Waterfowl hunters: Wear a life jacket to help prevent drownings, DNR says


With waterfowl hunting season in full swing, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has another safety reminder for the state's bird hunters.

In a Thursday news release, the agency warns waterfowl hunters to always wear life jackets when boating, saying more die "year after year" from boat-related mishaps than from firearm accidents.

In fact, five Minnesota duck hunters – including two minors – have died from drowning, cold water shock, or hypothermia in the last five years. Two of those victims – who were not wearing life jackets – died last year, the DNR says.

“The importance of water safety and life jacket use needs to be impressed upon waterfowlers in the same manner as the tenets of firearm safety,” said Debbie Munson Badini, DNR boat and water safety education coordinator.

The warning comes as the hunting season wears on and temperatures across the state drop, turning many of Minnesota's waterways "dangerously" cold.

Splashing into a frigid pond or lake might not sound terribly threatening, but the DNR says falling overboard can strike "even the strongest swimmers" with cold-water shock and cause them to drown in "a matter of seconds" if they aren't wearing life jackets.

Other common causes of such fatalities are capsizing, and "swamping" – which happens when a boat is overloaded with passengers or equipment.

“Duck hunters are boaters, too," Munson Badini said in the release, reminding that the safety measures also watercraft operators are expected to take also apply to waterfowlers.

The DNR's boating safety guidelines can be found here.

Next Up

u.s. district court minnesota - federal court minneapolis

Bracing for security threats, federal courthouses closing in Minnesota

Security is also being ramped up at the state capitol.

N95 mask

3M sues Florida company that sold 10K counterfeit N95 masks to HCMC

The Maplewood company has obtained a temporary injunction against the firm.

vaccine, covid

Walz, Whitmer, and Evers call on Trump Admin. to buy more vaccines

It comes after The Washington Post reported that the country's COVID vaccine reserves have been exhausted.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Wolves-Grizzlies game off, KAT tests postive for COVID

The Timberwolves star was among several players that are dealing with COVID-related issues.

minnesota state fair

Planning for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair is underway

The fair suffered huge financial losses due to COVID-19, but organizers are moving forward with planning "different scenarios" for this summer.

Screen Shot 2021-01-15 at 2.16.44 PM

Heather Brown named as new WCCO 'This Morning' anchor

She will be joining Jason DeRusha on the CBS affiliate's Morning Show.

DPS John Harrington

DPS Commissioner: No credible threats to state Capitol, but ready if something arises

Local and state law enforcement officials have a plan in case a threat arises.

snow, slush (submitted photo, ok to use)

Here are snow totals from Thursday-Friday winter storm

It's a slushy mess in the metro, but snow did pile up in southern counties.

tim walz

Walz fury after report that government's COVID vaccine reserve is nonexistent

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Trump Administration has shipped out all the vaccines it has already, with none in reserve.