You guys know anybody that drowned or almost drowned while wading?

bullpinnie

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I stepped in a beaver run in flooded timber, and into water well over my head a few years ago. As others have said, neoprene float's, ......but your feet and legs float first, which leaves your hear and shoulders to be submerged.

I ended up face up, and I paddled my arms like a MOFO to keep my hear above water. Which is not easy to do when you have a gun and blind bag over your shoulders.
 

tcc

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Years ago we had a boat hide/blind on the lake with brush and small trees behind it, and much of that was thick with floating vegetation. After spending a few mornings watching mallards flood into that mess right behind us I decided to try to make my way in there. The vegetation was so thick I was literally walking on top of it for a while, then I started breaking through after I'd gotten in there a ways and it was about 2in below the top of my waders. Temp was around freezing, and was scared to death I was going to break through into a little deeper hole and fill my waders, which if I did there was no way I was climbing back up on top of that mat and I'd be completely stuck with waders full of cold water. I really had no choice but to keep working my way out, breaking through and climbing out dozens of times before I got out of it. Took me about an hour and a half to make it 50-60yrds, and I was totally whipped when I finally made it back to open water. It very easily could have ended badly, but I did get my limit of mallards and a couple wood ducks.
 

bill cooksey

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The Reelfoot killer died while trying to wade to the bank.
 

Don Smith

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Years ago, I went all the way under in the river. Three of us hunting together. For some reason, during a lull, I decided to wade across to the other side. I don't remember why. The river's only about 50 yards across and only up to just below my chest so you can wade it in chest waders. This was so long ago that I was still wearing canvas waders. It was about 5 degrees out. I waded across and, wading back, almost all the way to shore, I tripped on something and went all the way under. The Scioto River south (downstream) of Columbus back then had a reputation of being filthy. Going under, as my face hit that cold water, the cold made me involuntarily open my mouth and suck in a bunch of water. As I went under, I actually kept my composure and remember thinking, "Well this water doesn't taste bad". LOL I was able to catch myself and raise up out of the water but as soon as my gloved hands were out of the water, my gloves froze, my shotgun slipped out of my hand and went to the bottom. My friends helped me out and then one (probably foolishly), felt for my shotgun with his feet and pulled it out when he found it. My waders were filled, but I decided I could stick it out to hunt. That lasted until the adrenalin surge shut down and then I was freezing. They told me to walk to the truck while they pulled the decoys. When they got to the truck, they asked why I was still standing outside. "Because my waders are frozen and I can't get them off" was my reply. I finally got them off. I'm not sure if I was close to drowning, but possibly if I hadn't had friends who could help me out. I switched to neoprenes right after I got home.

This past week, I switched to these: https://www.drakewaterfowl.com/coll...elite-4-layer-wader-w-tear-away-liner-regular
 

WidgeonmanGH

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I hunt using a drysuit. Not a scuba suit but one designed for paddling/kayaking (Kokatat SemiDry Supernova). It is called semidry because it has a neoprene neck gasket vs. a latex one like you have on your wrists. It has a relief zipper and is the safest most comfortable thing I have ever hunted in.

We (my son and I) got it for safety and to stop being wet when we hunt. We paddle a mile and a half in a saltwater marsh. We often encounter whitecaps, big waves, current, wind. The big danger is not drowning but hypothermia as it would take a long time for anyone to affect a rescue should we get dumped out of a kayak and swept out. Unless my head is underwater I am not getting wet and with the layers I can last a long time in the water. Without a drysuit you have about 15 min before your muscles start shutting down. So even if you were just hanging onto a kayak you would start having problems if you were wet. In addition if I trip while wading and go down (which I have done) I am still dry. (I tripped over a rope hidden in the gras in 2 feet of water and face planted. Perfectly dry. I also should say I layout in a coffin blind on mud flats. Dry no wet sleeves or wet back as the water wicks up the back of your parka.

