Deadly Opening Weekend Of Waterfowl Season

Along with extreme wind and dry conditions throughout most of the state, this year’s opening weekend of waterfowl season was marked by many boating accidents and near misses, including two tragic fatalities: one on Bald Knob Lake and the other on the Arkansas River.

“The last thing a wildlife officer wants to do is notify someone’s family of these accidents,” said Capt. Stephanie Weatherington, boating law administrator for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. “And, unfortunately, many of them are the result of one basic detail being overlooked, the use of a properly fitting life jacket.”

Hunters may tend to overlook the safety requirements involved in boating, because the use of the boat may be only the way to get where they are going. But with the cold, wind and rain that often accompany a duck hunt, boating safety is paramount.

Life jackets and float coats have come a long way from the bulky, cardboard-shouldered vests and orange horse collars that come to mind when people mention life preservers. Today’s life vests and float coats are much more streamlined, and it doesn’t take long to adapt to the extra bulk that will help save your life in the case of an accident.     MORE

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