Duckboats.net
Skip to Content


Home : Main Forums : Duck Boat/Hunting Forum :

Safety on the water.

Quote Reply
Safety on the water.
A couple of duck hunters are lost in Virginia on the James River. Apparently they ended up in the water and the search has now become a recovery effort. The extreme cold and ice has made this extremely difficult and the tools normally used such as side-scan sonar is not possible due to the ice. Until it warms up it will be a waiting game.

I have had some close calls duck hunting and have gone overboard as well as having minor mishaps like flooded waders and so on. I had a younger brother whose boat sunk in icy water and though he was in the water only five minute he was totally played out and weak when we drug him into our boat. He was just about to give up when we got to him. He did not even have the strength to yell for help and had trouble hanging on to a goose decoy that was holding him up.

We often take things for granted and feel we could climb back on board. It just is not that easy. A simple thing like failing to attach a kill switch or not wearing a PFD can get you killed. Especially as cold as it is now. Recently a navy SEAL died on the Chesapeake Bay when he fell out of a kayak. Despite his extreme physical fitness and training he was overcome by hypothermia. If it can happen to him I know it will happen to someone like me a lot easier.

I have watched dozens of water recovery operations and they are very sad for the family and friends. Especially when the bodies are not found quickly. I strongly recommend everyone wear a PFD at all times. Even if you fall overboard and eventually die from exposure you sure make it a lot easier to recover your body. I hope this reminder is taken seriously and do not take things for granted.

Last edited by:

JC Cross: Feb 10, 2020, 7:21 AM
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
JC

Thank you for your words of wisdom. I forwarded your message to my son and his hunting partners. I've really been on them this season to wear their pfd's. I know younger hunters don't ever think tragedy will hit them but as you age you come to realize just how quick things can go from bad to worse.

Eric
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
Here in PA were past ducking season but are in the middle of ice fishing. Same safety consideration go for ice fishing. How many guys wear PFDs out on the ice. We had a fisherman go through the ice recently and even though EMS was called and on scene within 10 minutes it was to late.
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
I don't hunt alone often but do occasionally when all my partners are unable to accompany me. As bad as I wanted to hunt this morning I didn't because no one else was available to come and I thought hunting alone was too risky. Another thing I take special care to do this time of year that I rarely do earlier in the season is get at least one other person in thr boat with me when going to retrieve downed birds. Normally I leave my hunting partners on shore to keep watch on downed birds and shoot any birds that have life reintroduced into them whIle I run to fetch the boat and ride out after the dead birds. I know even if someone is there to call for help when it is this cold if they can't get me back into the boat within a couple minutes it is game over, which is a big down side to only having one boat per group
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
Strange coincidence that this post came up today: just the other day a coworker said to me "be careful this weekend on the water, I don't want to read about you in the paper on Monday".
That lead to a discussion of winter boating safety, how i don't hunt in conditions that i once did as a younger man and how a PFD in winter conditions are more for your family to have closure than saving you life.
Unfortunately I think we all need a reminder of how dangerous this hobby is, even the smallest mistake can be costly.
Take time to review your safety gear. Think twice about conditions before you launch the boat or even leave the house. Coming home is more important than anything.


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
Not nearly enough attention is given to kill (deadman) switches. I have installed tether switches on all my outboards and NEVER run without hooking up. I'm sure there are Utube or training videos that show what can happen when you get run over by your own boat but it is not pretty. BTW, Mercury switches are the better ones to use because they can be reset without a special part.
"There is nothing- absolutly nothing half as much worth doing as messing about in boats or with boats. In or out of 'em, doesn't matter." Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham

Shiny side up,
Wicker T, Booker T & Charlie Brown
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
Wearing your PFD and kill switch is critical in any winter boating, but especially with the ice and dangerous conditions that have been present for us East Coasters for the last month or so.

