Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Hunting from Duck Boats Require Safety

Waterfowlers hunting from boats are encouraged to wear properly-fitted life jackets while on the water.

 

Hunting jackets with life jackets already built in are light and comfortable to wear. In addition, wearing a life jacket will not only keep the overboard hunter afloat, but also slows the loss of critical body heat caused by exposure to cold water.

 

Capsizing and falling overboard from small boats are the most common types of fatal boating accidents for hunters.

 

Eight people have drowned in state waters since 1998 while hunting from a boat, and none were wearing life jackets.

Missouri River Safety Day May 17

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department and Townsquare Media are sponsoring the Missouri River SPLASH – a recreation and boating safety event for everyone who enjoys the Missouri River.

 

The event is Thursday, May 17 in Mandan from 2-5 p.m. at Moritz Sport and Marine. Displays, hands-on activities, demonstrations, regulations, registrations and prizes are included.

 

The event is free, and people of all ages are invited to attend.

 

State law requires youngsters ages 12-15 who want to operate a boat or personal watercraft with at least a 10 horsepower motor to first pass the state’s Boat North Dakota safety course. In addition, some insurance companies give adult boat owners who pass the course a discount on boat insurance.

 

The Boat North Dakota safety course is free and available at the Game and Fish Department.

Hunter Education Classes

 

 

Most hunter education courses have wrapped up for 2016.

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However, individuals or parents with children who will need to take a course in 2017 should monitor the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov, as classes that begin in January will be added to the Buy and Apply link as soon as times and locations are finalized.

After accessing the Buy and Apply link, click on the hunter ed enrollment link and “list of hunter education courses.” Classes are listed by city, and can also be sorted by start date. To register for a class, click on “enroll” next to the specific class, and follow the simple instructions. Personal information is required.

Individuals interested in receiving a notice by email when each hunter education class is added can click on the “subscribe to news and alerts” link found below the news section on the Game and Fish home page. Check the box labeled “hunter education” under the education program updates.

In addition, SMS text notifications of new classes can be sent directly to a cell phone. Simply text “NDGF HunterClass” to 468311 to subscribe to this feature.

State law requires anyone born after December 31, 1961 to pass a certified hunter education course to hunt in the state. Hunter education is mandatory for youth who are turning 12 years old, and children can take the class at age 11.

Hunting from Duck Boats Requires Safety

 

Waterfowlers hunting from boats are encouraged to wear properly-fitted life jackets while on the water.

photo by Craig Bihrle, ND Game and Fish

Hunting jackets with life jackets already built in are light and comfortable to wear. In addition, wearing a life jacket will not only keep the overboard hunter afloat, but also slow the loss of critical body heat caused by exposure to cold water.

Capsizing and falling overboard from small boats are the most common types of fatal boating accidents for hunters.

Eight people have drowned in state waters since 1998 while hunting from a boat, and none were wearing life jackets.

Summer Safety on the Water

Failure to wear a personal floatation device is the main reason people lose their lives in water recreation accidents.

Safety on the water-wearing life jacket

North Dakota law requires all children ages 10 and younger to wear a personal flotation device while in boats of less than 27 feet in length. The law also requires all personal watercraft users to wear a life jacket, as well as anyone towed on skis, tubes, boards or other similar devices.

Water users should make sure to wear life jackets that are the appropriate size, and in good condition. It is also important that children wear a PFD while swimming.

Water skiers and tubers should wear a life jacket with four nylon straps rather than one with a zipper, because straps are stronger than zippers upon impact with water. Anglers or persons paddling a canoe should opt for a PFD that is comfortable enough to wear for an entire outing.

Water skiers and tubers are reminded it takes three to ski and tube. When a person is towed on water skis or a similar device, an observer other than the operator is required on the vessel.

Swimmers should know the water’s depth as serious injuries can occur from diving into water. Large objects hidden below the water’s surface can lead to significant injury.

North Dakota boaters also are reminded that marine VHF radios are an important part of boat safety that should not be improperly used by operators. These radios are intended for boat operators who are in distress and facing an emergency situation.

Regulations to help ensure safe boating this summer are found in the 2016-18 North Dakota Fishing Guide. A more comprehensive listing is available in the North Dakota Boat and Water Safety Guide or the Boat North Dakota education book. These guides are available online at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov, by email at ndgf@nd.gov, or at a local Game and Fish Department office.

Game and Fish urges early ice house removal

While the deadline for removing permanent fish houses from North Dakota lakes isMarch 15, the State Game and Fish Department is urging anglers to consider removing their houses early in areas of the state where ice conditions are deteriorating, especially in the southern and western portions.

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Given the current long range weather forecast predicting temperatures well above normal, coupled with a thin icepack in much of the state, department education coordinator Brian Schaffer says mild weather can quickly result in unstable ice conditions that can make removing a fish house with a vehicle difficult or dangerous.

Even on lakes where ice remains solid away from shore, specifically in the northeast where ice conditions are much better than the rest of the state, Schaffer said anglers should watch the weather and adjust activities accordingly. “It is always important to check ice thickness, especially this time of year,” Schaffer said. “We have heard recent reports of several vehicles breaking through the ice, and anyone going on the ice should be extra careful.”

Ice conditions can vary from region to region, between lakes in the same region, and even on the same lake, Schaffer added. “We know people want to keep fishing,” he said, “but given the current conditions it’s good for anglers to keep safety in mind.”