What Safety Precautions Should You Take When Hunting from a Boat?
What Safety Precautions Should You Take When Hunting from a Boat?
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Hunting is an expensive hobby. Not every man can afford to buy all the equipment, accessories, a gun, and other small things that he will need when hunting. Also, there are a lot of types of hunting and sometimes it is very difficult to decide what will bring you more pleasure, hunting from a boat, hunting in the field, forest, etc.

We still consider one of the most interesting and widespread types of hunting to be hunting ducks from a boat. It allows such hunting in the summer and autumn periods and will bring a lot of pleasure to those who like extreme recreation.

In order not to violate the rules among hunters and from the amateur category, not to go into the poacher category, it is worth waiting for the period when hunting is permitted by law. This time you can spend on buying all the equipment, outfit, tools and preparing the boat. A duck hunter from a boat must also meet the following requirements:

  • be a member of a hunting club;
  • have your own or rented boat that will meet all the club requirements;
  • have weapons, cartridges;
  • have a hunting dog;
  • be instructed if this is your first hunt and you have no experience.

Experienced hunters advise to buy a rubber boat. Its advantages are ergonomics and fast transportation from one place to another. A motor can be attached to such a boat, but only oars can be used. The inflatable option is relatively inexpensive and therefore available to many enthusiasts. The only drawback of such a floating duck hunting tool is that the boat can easily tip over if you shoot while standing.

For over two people, you can use the more expensive motorized boat options. On such a boat, you can cover long distances, shoot while standing, and be calm that the boat will not roll over from the slightest wrong movement. These boats have a rain canopy where you can easily hide and wait out the poor weather. But if you pay attention to hunting only twice a year, then it is better to rent such a boat, rather than buy one.

What does boat hunting look like?

How does the hunt from a boat take place? Such a hunt is not difficult. Hunters go to the reservoir. There they inflate the boat, load all the equipment they need, check their guns and cartridges, and get into the boat. Using paddles or a motor, you reach the hunting area. In order not to frighten the bird, you need to turn off the engine, get the oars, and swim a few more meters on the oars. Now you need to hide and wait a bit. Ducks and other water birds lurk in the reeds and thickets. Be careful not to scare off the prey beforehand.

During the hunt, one partner is engaged in oars. He guides the boat in the right direction. At this time, the second hunter takes a sitting position. He can be on the bow of the boat or sit in the middle. Once you are in a comfortable shooting position, command your dog to scare the bird and make it fly up.

What is a boat for when hunting ducks?

It is very convenient to use the boat if you decide to hunt ducks near lakes and rivers. There is an opinion that not all boats can be used for hunting ducks. Let’s see if this is really so. The boat doesn’t have to be big. To pass through thickets and high reeds, the boat must be compact and designed for 2-3 people. The boat may have a detachable motor, but in this case you will have to turn off the motor and start paddling. This way you won’t scare the ducks. The boat should be painted in calm camouflage colors. The boat must be stable and suitable for long voyages in the water. You can also use an inflatable boat if it meets the requirements described above.

The boat, like the gun, are two of the most important devices without which hunting ducks on the lake would be simply impossible. The boat also performs other functions. Among them it is worth noting:

  • Disguises the hunter;
  • Duck bait can be installed on the boat;
  • Loot can be transported on the boat;
  • Allows you to get to remote and hard-to-reach places.

When is the boat allowed to hunt?

You should be aware that sometimes it is forbidden to use a boat for hunting birds. Such periods are prescribed in the rules of the hunting club. We want to remind you that the boat cannot be used in early spring. In spring, birds lay eggs and hatch offspring. It is for this reason that you are prohibited from being in the hunting grounds with a boat and weapons.

This rule does not apply to other periods. If you come hunting in the fall, you can shoot as many birds as you have shooting coupons. It is also worth remembering that motor boats are prohibited in autumn. But you can always go hunting with a rubber boat and use the paddles to get around.

Boat hunting tactics

Boat hunting is common among duck hunters in the fall. It becomes much cold outside, you can no longer move around in water bodies in rubber boots. It was then that hunters from foot hunting switch to water, more effective hunting for this time of year.

