Boating Basics Online is reader-supported. When you buy via our links, we may earn a commission at no cost to you. Learn more

What Should You Do Before Firing a Shot from a Small Boat?

Written by J. Harvey / Fact checked by S. Numbers


It just takes a small boat to wander around the hunting ground. Of course, you need to be properly armed based on hunting requirements.

You can’t be careless when you know what you’re doing. Start with the right firearms, precautions, and appropriate tools. These things will keep you safe and help you with the correct ways of hunting.

Before going over the details, could you guess what should you do before firing a shot from a small boat? Do you need to stand or just sit down? Is it required to stay on the bow?

Well, the boat should be immobile with the engine turned off. Then secure your boat by anchoring. There’s a lot of things to know, so keep reading.

Types Of Arms That Can Be Used In Hunting


The type of arms for hunting is also under legal regulations. A small shotgun or something with a 10-gauge is acceptable. It doesn’t hold more than three shells. The shots that you have should be approved by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

They should non-toxic like as follows:

  • Tungsten nickel-iron shots
  • Steel shots
  • Tungsten polymer shots
  • Tungsten iron shots

What Should You Do Before Firing a Shot from a Small Boat

Put the boat on a halt, then turn off the engine. The job of securing the boat is for the anchor and anchor line. These things should be done before you shoot nearby prey.

You have to make sure that you sit properly before firing a shot. Don’t forget to recognize the importance of legality, which should be incorporated with your actions, just like the prohibition of vehicles and aircraft when hunting.

Motor-powered vessels are prohibited from hunting as well. These vessels tend to drive or stir up birds and other creatures around the hunting place.

However, some considerations are given to individuals with disabilities. For example, those who had paralysis or lost their limbs can go hunting with land vehicles.

Pieces Of Equipment For Safety Purposes


It’s for safety purposes to gather pieces of equipment for hunting and firing a shot from your small craft. These things can save you from hypothermia and drowning.

  • Life jacket approved by the US Coast Guard
  • Anchors
  • First aid kit
  • Emergency tool kit
  • VHF radio or phone
  • Paddles or oars
  • Water bailer
  • Waterproof lights
  • A compass
  • Waterproof storage for guns and ammo
  • GPS and useful apps

You may also bring a friend with you and whom you’ll share the enjoyment or boat cleaners to wax your boat when you are free. It’s for the sake of safety as someone can help you when something bad comes up.

More Safety Tips When Hunting On A Small Boat

  • Don’t fail to adhere to boating rules, laws, and legislation in your states. Observance of these regulations is also for your safety.
  • Avoid doing something that can cause capsizing and swamping of your small craft.
  • Some prefer pontoons for hunting. Other small vessels have a flat bottom which makes them easily capsized.
  • The weight that the boat bears should be dispersed evenly. You have to plan where to put your gear and locate the right place for you to sit on.
  • Stay with the capacity that the boat’s manufacturer recommends. You’ll see a sticker on pontoons that shows its weight capacity.
  • It’s fine to take a dog with you as long as it’s well-trained. You have to place your ‘buddy’ in the middle part while keeping it low. When a dog is not trained and moves a lot on board, the boat will probably be capsized.
  • Don’t make yourself a victim of hypothermia by taking the safety equipment with you.
  • Check the weather forecast before setting off for hunting. In case of bad weather, you have to be prepared if it’s manageable to pursue the activity.
  • Don’t get too excited and only fire the shot when your boat has completely stopped and the engine should be dead. Also, anchor it securely.
  • It’s recommended to sit down while firing at your prey due to stability. You don’t want to fall into the water when doing it.
  • You should have the license issued by the local authority. Make sure that you have the right hunting permit and tags for distinguishing what you’ll be hunting.
  • It would be best if you also educate yourself regarding the transporting of firearms in your craft. It’s better that the gun is not loaded in a case before putting it to use and when being transported.

Firing The Last Shot!

The question, ‘What should you do before firing a shot from a small boat?’ has been answered. You have to be in a stable, sitting position when doing it. It’s the same setting with the boat too. The engine should be off while it’s being securely anchored.

You have to handle your gun with care. It should be unloaded first when not in use. Keep it safe in its gun case to avoid any accident.

5/5 - (1 vote)