Tree stands can be a source of fun, as they help you get off the ground, make shooting distances shorter and improve your hunting experience. However, if you are new to tree stands, the elevated platforms could make you uneasy. Remember, accidents can happen. Therefore, you need to follow these safety guidelines and enjoy your time in the tree stand.
Always Use a Safety Harness
Wearing a safety harness must be the first priority, whether you are climbing in, out of a tree stand, or in a tree stand. There must also be a safety trap attached to the tree that will act as a safety gear and prevent you from injury or damage to your gear.
Read Instruction Manual
Proper adjustment of the harness system is also necessary. For this reason, it is crucial to focus on reading and following all the instructions and warnings as mentioned in the instruction manual.
Remember! Failure to follow the instruction manual for the harness system might result in severe injuries.
Verification of Harness Expiration Date
Among other tree stand safety tips include checking and adhering to the predetermined or mandated date of harnesses. The average life of a safety harness is usually around five years, so look for the signs of wear so that fall protection can be ensured.
Don’t Leave the Ground
If you are not wearing the harness, focus on not leaving the ground. Be safe!
Attached Safety Strap
Prevention from falling requires attaching a safety strap to the correct position. In an event of a fall, the safety trap must prevent you to a distance of no more than 12 inches.
Start Practicing on the Ground First
Practice makes perfect!
Focus on practicing with a harness and tree stand at ground, rather than higher positions. All the safety devices with the tree stand must be used while keeping in mind the instructions from the manual.
Don’t Carry Equipment
When climbing, exceeding the weight limit could be alarming. Focus on not carrying any equipment either in your hands or on your back, and if required, a haul line must be used.
If you have planned for hunting, you must:
- Keep the gun unloaded and tied with a rope around the handle
- Point it towards the ground as an additional precautionary measure.
Prioritize Tree Stand Checking
If you are fond of hunting and plan a session for yourself each year, checking the tree stand must be your priority. The checking must include inspection of nuts and bolts as well as other worn parts of the tree stand.
Simply checking and inspecting the tree stand before use will ensure that everything is in order and working correctly.
Avoid Tree Stand Modification
Making any modifications to the tree stand must be avoided. Tree stands are designed and used for specific locations and, therefore, might not be safe with the extra changes.
If you are a beginner, tree stands can be unsafe, if used either carelessly or incorrectly. Modifications can lead to major accidents.
Prioritize Selection of Healthy Trees
The size limit of trees suitable for a tree stand is usually highlighted in the instruction manual. Using a tree that is either dead or nearly dead does not support the weight of a tree stand and the hunter. Rough bark trees are usually suitable for the tree stands to be attached. (1)
Wear Boots with Non-skid Soles
The selection of suitable boots is the first step to avoid tree stand falls and injuries. Considering the unpredicted weather and climatic conditions in such regions, boots with non-skid soles are usually suitable. These boots will prevent you from slipping on steps or platforms in rain or sleet.
Ensure Safety Following 3-point Rule in the Following Way
Ensure having three points of contact with hands and legs before climbing the steps. Following either of the following rules,
- Keep two legs or one arm in contact with the ladder
- Keep your two arms or one leg in contact with the ladder
Climbing a Tree Stand
Whenever climbing into a tree stand following three points of contact, focus on climbing higher on the three at which the tree stand is attached. Following this, step down onto the platform. This will help you to be safe.
Rushing tree climbing could have been dangerous and result in severe injuries. Try not to rush, especially if you are a beginner. Making slow movements of ten to twelve inches are enough to keep you safe.
Don’t Fall Asleep
Do you know what the most common cause of accidents is? Falling asleep.
Make sure you are well-rested and are alert before you start climbing and hunting.
Inform Someone Before Leaving for the Hunt
You should be giving your hunting plan, the day you will go and return, to someone close to you. As a further precautionary measure, you should have a safety kit with you.
Get Enrolled in an Online Safety Course
A safety system for hunters has been in place for saving a precious life. However, as you are a beginner, taking free stand safety courses would be beneficial. (2)
You should know additional safety tips that could save your life.
Review TreeStand Manufacturers Association Video
The Tree Stand Manufacturers Association (TMA) has devoted its resources to promoting and raising awareness regarding tree stand safety through education.
In the above video, the discussed five safety tips include,
- Read manufacturer’s warnings and instructions
- Practice installing and removing fixed position
- Inspect the tree stand and harness before use
- Don’t hurry and never take shortcuts
See the video below;
TIPS: A Must Accessories you Should Have
Any miscellaneous straps, ropes, chains, ladder sections, or locks
- First aid kit
- Cellular phone for contact
Hunting from a tree stand can be an amazing experience if you take a couple of minutes of caution and hello safety guidelines to ensure that all of your memories are positive. Follow precautionary measures and keep yourself safe.
(1) healthy trees – https://www.angi.com/articles/6-signs-healthy-tree.htm
(2) Online Safety Course – https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/requirements/education/basic