Shooting accurately is not the last thing a real hunter should be able to do. If you decide to master hunting on an inflatable or stationary boat, you must learn the methods of camouflage and silent control of the boat.

Also, the hunter must be able to understand the weather, understand the behavior of birds, know what bait to use in order to get the maximum effect.

The choice of the reservoir also plays an important role. You should not go hunting where there is running water and a fast current. Ducks are not found in such reservoirs. They are attracted by lakes with stagnant water, with a lot of reeds and various algae. It is in such areas that ducks flock and breed.

When hunting, it is important to guess correctly with the choice of weather. Go hunting in light rain, light fog, cloudy weather. When the weather is clear outside, hunting is almost impossible. It will be extremely difficult to shoot a duck. The key factor is the sun, which will blind your eyes. Wearing sunglasses is not an option, as it will interfere with aiming.

The dog contributes to the quality of the hunt. If you have a hunting dog, then this is the key to success. Do not take your dog hunting during the cold season. If the hunt takes place on the lake, the water is already cold, the dog will be in the water for most of the hunt. In such cases, a light single-seat boat will help to collect prey.

Also, remember that the bird can be lured by using duck bait. Using this lure on the water, you can leave your hunting dog on the shore. The outcome of the hunt will be successful.

Equipment and disguise

The preparation process for the hunt is very important. The outcome of your hunt depends on what kind of equipment you choose, what your boat will be. Ducks can get scared, scatter in different directions, besides, they feel the presence of danger just like you.

The main equipment of a hunter is a boat. You can choose a solid hull boat or a cheaper option – an inflatable boat. The inflatable boat has advantages. First and foremost, it is easy to store. It weighs little, so you can transport such a boat in your hands, if inflated, then on your head or shoulders. This means that the probability of getting to distant places is much greater. The inflatable boat does not make a loud noise, does not frighten the ducks.

Solid hull boats are more expensive and heavier. To transport such a boat to the hunting site, you need to use a special trailer or put the boat on the roof of the car. The size of such boats is also much larger, they need to be cleaned and kept in a special garage. At the same time, these boats are more seaworthy and more stable on the water.

Regardless of which boat you choose, you should pay attention to its color. We should not paint the boat in bright colors. Most often I use dark green, brown, gray, camouflage. All colors that resemble the color of dried or fresh grass, depending on the season, are used to mask the boat.

It is also not advised to use motorboats. The motor makes a loud noise and you just scare away all the ducks even before you get to the hunting place.

Considering these features, experienced hunters advise making fewer movements and use high-quality duck camouflage.

You also need to take care of outerwear. Since you will be hunting in the water, you should wear waterproof clothing, high boots with high tops. The dog also needs a disguise.

We also recommend using decoys. These are special whistles that make animal sounds. With the help of such decoys, you can attract a bird.

Boat Hunting Precautions

Don’t go hunting on your own. If you are alone in the boat, then your number of functions immediately triples. You need to steer the boat, look for prey and make accurate shots. Take a partner with you. This will help you assign responsibilities and switch places. If the hunt is conducted by two hunters, certain safety rules must be followed:

  • you cannot shoot over the head of a comrade;
  • you cannot shoot through the boat. You can be thrown to the side and the boat will capsize;
  • warn your partner before changing position. So he can keep his balance and not fall;
  • when shooting, take a position that will maintain the balance of the boat;
  • keep in mind that the shot can ricochet on the ground, ice, water;
  • do not forget your phone so that you can call the rescuers in case of emergency;
  • do not point the gun at a friend;
  • do not wet your weapon.

Useful Video: Layout Boat Safety: What you should know

Final Words

Duck hunting is an interesting and productive type of duck hunting. If you use your boat wisely, do not break the hunting rules and follow all the necessary recommendations, then you can enjoy boat hunting and return home with prey.

An inflatable boat is the optimal floating craft. It is easy to transport, store, handle and cost significantly less. And the result from using such a floating device will be no worse than if you went hunting on a larger boat.


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