If you can, and I try to adhere to this, when hunting in any ice conditions I always want to have a buddy in a second boat with me. As much as we stay on top of our equipment you never know how it is going to fare in extreme conditions. I had to tow a friend in last week when his otherwise meticulous outboard blew a piston or had some other major failure on our way back to the ramp in below zero conditions.
________
Coastal NJ
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
 While hunting the last day of December we opted out of paddleing to our spot and hunted the shore (-13). Still, we had to retrieve a few birds by canoe early. At first light partner shot a bird and it started drifting out of safe retrieving range for the dog.
Off in the canoe he went PFD'd up but in that air temp trouble happens quick. I went through the actions I would have to take if he went in,canoe ,pfd paddle all in place plus phone ready to make the 911 call. I did paddle out for the next bird, and we had discussed the conditions, the freezing fog glazes everything as soon as it touches it .

I always wear a Pfd once under way, years ago a ranger we know passed out and rolled his boat on opening day ,he went under and his partners had a hard time getting to him (no pfd). He lived but infections in his lungs almost killed him. Since that time I have always wore one. The few times I have had the misfortune to be in the water the pfd kept my head and torso dry and made self rescue possible.

Late waterfowl hunting ,it is what it is.
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
Always a good reminder.
My wife’s cousin passed away on December 23, 2013 when he was out in the currituck sound in a canoe preparing a blind for a hunt for Christmas Eve. We didn’t find him for 2 weeks and still have no closure on the events that brought him overboard. Has made hunting for me more “difficult” because the family fears the same fate for me.
Everyone stay safe.



Teach someone to love something, and they will protect it. -Will Primos
Benjamin Pendleton
Northeast N.C.
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
Years ago I drew a blind at Bodie Island, NC, late in the season. We drove down from western PA, with a Sportspal Canoe atop my buddies SUV.

While we were near Kill Devil Hills, we got pulled over by a State Patrolman. He noticed our PA plates and inquired. "What do you intend to do with that canoe? Your not going to use it out on the sound are you?"

No sir was our reply. We are going to use it to take decoys out to the walk in blind and back, and that is it. He wished us well, and was on his way.

After our hunt at Bodie Island we hunted Currituck Sound, out of Grandy with a guide and did very well. We took ribbing from the other hunters and guides about the canoe atop our vehicle.

Having made yearly trips to NC for many seasons. My hunting partner and I always felt that big water always called for local knowledge, and proper vessels. Even so, we had some very trying times, when things got rough and the birds flew strong. Risk was always part of the hunt.

Ben - sorry to hear about the fate of your wife's cousin. May he rest in peace.











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
This thread is a profound reminder about our sport.

I frequently hunt alone and enjoy doing so.

Last week we had a 10' tide to close out rail season. I dearly wanted to get out one more time after them. But a 15 mph wind and more warned me that would be stupid in my canoe or a kayak, out in a big open flat. So I stayed home and moped. But I didn't put myself in harms way.


I am going to Nags Head next week with two buddies I grew up with to hunt for two days on the Pamlico Sound. I am glad we are using a local guide service. No temptation that way to use improper equipment without local knowledge. I believe everything I hear about the Pamlico Sound being one dangerous mother when the wind gets kicking.

Every October I put out my Blessing of the Fleet for everyone on this site. It's a stark reminder at the beginning of the season that funerals are possible as a result of our hunts.

God keep everyone safe on the water and may God give everyone of us the common sense to use our common sense.
Larry
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
Amen

Dave Diefenderfer
Manassas, VA

"Once you set out to build a boat, throw away your square. And if you work on her after she's launched, throw away your level." author unknown

Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
I have a new hunting partner this year- after our first couple trips out he asked about my co2 life vest - i don't think there is a hole in the marsh over our heads

but if the boat turtles and you hit your head- well anyway

i told him it was a promise to my wife

a few days later - he had one too




"Just because the man does not offer you a drink Hastings, does not mean he is automatically guilty of other crimes" Agatha Christie's Poirot
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
I just don't hunt when there is ice anymore, too much danger for me.That has a lot to do with the fact that everywhere I hunt is tidal. You just don't know what's coming at you from where. Inland, you can find some options that are safer, like chopping a hole in a shallow lake or pond.
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
 I to have made the same promise. Many times I hunt alone ,a text when I start out and return when available
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
UPDATE 01/21/21 (TJB) I held off from posting anything to this thread but after my 48 years of duck hunting on the open lake and reflecting on all the stupid things I have done I would say going out on the big lake without a life jacket on is probably the worst. Not just from the standpoint of one's own safety but also from the prospective if something does go wrong and you end up in the drink who else is now part of your mess. I have been a law enforcement officer for 40 years now with a good majority of my time spent as a death investigator and it does matter dead is dead whether you are found the same day or in a week or 6 months later it does not matter to you.

