A study conducted from 1996 through 2002 found that approximately half of those killed in a canoe or kayak accident were fishing. Also, more hunters die each year from drowning and cold-water immersion than from gunshot wounds.
If you use your boat to fish or hunt, you are not only an angler or hunter but also a boater. You must obey all boating laws and should follow all safe paddling practices.
- Wear a life jacket at all times while on the water.
- Never overload your boat (too many people or too much gear).
- Take extra precautions to avoid falling overboard, capsizing, or swamping. Many accidents occur when:
- An angler leans over the side to grab a fish
- A hunter leans over the side for a decoy
- An excited angler jumps up suddenly when he or she gets a bite
- An excited hunting dog paces back and forth
- Hunters fire their rifles in roughly the same direction at the same time, causing an imbalance
- If you wear waders while you are fishing or hunting from a boat, understand the additional risks that exist if you should capsize.
- When hunting or fishing on cold water, dress in several layers under your life jacket and take other precautions to avoid hypothermia in case you do capsize.