Hunting in a boat: Take extra care on the water

By Tresa Erickson

With all of the guns, bows, arrows, knives and other equipment involved, there is no doubt that hunting can be risky. Add to the mix boats, and you can see just how dangerous hunting can be.

When hunting in a boat, you must be careful. You should create an itinerary stating where you plan to go and when you will return and leave it with someone at home. You should bring a boat that is in good condition and large enough for you, your passengers and your gear. You should carry the right safety equipment, including a personal flotation device for each person onboard, a throwable personal flotation device and visual distress signals.

Once you arrive at your destination, you should inspect your boat thoroughly and make any necessary repairs. You should also check the weather. If bad weather is expected, don’t go out. Stay at your hotel or head for home. If good weather is expected, pack the boat, being careful to stash the gear low and distribute the weight evenly.

You should treat firearms the same as you would when transporting them in your car. Unload and case them. If hunting with another person, place one unloaded firearm in the bow of the boat with the muzzle pointing forward. Place the other in the stern with the muzzle pointing rearward.

Once you are on the water, you should hunt back to back if with another person. This will keep the zone of fire in front of each of you and help stabilize the boat. Be careful about swinging into the other hunter’s line of fire. If you both shoot from the same side of the boat, you could throw off the balance and tip over the boat.

Hunting in a boat offers many benefits, including access to areas you may not have had otherwise. You do, however, need to take extra caution when on the water. Don’t take things for granted and do your best to stay alert. Just one second of carelessness could cost you big time.

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