Tips to help keep your hunt Safe.
Elevated platforms and tree stand hunting can involve a certain degree of risk. Serious injury or even death can be the results from a fall from a tree stand. Hunting from a tree stand can be a very safe Method of hunting and taking game when hunters use good judgement and follow these few simple precautions that I have outlined below.
Many States are reporting tree stand accidents as the major cause of hunting related injuries. The proper use of tree stand equipment will help greatly to prevent these injuries or even death as a result of these injuries. Please take some time to read my article as I think you will find it to be very helpful.
Before You Start The Hunt
First you must know your equipment
* Always read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings before you use your Tree stand Full-Body-Harness also referred to as: (FBH).
* Check your stands every season and also before each use including your straps and chains for signs of wear, fatique, cracks, missing or rusty bolts and nuts and replace if needed.
* Always practice at ground level first with your tree stand and your Full-Body-Harness. It is always nice to do this with another person with you before the hunt.
* It is good to learn how to use your Full-Body-Harness with a suspension release device. They can be tricky some times but with a little practice you will master it.
* Note: This is very important. Waist belts or upper body only designs of safety harnesses should never be used and can cause death or serious injuries.
Carefully Select The Right Tree For Your Stand
* Select a very healthy, straight tree that is the right size for your tree stand and be very careful that it don’t have any issues of
any concern. This is very important.
* Always check the tree for insects,nests or animal dens. One problem that we have here in Maine is deer ticks. They love some of these softwood trees.
* Using climbing tree stands on smooth barked trees, especially during icy or wet conditions is something to be very careful about. It can be very dangerous.
* Always clean debris from the base of your tree to minimize any injury from a fall and to insure a safe base if using a ladder stand.
Consider Selecting An Alternate Ground Blind
* Always be prepared for changing weather conditions such as high winds, rain, and lighting that might make it unsafe to hunt from an elevated stand.
* Always know your limitations. If you feel sleepy or unsure about the climb it would be better to just use a ground blind. It will provide you a safe alternative hunting option. Never good to take any chances.
Always Have A Hunt Plan And Stick To It
* Always let a reliable person know where you’ll be, when you will return and who’s with you. Plans and maps always make it easier for others to find you in the event that something don’t go as planned and you have a mishap.
Planning For The Hunt And Hunting With A Plan
Remember To Wear Your Full Body Harness
* Just owning a full body harness does not make you safe. You must take it out of your pack and wear it.
* Make sure your full body harness is attached to the tree as soon as you begin to climb using climbing stands or climbing aids.
* In the case of a ladder stand, attach the full body harness before securing the platform to the tree or stepping onto it.
Always Wear A Full Body Harness
While using any elevated stand
Don’t take any unnessesary chances
* When climbing a ladder, keep three points of contact with the ladder at all times. Both hands and a foot or both of your feet and one hand should be used to support your body weight when using a ladder.
* When using a platform stand, climb higher than the stand and then step down onto the platform. Slowly put your weight onto your stand to be sure of your balance.
* Use boots with non-slip soles to avoid slipping, especially in wet weather.
* Never carry equipment when climbing. This is never safe to do. Use a haul line to raise and lower equipment.
While in the stand
Properly adjust your full body harness
* Whether Your standing or sitting,it don’t make any difference, keep the tether line distance ( between you and the tree) as short as possible with no slack in the tether while in the seated position. This will minimize the distance in case of a fall.
Always use a haul Line
* Always raise and lower your firearm, bow or other equipment with a haul line. Its not safe to climb your stand in any case with your weapon in your hands.
* Always make sure that your firearms are unloaded before attaching to a haul line and don’t attach the haul line near the trigger or trigger guard
* Make sure your broad heads are covered prior to raising or lowering a bow with a haul line.
In the event that you fall try to stay calm
* By planning ahead you can avoid any additional problems.
* Have some emergency equipment such as a knife, cell phone, flashlight, and whistle on your person.
* Don’t take any chances what so ever.
* Call for help immediately if you have a problem.
I hope that you will find these tree stand safety tips helpful to you
Best To You
For more information on tree stand safety and a list of products that have been tested and certified go to:
* National Bowhunter Education Foundation www.nbef.org or www.projectstand.net
* International Hunter Education Association: www.ihea.com
* Treestand Manufacturers Association: tmastands.com