Unfortunately, this is not true for friends and family left with no closure and for the first responders who are responsible for looking for you. I have seen all the extremes of someone going in the drink. From people being pulled out and being OK, to folks being found for 5-6 months later. This has been with people I knew, strangers and also one that involved the death of a friend during a recovery effort.

So Just some thoughts to make things safer and better for everyone involved if you find yourself in the drink. YES I HAVE VIOLATED EVERYONE OF THESE IN THE PAST

#1 Life Jackets we should all wear them and they should be a bright color (orange) with a light and whistle unless you are jump shooting from a canoe or other sneak type endeavor and camo is needed. Having to locate someone with an orange life jacket on in a one and a half to two foot chop is bad enough in the daylight. Never mind at night and it being a camo life jacket with no light
This pertains to both getting you out quick enough for you to survive and that if the worst happens minimizing the chance of someone else getting hurt or dying looking for your body.

#2 let somebody know where you are going and when you get off the water (this one I do religiously). If you change, your plans let somebody know, this is rather easy now with todays technology.

#3 If it cold (single digits) two boats are better than one. I have been on both ends of the tow rope and it is a good feeling to know your all set rather the calling the CG or Sea tow. We were remind of this that last day of the season when a friends boat caught on fire.

#4 No duck or goose is worth your life. If it is two crappy out to be on the water stay home.

As I indicated, I have violated all of these in the past, not something I am proud of just a fact, hopefully someone will read these messages and take note.


JC thanks for starting this thread and causing me to reflect on the past. I will be making some changes going forward.
Everyone please be safe !!

Last edited by:

Bomber: Jan 21, 2021, 9:21 AM
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
On another site, Willy just reposted a video a guy made after falling out of his boat while picking up decoys without a PDF on. The shock of the cold water almost did him in and he was lucky to finally get back into the boat.... completely exhausted. All this happened with his son watching from their shore blind while he struggled. Really hit close to home for me, because oftentimes (most times) I'm guilty of picking-up sans PDF before getting underway. I rationalize that it gives me more freedom of movement, that I'm in shallow water close to the bank, and that I always put it on as soon as I get underway to run back to the ramp.
Made me realize wouldn't take long for me to get in trouble regardless of the water depth, especially since I'm LONG past ten foot tall & bulletproof. Wear 'em!!


MLBob

"Art is like an ill-trained Labrador retriever that drags you out into traffic." (Annie Dillard)

....Here's to Joe Wooster, who made me realize that the useful could and should be beautiful; and who firmly believed that decoy carvers were the last free men in America.

https://www.facebook.com/KOOIdecoy?ref=hl

Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
New York requires boaters to wear a PFD from November 1st to May 1st when in a boat 21 foot or smaller. Good thread to remind us all that we are not invincible.


Great South Bay
West Sayville, N Y
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
Tom Whitehurst wrote:
New York requires boaters to wear a PFD from November 1st to May 1st when in a boat 21 foot or smaller. Good thread to remind us all that we are not invincible.


very true

and the state speed limit is 55 Wink

but - really - how many hunters do you see wearing one




"Just because the man does not offer you a drink Hastings, does not mean he is automatically guilty of other crimes" Agatha Christie's Poirot
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
There is a large DU monument at the Pymatuning Wildlfie Management Area Building, Hartstown, PA, dedicated to Howard Reynolds.

Mr Reynolds was a ardent waterfowler, decoy carver, DU volunteer/chairman, and Lawrence County Coroner.

