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Keeping Safe Hunting in Treestands

Nov 13, 2008

Just a reminder as people head out to the fields and forests this year for deer season—one careless moment can be devastating. The good thing is that, with so many hunters having passed their hunter education certification, safety is on the top of the mind of many. The bad thing is that people occasionally let their attention lapse.

Tree stands are one of those things that require special attention and care. Some horrible accidents I’ve known related to these include a man falling and breaking his neck, another falling and having his ankles crushed as he landed and another killed as he drew a loaded gun up into the stand. Accidents do happen, but there are things hunters can do to avoid them.

  • Use only stands that meet standards of the Treestand Manufacturer’s Association (TMA) rated for your weight and all gear or equipment you wear or have with you on the stand.
  • Always use a fall-arrest system that meets TMA standards, which includes a full-body harness rated for your weight and any gear you wear or attach to yourself.
  • Have your fall-arrest system attached to the tree from the moment you leave the ground, throughout the hunt and when you descend to the ground.
  • Always position yourself so that you step down onto your treestand to test its stability.
  • Always use a haul line to raise and lower your gear, including unloaded firearms, bows and arrows.

I’m hoping to see no reports of treestand accidents this year. Remind your friends and family who use them to keep their safety in mind first so they can enjoy the deer later.

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