Duck hunters across the United States will soon brave the cold weather to chase ducks across our waters. Many of these hunters will be walking and running in chest waders, with some taking one wrong step and falling in the water.

Do not let your hunting partners get hypothermia and bring old clothing from your closet. This clothing does not need to be fancy camouflage or outrageously priced outdoor gear. Take that clothing you were going to throw out or bring to the second-hand store! Make sure you pack a few thinly layered shirts followed by a hoodie, sweat pants, hat, and socks.

Hypothermia accelerates 25 times faster when an individual is in cold water. Within seconds you can have a life and death situation on your hands.

Symptoms of hypothermia include:

  • Shivering
  • Slurred speech
  • Slow breathing
  • Clumsiness and confusion

If any of your fellow duck hunters have these symptoms after falling in the water, immediately dial 911 and have an ambulance waiting at the boat ramp. After you get off the phone, take ALL the wet clothes off the hypothermic hunter and put on the layers of old clothing. If you have several hunters with you, have the other hunters press their bodies against the hypothermic hunter as you drive towards the boat ramp.

Watching your buddy fill his waders in cold water might be entertaining at first but can quickly turn into a serious situation.

Take a few minutes before hunting season and pack those old clothes, they could save a life!

Justin J. Lind

September 2018
White Buffalo Outdoors