While duck hunting the White River, he reached to far for a decoy. Capsized his small vessel, and did not survive.

It was a privilege having known him, and his strong influence on western PA waterfowl conservation & decoy carving.

He was a very well respected man. The dedication of the monument was well attended and I shall not forget it.

NEVER REACH FOR A DECOY, let them come to you.

Your family and friends will thank you.











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
I keep a "decoy stick" in the boat, its just a 4' piece of 1"x1" with a 1/2" pieced of dowel sticking out of each side on the end.
Extends my reach without reaching way out over the gunwale.


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
Carl - Very smart, and a life saver.

I use my extendable pushpole, or paddle, and do my best to keep my center of gravity where I belong. While wading, I use my wading staff if a decoy is out of reach. A notch, or a hook works wonders.

PFD always. Stupidity has it's own reward.

The more seasons you have under your belt, the more your odds seem to increase for a OH $HIT! moment.











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
I use my own " pick up sticks " to retreve dekes. One is a golf club shaft with a hook mounted on the end. This one is used by the guy in the back of the boat. The second one is the shaft from a push broom, that has a srew head. I screw a 4 inch paint roller on the end with the roller removed . The guy in the front of the boat secured a decoy and moves it to the back with an easy release . Works great.
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
Our Walmart sells a extendable hook. Goes 4 feet to 8ft that I use to keep my body inside the boat. The dog hunters around here use them to grab dog collars too but that’s a totally different ball game there.



Teach someone to love something, and they will protect it. -Will Primos
Benjamin Pendleton
Northeast N.C.
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
Good morning, Carl~

I have been following this thread with great interest. Many of the posts include unsettling and tragic tales. Nevertheless, it was your post that really sent a chill down my spine.....

"just a 4' piece of 1"x1" with a 1/2" piece of dowel sticking out of each side on the end."

???

No Turks Head? No hand-crafted fitting? Not even a broom handle instead of a "stick" ??? I could not help but wonder if you are just trying to drive me and my OCD right around the bend....




More seriously, such a pickup stick is a very important piece of gear - and certainly adds to overall safety. I made mine at least 30 years ago. It is about 42 inches long. The "fitting" is very simple to prevent tangles - but is still 2-sided. When I am picking up the rig by boat - and sometimes under power - I can have one hand for the pickup stick and one hand for the boat - usually on the coaming. Just like when painting on a ladder - I NEVER reach.

All the best,

SJS




Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
Good morning, Bomber et al~

Thanks for sharing your insights. I am still wrestling with one issue. I am planning to buy a new flotation jacket for next season and cannot decide on the color. I appreciate the benefits of Safety Orange - but plan to use the jacket as my primary gunning coat. As I am typically hunting from a boat - whether it's a TDB or a Scooter (layout) or a Sneakbox or floating a river in a canoe as you mention - I cannot hide effectively in any of these vessels if wearing an eye-catching color. And - most times - the hunt's activities require repeated jaunts "under way" - to pick up downed birds we hope. Changing outerwear repeatedly during a hunt is impractical.

So, I am contemplating perhaps a Safety Orange hat and gloves for use at either end of a hunt. We do something similar here when duck hunting without a boat during deer season: a headlamp in the morning and a blaze hat for the walk through the woods at hunt's end.

Your thoughts?

SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
My buddy was hunting with his 12 year old in January about 10 years ago. He started the motor but didn't realize it was in gear and it ejected him out. We didn't wear life jackets back then so he probably didn't have his on. Luckily he was still holding onto the pull rope as he was being towed behind. His son was able to shut the motor off and somehow he managed to climb back in. True story we often talk about. BTW, always wear life jackets now when under power, even if just picking up decoys.
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
I couldn't help myself Steve from the bringing this picture back. Unfortunately I have been through a couple since that photo. They are however pivotal in retrieving long lines! And my PFD is on from the first turn of the key until I go get the truck to load the boat.
"Pass the Tradition Along"
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
You didnt use camo duct tape, how in the world do you actually get ducks to decoys with that contraption in the boat??

