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

what should you do before firing a shot from a small boat

You want to go hunting on your boat and it’s your first time, so you check out a Quizlet or two. However after going through the info you’re stumped as you encounter an unfamiliar question on Boat Ed. So now you’re on the internet looking for the right answer to what should you do before firing a shot from a small boat?

Worry not, because this guide was made specifically for you.

The Short Answer

Turning the engine off and anchor your boat, ensure that the boat is stationary and secure, then take up a proper stance such as sitting or prone.

A secure and stationary boat is a stable boat, thus this is an important step before taking a shot to not only ensure that you don’t miss it but also to make sure that you don’t hit anything else other than your intended target.

All this is under the assumption that you have already followed all boating laws and gun safety rules as mandated by your local law enforcement.

What Kind of Firearms and Shots Hunters Can Use From a Small Boat?

Shotguns should only be 10 gauge and below and should not be able to make more than three shots with the Steel shots, Tungsten iron shots, Tungsten-nickel-iron shots and Tungsten-polymer shots, as the allowable types of ammunition.

Bows, crossbows, and the like, are considered firearms and thus arrows can also be used.

Always check with your local laws regarding firearms as the details change depending on your location.

Safety Equipment and AdvicE

Before heading out to the various advice we have in store for you, consider your personal safety as priority number one. Make sure all your equipment is properly maintained and in good working condition to prevent misfires.

Wear proper clothing, a certified life jacket, and an emergency kit. Also keep an anchor on your boat, as well as communications equipment like a phone or radio.


Always be aware of the weather and follow proper gun safety rules. Be aware of any stray waves or wildlife that could potentially capsize you due to your boat’s small size.


The weight is an important factor when it comes to buoyancy and consequently boat stability. So to make sure you get the most stable platform possible on your boat before firing here are a few things to keep in mind.

Stay Lightweight

For small boats, being as light as possible helps with stability as it can ebb and flow with the water and it has a much more predictable response. A heavier boat sinks deeper below the water line and will absorb more energy from waves causing it to be more unstable than a lighter one.

Evenly Distribute Weight

Of course, you’re going to take your gear with you so there must be a limit to weight reduction. In that case, you can evenly distribute the weight across your boat and not make any single area heavier than the rest.

A balanced boat is a stable boat.

Stay Within the Boat's Capacity

This goes without saying that you should never overload your boat under any circumstances. Each boat has a rated capacity and it would do you well to stay under it to prevent unstable and unpredictable movements which might lead to an accident.


Sure you can bring dogs with you, especially the hunting type, but only do so with trained dogs, as an untrained one is capable of capsizing the boat when startled.

Keep it at the center of your boat and as low as possible to maintain stability with the boat.


Depending on where you are, water can range from tolerable and enjoyable to deadly and fatal.

When on a hunting trip with a boat always wear insulative material to protect yourself from cold waters and hypothermia should you fall overboard or accidentally capsize the boat.

Though not entirely necessary especially for seasoned boaters, safety should always be prioritized and it gives you some insurance in case of emergency.

Extra Tips

  • Always stay legal, unload your weapons during travel, and only load them when ready to fire.
  • Consider your local laws regarding the transportation and use of weapons on a small boat.
  • Never fire standing, as it puts you in a dangerous position and a high chance of capsizing the boat. Also, some laws consider stand firing on a boat illegal, so for your safety please don’t stand up.
  • If your boat allows you to go prone, then do so, as this is the most stable position you could possibly be in when firing.
  • Always be aware of the recoil as it affects not only you but your boat as well.


Shutting down the engine, securing the boat, and ensuring it’s stationary before taking a shot is the proper answer to this quizlet and I hope you’ve learned a thing or two from this article on what should you do before firing a shot from a small boat.

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