What safety precaution should you take when hunting from a boat

What safety precaution should you take when hunting from a boat?

What safety precaution should you take when hunting from a boat? It would be very dangerous if you don’t have any safety precautions for boats. But, the safety measures will depend on what kind of boat you have and what kind of hunting you are doing. 

It is important to wear the appropriate clothing and have a reliable handheld marine VHF radio on board in case of an emergency. You also need to make sure that you are equipped with flares, lifejackets, and maps or GPS units so you can find refuge if necessary. Lastly, always ensure that someone knows where you are hunting and when they can expect you back.

boating safety checklist
Boating safety checklist/ source: national weather service

What safety precautions should you take when hunting from a boat?

Follow boating laws

You must follow all boating laws. This includes staying within the speed limit, adhering to rules about where and when you can park your boat, and ensuring that the vessel is watertight before getting on board. If you do not follow these laws, you could be putting all your fellow boaters at risk by endangering their safety.

Wear a correct PFD

Make sure that you wear a PFD (Personal Floatation Device) whenever you are onboard your boat. This could potentially save your life in the event of an accident at sea. Check to see that it is still working before getting on board and that it fits you properly.

Life Jacket
Life Jacket

It is also vital to make sure that all of your passengers wear lifejackets. If someone does not have one with them, it is your responsibility as a captain to make sure they have access to one in case of an emergency.

Don’t limit capacity

Remember that you must make sure not to capsize or swamp your vessel. If you have too many passengers on board, or if they are too heavy for the size of the boat, it could be at risk of sinking. This is why it’s important to strictly limit how many people and dogs you bring with you when hunting from a boat.

Evenly distribute weight

Distribute weight evenly throughout your vessel to ensure that the boat is not unbalanced. For example, make sure that everyone has a seat to sit on and that no one is standing in the boat above the waterline. In other words, everyone should be seated in the boat so that there is no weight on one side of the boat.

Avoid unneeded gear

If you are using a small boat. You should not exceed the maximum weight of the boat so that it remains buoyant when it gets in the water. Do not allow many people on the boat at a single time. If you are hunting with lots of gear, make sure that it is all on board before leaving your home. You should also ensure that you are only carrying as much ammunition and food as necessary to avoid overloading the boat.

Take well-trained dog

Take the only well-mannered dog with you when hunting from a boat. They should be trained not to bark excessively, run around wildly or jump overboard. Again, this could put your safety at risk or that of other boaters in the area. And, don’t forget to take a dog life jacket with you.

dogs life jacket
Dogs life jacket

Train your passengers

Do not carry passengers that are not well-trained. The same applies to children, especially those who cannot swim. If you have a child with you on the boat, make sure they wear a wetsuit or PFD in case of an emergency where they may need to exit the vessel quickly. Every passenger should know how to swim.

Monitor weather forecast

Check the weather forecast before you set off on your trip. It is important to make sure that you are safe and can get home quickly even if conditions worsen. You should always know what type of waterway you will be hunting in and how deep it is so you understand its dangers and risks beforehand.

Be aware of fire gun

Before firing any shots, make sure that your boat has come to a complete stop. It is not safe to fire weapons when you are underway at sea as it could result in injury or damage if there are other boats nearby. Never fire a gun while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Remember consuming alcohol is not permitted if you are driving a boat.

Keep ready safety items

Always carry a first aid box, GPS units, and VHF radio with you on your boat in the event of an emergency. What if someone gets injured or falls ill? What if you need to call for help? You will also want a first aid kit on board at all times, just in case, anything happens while you are out hunting.

Check your firearms

Always make sure that all of your firearms are unloaded and that they are properly secured when you are hunting from a boat.

Don’t forget about the float plan

A float plan is a document that helps you get back to shore safely. It has information about your vessel and crew on it, including their contact details and any special needs they may have if something goes wrong. It also has details about your journey and expected return time. This can be a formal document or an informal list of important information. You should safely hand over this document or information to another crew member before going on your trip.


If you are one of the many hunters who use boats to hunt, it is important that you follow these safety precautions. Boat hunting safety precautions can seem daunting at first, but they are easy to follow. Here’s how it works. Wear a personal floatation device (PFD) at all times when on board. Dress appropriately for the weather and don’t fire shots or arrows prior to the boat being at a complete stop, engine turned off, and either anchored or secured. Always remain seated while shooting from your boat. We hope this information is helpful. Have any of these tips been useful? If not, feel free to contact me.

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