Rescue Bag: Waterfowlers hunting water in cold weather should consider creating a "Rescue Bag" to carry in their boat. If someone gets wet, hypothermia can develop quickly and be life-threatening. The Rescue Bag should be waterproof and include, at least, towels and a change of clothes. You may also want to include space blankets and fire starting materials.
Icy Boat Ramps: Late winter hunters may encounter boat launches that are a sheet of ice. This brings the risk of a jack-knifed trailer and truck. To avoid this, consider carrying some buckets of sand in your truck to spread out on the paths of your truck tires.
Canine First Aid Kit: It’s a good idea to carry a doggy first aid kit in case your four-legged partner gets injured in the field. Items to carry include: a muzzle (no matter how friendly your dog is, if it is seriously injured it may try to bite you), EMT gel, gauze and tape, canine eye drops, tweezers, hydrogen peroxide and some OTC medications like Benedryl, aspirin, Pepto-Bismol and others. You can find proper dosage information for the OTC medications at www.thedogplace.org and likely other sites online, or ask your veterinarian.
Steel Shot: Use a metal detector. You can help avoid crunching teeth on steel pellets by purchasing a hand-held metal detector. Some are about the size of a small flashlight. Run it over your ducks or geese to find and remove steel shot!
Geese in the Fog: When goose hunting in fog, consider calling intermittently even when you don’t see or hear geese. A silent flock that you cannot see may hear you and come down and look.
Leaky Waders: Bring a couple of large plastic trash, leaf or contractor bags when you are hunting in waders. If you pop a hole in them, you can slide the bag over your foot to keep it relatively dry until you can repair your waders.
Dog Stand: If you use a dog stand to get your pup up off the surface of the marsh or for "place" training, many are covered with a slippery nylon surface. This makes it tough for the dog to get traction. There is an easy remedy. Get some marine grade traction tape (usually sold in strips or rolls) and apply it to the surface of the stand. Your pup will thank you!
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