Wink


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
That silver duct tape matched the water surface perfectly Wink
"Pass the Tradition Along"
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
If y'all recall, there was a young man killed in one of my boats a few years ago.. Although the errors commited were great, by far the worst one was that both life jackets were in the storage compartment under the fore deck.

_____________________________________________
http://www.hollandpointmarine.net

Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
Great points and encouragement. Hunting open water like we do, we've experienced some dangerous and difficult circumstances over the years. For about $125.00 do yourself a favor, get yourself a flotation jacket. I don't leave the dock without mine. Does it guarantee survival? No. Does it give you a chance? Yes. I've even hunted in mine. It's both waterproof, warm and has a wader belt in it.

Make great gifts for Christmas, birthdays and fathers day...

https://www.ozarksource.com/...20%25231&from=rg

I'd also encourage wearing a wader belt... Great discussion...
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
Steve,

This afternoon on the way back to the boat ramp I spotted something odd. 3 folks were clamming on shore, but at first all I saw was 2 sets of gloves and a hat. I don't recall what color, but I think is was either blaze orange or a very vibrant red.

The rest of their clothing was dull colors.

I like this idea.

Last edited by:

Steve O: Jan 15, 2018, 3:28 PM
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
Good morning, Steve~

Helpful testimony - thanks!

SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
Years ago in the boat i just rebuilt i was hunting in the Motts creek area on a flood tide with my friend and his father. They were arguing about who made them late and as we came to the hunting spot and i parked the boat. We still had about a 500 yard walk to the salt pond we planned to hunt and with only a half hour to shooting light they jumped out of the boat and began to walk to try to get us set up in time. I parked the boat alone and with the tide flooded up on the meadows i had to set a anchor out in deep water and then set a anchor from the stern into the marsh to keep from the boat hanging up and something happening to it as the tide went out. It was still dark and with the meadows flooded as i jumped out of the boat onto what i thought was clearly marsh with the stern anchor i found myself underwater holding a anchor. I was 25 years old as the time and was working on the Revel Casino as a carpenter and was in very good shape but with heavy wet clothes i still couldn't get back in the boat. With the bow anchor set i was pulled away from the marsh by the boat in the current holding the rope to the stern anchor. I tried a few times to pull myself back in the boat and now 20 feet from the bank wasn't sure if i could swim back to the marsh in waders. I had a nearly brand new 75 etec on the back of the boat and the guys i was hunting with were clearly out of screaming distance and it was dark. i sat down on the foot of the outboard and used the power trim and tilt to assist me into the boat finally standing on top of the cavitation plate and falling into the boat. Soaking wet i drove my boat back to the dock tied it off drove back to the house to get changed and then back to pick up my hunting companions in my boat. I wear my life jacket always hunting and whenever i fish alone. I like a regular style camo vest type with mesh shoulders and the inflatable upon immersion for fishing.
South Jersey
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
I have seriously been considering a dry suit for hunting.
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
J C

I't is so true about water safety. Once I was hunting the Hudson River with a friend. We were on the banks of a Island. The weather was cold with lots of ice on the River. It was low tide and very windy. A few black ducks flew over the decoys and we knock down one. It was floating to the other side of the island. My friend wanted to jump in the boat and go get the duck. I told him no! I will walk out and pick the bird up. The water wasn't even a foot deep on the side of the Island we were hunting. Little did I know at the time the other side was a whole lot deeper. I took about five steps on the other side and went down ten to fifteen feet in the icy River. My friend thought I was gone forever. The only thing that saved me is I had a wader belt on. The air in my waders made me float to the top. Ware a belt with your waders and a life jacket. You don't have to be in deep water to lose your life.
anthony sr

Last edited by:

anthony m coons sr: Feb 2, 2018, 4:51 AM
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
Well it appears that one of the missing duck hunters have been recovered today. His body washed up in Isle of Wight County. While his body has not been positively identified the local television station stated that it is believed to be one of the missing men. It has been about 7 weeks since they were lost.

Hopefully the other man will come up soon. We have had some warm weather lately and I was hoping the warmer weather would help the process. You have to feel very bad for the family who has to endure what is a waiting game. I have seen missing boaters take months to surface and this case is a good example of this.

