We recognize that hunting can be an amazing and enjoyable experience. We also realize the importance of tree stand safety. This guest post by Hunter ED focuses on some key aspects of tree stand safety to bring you back home safe, happy, and hopefully with a stocked freezer.
Tree stands are a great hunting tool! The elevated platform positions you above the animal’s normal line of sight, plus it offers you a wider field of vision. Not only that, but being up above the ground also changes where and how far your scent travels, making you harder to detect.
While there are plenty of pros when it comes to hunting from a tree stand, before you run off and pitch your stand on the nearest oak tree, make sure you’re prepared to hunt safely with these tips:
Tree Stand Safety Tips
Use a Fall-Arrest System
An obvious risk of using a tree stand is falling off. The best way to prepare for that? Using a fall-arrest system, or FAS, with a full-body harness, a lineman’s style belt, and a suspension relief strap. Better to be safe and strapped in than to take a nasty tumble and injure yourself!
Make sure, if you do fall while using a FAS, that you don’t just dangle there. Your leg straps could be cutting off your blood circulation. Instead, use your suspension relief strap to relieve pressure from the FAS straps. If you don’t have one, be sure to move your legs around, raising your knees and pumping your legs to keep the blood flowing.
Video below gives some insight into preforming proper or improper tree stand safety.
Climb with caution
Take your time and climb into your tree stand with caution! Always maintain three points of contact, whether you’re ascending or descending. That means, at all times, you should be climbing with at least two legs and one hand, with the other reaching up towards a higher point, or two hands and one leg, with the other stepping up on the ladder. While climbing, be sure to use your lifeline climbing rope. It keeps you connected in case you fall!
Practice makes perfect
When you first start using your tree stand, take it slow and practice using the stand at ground level, gradually taking it higher as you learn. Get yourself accustomed to the process of setting the stand up and the feeling of being elevated. It would be a shame to get to the top only to realize you’re afraid of heights!
Chose the right tree
Not all trees are created equal. Some trees, like sycamore and birch, have smoother, looser bark and isn’t too safe to hunt from. You wouldn’t want your equipment slipping on the smooth bark! Instead, minimize your chances of sliding by choosing trees that are alive and straight with rough, tight bark.
Haul your gear up
Never climb with a firearm or bow in hand. Instead, use a haul line to pull your gear and unloaded firearm up to you. And when you’re done? Use the line to lower everything back down.
Hunter Ed™ is the leading provider of online hunting safety education. Our state-approved courses feature interactive animations and award-winning video clips, in order to teach students to be safe, responsible and ethical hunters.