Knowing how to hunt and what to bring along is half of the challenge.

To ensure your safety and bag a noteworthy game, these steps and information will help you. Being a responsible boat passenger ensures that no danger occurs you or your fellow companions.

Can you get various designs for your PFD?

Yes, PFD comes in various designs that allow for personal choice when buying them.

Do you need a permit for boating?

Depending on the state, you may need a boating permit and even a permit to sail on your desired body of water.

Which firearm is best for hunting within boats?

The best firearms are hunting rifle because it's great for killing small to medium-sized game.

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