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Course Outline

Hunter in a boat wearing inflatable camouflage PFD; dog in front of the hunter

Many hunters use small boats for duck hunting or to get to their favorite hunting grounds. If you are using your vessel to hunt, you should:

  • Understand that you are still responsible for obeying all boating laws and should follow all safe boating rules.
  • Take extra precautions to avoid capsizing or swamping your vessel.
    • Be aware that small, flat-bottom vessels are prone to capsizing or swamping.
    • Keep weight low and distribute gear evenly in the vessel.
    • Do not exceed the vessel’s capacity. Never crowd too many people or too much gear into one small hunting boat.
    • Take only well-trained dogs on board a small vessel. An excited dog could capsize a vessel easily. Keep the dog lying on the bottom, positioned in the center of the vessel.
    • Take precautions to avoid hypothermia in case you do capsize.
  • Always check the weather and stay as close to the shore as possible.
  • Never fire shots or release arrows until the vessel is stopped, the motor is turned off, and the vessel is secured or properly anchored. Always remain seated when shooting. Of course, you must possess a valid hunting license, tags, and permits for whatever you are hunting.
  • Be aware of laws regarding transport of firearms in a vessel.
  • Ensure that all firearms are always unloaded with the safety on and are secured in a gun case when they are being transported in a vessel.
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