Tree Stand Safety
Tree stands have become a major asset to deer hunters and offer many advantages. They provide a better field of view, allowing hunters to see a wider area. By getting up off the ground hunters are able to shoot over brush piles and low hanging limbs. Tree stands also remove hunters from the direct line of sight and smell of deer.
Tree stands come in many different variations. Whether you are using a climber, lock-on, or ladder stand, they all carry an element of danger. Here are a few safety rules to help make sure you make it back to bag that big buck time and time again.
1. Always read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings. Familiarize yourself with the different parts and proper installation of the tree stand. Practice setting up the tree stand at ground level before setting it up at an elevated position. If you are using a climbing tree stand it may be helpful to practice setting it up in low light conditions that favor how you will be setting it up in real hunting conditions.
2. Inspect your stand before each use. Make sure that all the parts are in good working order. Check that all bolts, straps and nuts are there. Be sure to replace any worn parts. If there is any question about the condition of the stand, don’t use it.
3. Always use a full-body harness when using a tree stand. Most accidents occur when you are ascending or descending from your stand so be sure to stay tethered to the tree at all times.
4. Make sure that the bottom portion of your climbing stand is connected to the top in case the lower half falls when you are climbing.
5. Be sure to pick out the proper size tree for your stand. Make sure the tree is fairly straight and in good shape. Never climb a dead tree.
6. Always use a haul line to pull up equipment and your unloaded gun. Never climb with anything on your back. Always lower your equipment before descending from your stand.
7. Never hurry in a tree stand. Make slow even movements, making sure that you have proper contact with the tree at all times.
8. And finally, make a plan. Tell someone where you are going and when you should be back so they know where to find you in case something happens.
By following these safety tips you should be able to enjoy many trips to your favorite hunting spots in search of the big one.