FORT LEE, Va. (Jan. 19, 2017) -- When it comes to safety, the old adage is true – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
The following are 10 safety tips for waterfowl hunters:
1. Always carry a waterproof fire-starting kit. If you get wet, being able to start a fire is crucial to preventing hypothermia.
2. Ensure your boat, motor and trailer are in good running order and batteries are always at full charge.
3. Always wear a certified personal flotation device when running or paddling a boat, and ensure you have a PFD for every passenger in the boat as well as throw-ables that are required on boats 16 feet or greater in length.
4. Never go hunting without telling somebody where you are going and when you expect to return.
5. Stock your boat or ATV box with safety gear such as survival rations, rope, flare gun, space blanket, hand axe, whistle, etc.
6. Attach a small compass to your jacket or waders via pin or string. This way, it will always be there when you need it.
7. Never attempt to run an overloaded or undersized boat. If hunting on a large river or lake, use a boat that is big enough to handle rough water.
8. Be mindful of wearing waders while boating to your location. Waders filled with water add extreme weight if an accident occurs and you go overboard.
9. Treat every gun as if it is loaded, even when you are sure it is not. Before each hunt, open your gun’s action and check the muzzle for obstructions.
10. Carry a cellphone in a waterproof bag when hunting in the event of an emergency.