Friday, September 16, 2011
Here is a refresher for all waterfowl hunters based on Montana Fish, Wildlife & Park’s waterfowl hunting safety course.
Waterfowl hunters are a high-risk group for hypothermia and cold-water immersion because of their proximity to water, wind and changing weather conditions.
To stay warm and avoid hypothermia:
- Control wind and wetness by using waterproof shells, jackets, and boots. Wear a wader belt with waders to prevent water from entering them.
- Wear a hat. Most warmth escapes through your head.
- If you fall in - go home! Or, take a break and change into warm, dry clothes.
While planning a waterfowl hunt, don’t forget to check to be sure the boat is in good working condition, with enough gas for the trip and equipped with the proper personal flotation devices, and other safety gear.
- Make sure everyone on board has a properly fitted, Coast Guard approved, life vest or float coat. Camouflage styles are available and some allow the wearer to shoot without removing the life vest.
- Never stand in an unsecured boat to shoot.
- Be aware of dogs, and other partners while in a boat - be extra careful with your gun. Similar to a blind, a boat is close quarters.
- Put your unloaded shotgun in a secured case. This keeps the shotgun cleaner and will remind you to unload the shotgun before moving.
Check the 2011 Montana migratory bird hunting regulations for details on season dates and other waterfowl hunting information. The FWP website at fwp.mt.gov on the Recreation page under "rules and regulations" has information on the rules for operating a boat in Montana, the equipment that Montana and federal laws require be aboard, and other rules of the road.