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What Should A Sportsman Consider When Hunting From A Boat?

There is nothing that sounds better than sailing away on a boat, drifting on a calm river, the trees swaying in the wind, relaxed and ready to hunt.

It’s every sportsman’s dream. You would find people who hunt from boats looking to catch ducks and wild animals, and it is recommended that these sportsmen use smaller boats.

Aside from this, it is a relaxing activity enjoyed by many. However, before you dive into hunting from a boat, there are many things you should consider.

You do not have to be in the middle of the ocean in a treacherous storm to take the safety precautions. Even a river has its risks. It is also important to acknowledge the mistakes you are making and learn the right way of boating.

What Should A Sportsman Consider When Hunting From A Boat

The Importance Of Boat Education

For a hunter who is wanting to try hunting on a boat, it is vital to know all about boating – this can save your life.

Over 70% of hunters who have drowned had fallen overboard due to their boat being loaded incorrectly. As well as this, it has been found that almost half of sportsmen do not wear a life jacket on board.

This is too big of a risk to take when your life could be in jeopardy. With water related incidents killing hunters each year more than firearms, it is important to consider some steps to make your boating and hunting experience as good as possible.

Dress Sensibly

Are you dressing appropriately for this activity? It is easy to just grab any old clothing and feel prepared for the day but when it comes to hunting from a boat there is more that needs to be taken into consideration. Your attire is one of them.

What you choose to wear is all for your own personal safety – it is important that you wear clothes appropriate for the temperature. Out in the open in the river, the temperature can be confusing.

You may know that it is going to be cold outside but more often than not you will find that this temperature feels a lot colder when in the open. Even in the summer you will find the temperature is dropped. Because of this it is important to wrap yourself up in the best way possible.


One thing that you need to look out for are mosquitos. We all know that dreaded blood sucking creature, so fast that before you know it you are already bitten. In order to prevent this from happening on your boat trip, have a try at wearing a beekeeper hat.

You may also find yourself hunting on a sunny day. In this case, bring along with you a sunhat for protecting your skin from burning as well as getting the sun out of your eyes.


Every hunter should own a good pair of shoes, one for every occasion. It is best to wear special shoes for when you have to take long trail walks or climb mountains. This shoe is great for its sole – it is anti-slip, offering a great grip and protecting the foot.

It is also valuable to own a shoe that is waterproof – if your shoes get wet and sink onto your feet, you will definitely be feeling that cold.

Another handy tip is to wear shoes the same color as the ground (brown, grey, black). By doing this your shoes will be camouflaged to the ground, matching the leaves and soil.


Your jacket is a valuable asset. Not only are you benefitting from its warmth, but you also have room for extra storage due to the pockets. Make sure to find a lightweight jacket with several pockets – you will need this to store extra items such as your knife or fishing hooks.

Weather Forecast

Before getting ready to leave for your hunting boat trip, it is best to check the weather forecast. This is so you are able to prepare yourself for any potential setbacks.

When the sun is out and the skies are clear, you know you will be in for a positive hunting session, but if the weather forecast predicts heavy rain and wind, this can be very bad.

Bad weather risks the stability of the boat for rain and wind could make the river unsteady, potentially knocking over your boat. It is important to listen to what the weather forecast is predicting and not ignore the clear warnings.

Those ducks aren’t going anywhere, neither is that river, so it is fine to delay your trip by a day or two for the benefit of your safety.

The Law

When hunting you need to know the law. There are plenty of laws enforced out there, some even that people don’t know of. Do your thorough research.

It is often that some areas (particularly in certain times of the year) will forbid hunters from hunting certain animals. You also need a permit – a gun permit, hunting permit, and boating permit.

Aside from health and safety, it is important to have a boating license before you consider hunting on a boat. The laws for this are different depending on which state you are located in, but before you make any plans it is important to look into the legal requirements.

To obtain a boating license you need to:

  • Research boater education requirements
  • Complete a boating safety and education course (this can be either in person or online)
  • Pass the boating license test
  • Submit payment

When you are out in the water, it is important to keep your boating license with you and keep it safe.

Planning The Hunting Trip

Before leaving, make sure to plan your trip. Planning is important as to not find yourself dealing with any unfortunate problems which may arise. It’s simple.

Simply grab a pen and pad and write down a list of items of what you need to bring. As well as this, make a note of tasks which need to be completed.

There are many dangers out in the wilderness and although you may think you are used to hunting or are a pro, any kind of hunting is still dangerous. There are many threats out there such as aggressive animals, poisonous insects, and fast-moving water.

You do not want to get yourself into a situation where you are having to deal with any of these problems whilst not being prepared for those risks. Make sure to stick to this plan.

You will be going into this hunting trip expecting the best, and that is great as this should be a positive experience, however accidents can happen (even to the best of us). You can easily get yourself injured – you can fall, get bitten, maybe even twist an ankle. It is essential to know basic first aid and to have with you a prepared first aid kit.

What Should Your First Aid Kit Include?

  • Insect bite pain relief
  • Scissors
  • Bandages
  • Masks
  • Gloves
  • Medical tape
  • Gauze
  • Alcohol

These are the important things to take with you on a hunting trip. You may not expect for anything to go wrong, but there is no shame in being cautious.

Handy Tips

To some this may seem extreme but packing a basic survival kit goes a long way. You will need:

  • Matches
  • Lighter
  • A change of clothing (there are chances your clothes will get ruined by the water)
  • Blankets
  • Hot beverage (avoid alcohol – this will only impair your sense of judgement)
  • Think about taking a course as a health and safety precaution. You can learn to do CPR either in person in a class or online. A boating course is another thing to consider too.
  • Bring a friend on this trip with you. Not only do you have someone who can help you in case of an accident, but you’ll have some good company to share the experience with.

Final Thoughts

Many valuable points have been addressed in terms of hunting from a boat. Hunting and boating are two entirely different activities, however when you put them together you find that there is much to learn.

It is important to stay safe as hunting is a very dangerous activity. It is also important to understand the ins and outs of the boat, including understanding the water, weather, and the boat itself.

The most important thing is to enjoy your time out on the river, feel the thrill of hunting and make great memories. Invite a friend to join you, relax and watch the day go by.

In order to have that great experience you need to follow protocol, listen to the rules stated within the law, have your license, and enjoy.

What are you waiting for? Write down that list and get ready to go on a hunting adventure you don’t want to forget! And don’t forget to dress accordingly. The benefits go a long way!

Lucas Jones