Waterfowl Hunting Safety
Waterfowl hunters face safety challenges that the average land-based hunter does not.
The complicating factor is water.
The tips below dealing with firearm safety, weather and water safety are taught at FWP Youth Waterfowl Hunting Safety workshops. They're a good starting point for safe waterfowl hunting.
The season for hunting ducks and geese begins Oct. 4, check the regulations for details and other season dates.
Waterfowl hunters are among the highest risk group for hypothermia because of their proximity to water, wind and poor weather conditions.
If you fall in - go home! Or, take a break and change into warm, dry clothes. Be prepared to build a warming fire. Without a readily available heat source, hypothermia can set in very quickly if you are wet, even in relatively mild weather. To stay warm and avoid hypothermia:
Hunters in boats are near, in, and floating on bodies of water and wearing heavy clothing that restricts swimming ability.
Though a life jacket may be bulky, it will still keep a hunter afloat if it's the appropriate size. Consider wearing a life jacket designed for waterfowl hunters called a "float coat". They come in different camo patterns, provide excellent protection from cold, wind and rain and prolong survival time if the waterfowl hunter falls overboard. A float coat can replace your regular hunting coat while also serving as your PFD.
While preparing for the hunt, donít forget, if you plan to use a motor boat, to check to be sure the boat is in good working condition, with enough gas for the trip to prevent you from being stranded or breaking down.
Take the proactive steps to reduce your chances of drowning.
Donít let the hazards keep you home, just plan ahead and use common sense. Getting home safe and sound makes every hunting trip a success
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