The responsibility of a safe hunter goes further than just how you handle your firearm in the field. It also includes the additional equipment you may use. One of these items may be a boat. When a boat is being used to get to a favorite hunting spot, it is easy to neglect the dangers of being on the water. Being a responsible Hunter means you must take everything you do into consideration.

Some Considerations

PFD on board on me

Have a life jacket for each person on board and WEAR IT. The most important piece of safety equipment on a boat is a correctly worn personal flotation device (PFD).

Maximum load capacity

Use precaution when loading a boat. Always check the capacity plate and never exceed the weight limit or the number of people you can have aboard. When considering the weight in your boat, you must take into account both the passengers and equipment.

Shooting from a boat

Always remain seated in the boat. If you need to move, stay in the center of the boat and keep a low center of gravity.

Storm weather condition

Always check the weather and stay on shore if bad weather is expected.

Boat maintenance

Keep your boat, motor, and other equipment in good working condition.

Inform others of your location

Tell a responsible person where you are going and when you will return.

Trip planning checklist

Make a checklist of the items you should have on board your boat before going on the water. The checklist should include all required safety equipment. Consult your state and federal boating regulations.


Preparation is of utmost importance, especially in cold weather. Carry an extra set of clothes in a waterproof bag or container. If your boat capsizes and stays afloat, climb on top. You are more likely to survive if you are not in the water.

Wear your PFD. This will help keep you warm and afloat. Drowning and hypothermia are two of the leading causes of death on the water.

Hunting from a Boat

Hunting from a boat

The use of a boat while hunting adds another distraction when it comes to firearm safety. Obey all firearm safety rules when handling or transporting firearms. Keep firearms unloaded and in a case while transporting them in a boat.

It is unsafe and unethical to shoot from a moving vessel. Once your vessel has stopped and you are ready to hunt, be aware you are not hunting from a stable platform. Always maintain muzzle control, It is easy to lose your footing or balance on a boat. There may be others in your hunting party, therefore you should be constantly aware of "The Zone of Fire."