I think more duck hunters should be hunting out of drysuits. There are some circumstances where it is just overkill. But many where they could save your life if things went wrong, and they are by far so much more comfortable to hunt out of than even breathables. My suit is goretex because I also use it other times of the year but the Hydrus works as well for duck hunting and is way cheaper.

I will never hunt out of waders and a parka again. .02
 

dirtyj

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I knew a guy who was fishing near an inlet at night on semi hard bottom. Took a step out and didn’t realize there was a ledge there and filled his waders and could never get back on solid footing and drowned. His body was found floating the next day.
 

muleeq

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yes, a friend's son while duck hunting, his boat started to float away and he went after it. I don't think he had a safety belt around his waders.
 

Tailfeathers

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I’m too old or have gathered a few ounces if wisdom or fear, or a combination of all, that I don’t do the wader thing any more in cold weather. I have grown to enjoy hunting the noble Canada goose in fields. Easier and less dangerous. I like hunting from a comfortable field blind with all the convienceses of everything I can dump out of a truck. Nope, no more waders, chest high water, hip high mud, submerged logs to trip me over, danger of drowning or hypothermia. Just a comfy chair, and a zero gravity recliner for later, for a late morning/mid day nap with an extra hunting coat pulled over me like a comforter, that sun on my face, waiting for a late flock of geese to wake me up with their wings woooshing upon landing in my decoys. Maybe its a dream, maybe actual geese, but no waders for me. Call me a wuss……me no care.
 

ARHHH4

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I actually dealt with this yesterday morning while on a hunt. Took my two boys out with my neighbor. I went out to open a pocket in our spread a little more, about ten minutes into legal light. Wouldn’t ya know it, here come four mallards off the lake. So I tucked up in the buck brush and called, while my neighbor and my oldest waited to shoot. Neighbor shot once, dropped a drake that was very lively. He took off out the blind to go get it, and my ten year old thought he’d help apparently. As I go back to moving decoys, I hear in pure 100% fear…. “DAD!!!!DAD!!!” My oldest, still in the blind says, “Dad!! H***on fell!!” As I throw my decoys and take off running through the water towards him, thinking he got tripped up around the ankles, I remember the creek channel that runs behind the blind. When I turn the corner, I see him standing up, but hunched over, and I see my neighbor trying to get his gloves and coat off of him. There they both stand, right at the edge of the creek. Neighbor Paul says that when my son started yelling in fear, he turned around to look and all he could see what my sons head. He told me he threw his gun down and ran over to the side to grab him, slipping in himself, but yet tall enough to where he could still get a foot down along the side of the bank to get them both back to the edge. I ripped into my son immediately about trying to cross the creek, then realized he’s only ten, and that overreacting at that point in time wasn’t what he needed as his emotions and adrenaline were both gonna be high. We took off back to the truck where I called my wife along the way. She hopped in the car and drove the 45 minutes to pick him up from me. My oldest son and Paul stayed in the blind and hunted in the mean time. I got him to the truck and stripped him completely naked, found a hoodie on my backseat and put him in it, wrapped him up in a fleece blanket and cranked the heat while we waited for my wife. I flipped the center console up on my front bench to be able to pull him closer to me, and pretty much bear hugged him as tight as I could til my wife arrived. I started thinking about how fast our lives can change and how devastated I would have been if Paul wasn’t right there and I couldn’t have gotten to him in time. His eyes started to well up with tears at one point and I asked “what’s wrong buddy?” He didn’t talk for thirty seconds or so, and then had a total meltdown…. “That’s the most scared I’ve ever been in my whole life…. I thought I was gonna die.” Then once I got him calmed back down again, all the emotions hit me. I enjoy shooting ducks and geese just as much as the next guy, but the thought of me not being able to bring my boy back home from a hunt okayed head games with me all night last night. So men, I know it’s not always possible, but when you can, duck hunt with a buddy. It’s nice being able to get away from the stresses of everyday life to clear your head and enjoy some time alone, but you never know when you’re gonna need a helping hand. It just may save your life.
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