It appears he floated down to the next county down river. I expect this will stir up a large search effort to see if the other missing hunter can be located.
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
Darin Clark wrote:
Here in PA were past ducking season but are in the middle of ice fishing. Same safety consideration go for ice fishing. How many guys wear PFDs out on the ice. We had a fisherman go through the ice recently and even though EMS was called and on scene within 10 minutes it was to late.


A word of caution on wearing life jackets while ice fishing. First, they do make float coats for this purpose and they work well. Second - do not wear an automatically inflating life vest while ice fishing. Reason is it takes a couple of seconds for the auto inflate feature to activate. By the time it does you are underwater. If it then inflates, and you are not exactly under the hole where you went in, the inflation will push you right up against the ice making it hard to get back to the hole and out.

The best thing you can have on you are ice picks should you go through the ice. You can use them on the underside to pull yourself to the hole and then use them to get out as well.

The Wollner Open is later today. Probably the last day on the ice. Landings may be tough as cars bring all the salt on them to the landing where it washes off onto the ice and melts it. After that, the ice should be sold and at least 2' thick. Pictures to follow later.

Mark
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
The last duck hunter was found a couple of miles downriver from the first victim a couple of days ago.
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
 Is it easy to shoot with a float coat in a sneak boat? I wear a inflatable before the boat moves. PFD if the weather is sour. Been thinking about the float coat also...
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
You will get used to it. I've even shot from the layout boat with mine on.

If the weather is nice I may unzip it for some air and additional freedom of movement, but I always have it on. Most also have a buckle waist strap on the inside, so unzipping does not make it entirely unsecure.

I prefer the jacket style to the full length coat for shooting, as you may end up sitting on the "coattails" which isn't ideal when shooting from a sitting position. Plus if you do wade the jacket will stay drier than the coat.

Mustang makes a float jacket in olive drab. Onyx makes a float jacket in camo.
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
One of the most frequent causes of falling overboard while in a boat is via attempts to urinate over the side...carry a pee jug, and don't make yourself a future statistic.
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
On the occasions that I am out hunting solo, I too text when I head out and upon my return. It offers some peace of mind for my loved ones.
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
The law reads boats under 21'. But your right you should still wear the pfd on all boats .
HUNT HARD FISH HARD!
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
WELL SAID!
HUNT HARD FISH HARD!
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
A buddy of mine was tossed out this fall on Lake Superior in the pitch black. Low 50's water temp. He had a Striker camo Float suit on (they stopped making the camo ones now ... stupid), as well as the tether around his wrist. With the current ripping, the other two in the boat (who were also thrown to the floor) needed to get the now "dead-in-the-water" boat over to my buddy. Luckily, he had another plastic piece for the kill switch taped to the tiller handle so they could insert that piece and start the motor and get over to him.

Obviously, these things should always be discussed before needed. In the pre-dawn blackness, they were able to refire the outboard and go pick him out of the water. An extra kill switch key is a MUST HAVE, and it needs to be quickly accessible.






The bluebird can sing, but the crow's got the soul.
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
Tom,
That was a great post. I had never really thought about restarting a motor after a kill-switch event. The lanyard on my old Merc 50 just has an eyelet that is fed through a fairlead and loops around a regular bat-handled toggle switch. The toggle switch can be flipped back on at any time. On the other hand, the little 4hp Johnson I use on a sneak boat has a button that must be held down for the motor to run. The key on the lanyard is a clip that holds the button down. Without the clip, I would have to continuously hold the button down while starting and operating the motor. I don't have a spare clip. I'll have to give this some more thought.
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
MLBob Furia wrote:
On another site, Willy just reposted a video a guy made after falling out of his boat while picking up decoys without a PDF on. The shock of the cold water almost did him in and he was lucky to finally get back into the boat.... completely exhausted. All this happened with his son watching from their shore blind while he struggled. Really hit close to home for me, because oftentimes (most times) I'm guilty of picking-up sans PDF before getting underway. I rationalize that it gives me more freedom of movement, that I'm in shallow water close to the bank, and that I always put it on as soon as I get underway to run back to the ramp.
Made me realize wouldn't take long for me to get in trouble regardless of the water depth, especially since I'm LONG past ten foot tall & bulletproof. Wear 'em!!


