With hunting season in full swing, the woods are full of anxious hunters, watching and waiting for the perfect opportunity to take a shot at their prey. While hunting season is an exciting time for the outdoor enthusiast, it’s imperative that safety be priority number 1. When it comes to safety, the old adage is true: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. comes first. This week, we’ll focus where a lot of injuries occur…in the tree stand!
- Be sure to select the proper tree before hanging a fixed-position stand or using a climbing stand. The tree should be alive and healthy without any noticeable rot or damage. Your tree should also meet the size specifications and restrictions set by the tree stand company.
- NEVER hunt from a tree stand without a secure and high-quality safety harness. It only takes one fall to suffer a serious injury or permanently end a hunting career.
- A strong and sturdy safety rope (or strap) should be attached to both your harness and the tree to prevent you from falling more than 12-inches.
- Continuously monitor and inspect your safety harness and tree stands before and during the season to check for wear and tear or possible damage.
- When hunting from a fixed position or hang-on stand always inspect the ladder steps and tree stand attachments to make sure everything is secured to the tree.
- Always use a haul line to pull-up your gear, bow or unloaded firearm. Never climb with anything in your hands or attached to your back. Before climbing down, utilize the haul line to safely lower all of your equipment on the opposite side of the tree.
- Be sure to let family and friends know the exact tree stand location that you’re currently hunting. When at all possible, hunt with a buddy and always carry a communication device like a cell-phone or walkie-talkie that can easily be reached on your body at any time.
- Follow the 3-Point rule, which says always have 3-points of contact to your steps or ladder when climbing or descending from your stand.
- Be aware of slippery and hazardous climbing conditions that may result from rain, sleet, snow or ice and take the appropriate precautions.
- When using a climbing stand, make slow, steady and even movements of no more than 12 inches at a time. You should also make sure the climbing section and platform of your stand are attached together by some type of safety cord or rope.
Sources: Summit Stands and the Southern Land Exchange