Home from the Hunt campaign turns attention to waterfowl hunting

WRCRALEIGH — The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s Home From The Hunt campaign is reminding waterfowl hunters who use boats to exercise boating safety and hunting safety.

The Wildlife Commission has set dates, bag limits and applicable regulations for the 2014-15 waterfowl seasons, with tundra swan (by permit only), duck and geese hunting segments opening on Saturday. Learn more here.

“Statistics show more waterfowl hunters die from hypothermia and drowning than gunshot wounds,” said Maj. Chris Huebner, the state boating safety coordinator. “Hypothermia is the loss of body heat and, left untreated, can prove fatal. Exposure to extreme cold, such as being in cold water or wearing wet clothes in cold conditions, can increase the chance of hypothermia.”

Wear protective clothing and watch the weather, he said. Let someone know where you are hunting and an approximate return time. Additional boating safety tips include:

*   Always wear a life vest.
*   Don’t overload the boat, especially with passengers.
*   Keep hunting dogs prone in the center of the boat.

In the event of capsizing or swamping, stay with the boat. It will provide some flotation and will be the initial focus of a rescue attempt.

Waterfowl hunters should handle shotguns in a safe manner. Be aware of muzzle direction at all times. Never shoot while standing in an unsecured boat or move about a boat with a loaded shotgun.

Go to www.ncwildlife.org/huntingor call 1-800-675-0263 for additional waterfowl hunting information.

Filed in: Outdoors

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