One other point to add, as we age fundamental changes occur in our inner ear, impacting balance adversely...for all folks "of a certain age". You can offset this to a degree via exercise.

Willy is likely quite familiar with cold water drowning and hypothermia issues due to his close friendship with Jim Wicks who lost his good friend and hunting companion in a cold water drowning incident on South Manistieque Lake. Weldon had Jim hunted out of a pontoon boat blind that had been completely converted into a floating island via Jim's artistry work on the metal frame and extensive brushing. Jim would tow his marsh boat out behind the john boat to set decoys and retrieve birds, hiding the power boat on the other side of the point he preferred to hunt after repositioning the pontoon boat to sit up against the shore timber on the lee side of the point. Weldon paddled the Hoefgen out to retrieve a bird and fell over the side while reaching for it. The reason cold water immersion is so dangerous is that your vasculature, specifically your arterioles which contain a layer of smooth muscle immediately contract which causes a massive increase in what is termed pre-load on your heart, requiring a marked increase in pumping force, oxygen demand, and huge increase in catecholemine release. For folks without marked Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) issues this is physically taxing since the body is essentially shutting down blood flow to extremeties in an effort hold core temperature up. As time of immersion progresses, diminished oxygenated blood flow increases lactic acid release in skeletal muscles climbs as the cells switch over to anaerobic restoration to continue to make ATP. The increased lactic acid levels begin inteferring with muscle contraction rates and scope, as well as impacting heart muscle and brain function negatively. Heart muscle can't function much past five minutes at sites downstream of clot formation during an MI, dying. Part of this process is driven by increased tissue lactic acid levels.

In Jim's case, he could not revive Weldon when he got him once he dragged him onshore. He was too heavy to get into the jon boat, forcing him to tie him to the outside gunnel to motor back to the waiting ambulance-not an experience anyone would handle well. Jim quit duck hunting, based on that incident. and stopped carving duck decoys. Some time later I spoke briefly with Willy after he accompanied Jim down to the last ODCCA show at Westlake once he was back home. He thought Jim had a good time, but he also admitted that the experience had markedly changed him. Another common friend had been hunting with me prior leaving to hunt with them the following day. He videotaped their hunt, sending Jim a copy prior flying out of Kalamazoo to go back to Alaska. He checked his phone upon arrival in Anchorage, to be notified by his mom that Weldon had died via cold water immersion. Seelig was pretty heart sick to learn that he had sent Jim the video, which essentially was a record of the last day he was alive..
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
Steve

Your so right, I am as guilty as the next person. For years I never put on a life jacket, But after I had my two sons I beat it into their heads and mine to always where them in the cold weather. And now I even put them on when I'm in my boat. I hunt out of a 18 foot boat and always use a decoy pole to get my decoys. The water will take you fast in the cold, And no matter what we think how strong we are . With all those clothes and heavy waders on .The only chance you got is with a life jacket. I have been in some bad spots on the water. I have been scared out of my mind sinking in a boat. I didn't have a life jacket on that day and I had on waders. I thought it was over!! Thank God we were only off shore about ten or twenty feet on the Hudson. But it happen so fast !your never ready for something like that. Be smart be safe and always let someone know where your going.
anthony sr
Quote Reply
Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
 Spent many days on the water from a teen on the water running pots, duck hunting and working for tow boat later. Never wore a life vest, I was invincible... Working on tow boat almost went overboard on a wet deck. Left work and went right to west marine and bought my own inflatiable. I now have two, one stays with the duck boat one in my truck. Getting older, maybe smarter too! I use my push pole to pick up decoys.
Wish they made a really big inflatable, 5-6X to go over the y camo jacket easy, called Mustang and they don't make one. Remember, the life you save, may be your own... Be safe out there,