Tree Stand Safety Don’t List
First off, never ever climb a tree with nothing to stop you from falling. While that may sound like common sense to some of you, I can’t tell you how many stories I hear each year about someone falling out of a tree while hanging a tree stand. That can only happen when someone completely neglects tree stand safety. It’s a very easy thing to do and I have to say that I too am absolutely guilty of neglecting tree stand safety procedures on multiple occasions each year. It’s easy to tell yourself that “I only have to ……, it’ll just take a second…. I’ll be fine”. Like I said, I am guilty of this as well, but we have to start thinking more about how easily a great day in the woods can turn in to our last day on earth. That may sound a bit far fetched, but it actually happens every year. From hanging tree stands to falling from the tree when hunting, to climbing in and out of the stand, each and every step that we take that is off the ground could be costly if we aren’t being careful. Along with neglecting to wear a safety harness, hastily putting up a tree stand or climbing steps can result in less than favorable situations.
Experience isn’t Fool Proof
I have been hanging tree stands without a safety harness for a very long time. Though I was absolutely told to wear one when I was in the tree hunting, the education of the consequences of not wearing it anytime I was in a tree just wasn’t taught to me at a young age. As I’ve gotten a little older, tree stand safety equipment and harnesses have gotten much easier and safer to use while also becoming less of a hinder and pain. Not only that, the use and and education of safety harnesses have become much more main stream in the last 10 years. I have hung hundreds of tree stands over my hunting career and can say that I have had more than a few close calls when it comes to falling out of the tree. I am at a point now where I have smartened up. Regardless of how much experience I have, I know that all it takes is one slip to put a serious damper on my day or worse.
Tree Stand Safety Do List
Number one tree stand safety rule, wear a safety harness at all times. These days, safety harnesses come with almost every, if not every tree stand when you buy a new one. For that reason alone, it is pretty much inexcusable to not wear one. There are also set-ups that allow you to be attached to the tree from the moment you take your first step off the ground. If possible, that is the way to go because most hunting accidents happen while the hunter is climbing in or out of the stand and falls. Another simple thing you can do is use climbing sticks rather than the screw in steps. I can’t tell you how many scrapes and bruises I have gotten from slipping and getting torn up by a screw in step. With the climbing sticks, it’s far easier to maintain three points of contact at all times than it is with the screw in steps because of the interval consistency and closeness in step proximity provided with them. So far, I have yet to have a missed step or other issue climbing in and out of a stand while using climbing steps where I continue to have issues with missing a step or slipping because the screw in steps are too stretched out or whatever the case may be.
This is a subject that I honestly did not give much thought to until after I had kids. You really don’t think about how dangerous it is to be hanging from a tree trying to hang a tree stand on it. I know I didn’t in my early days of hanging tree stands. Even during my close calls, all I did was pay a little closer attention to whatever it was that almost caused a fall. Eventually, I graduated to using the old school safety harness when hanging stands just so I could lean back away from the tree and have both arms free to work as well as add an element of tree stand safety to my procedures. More and more hunters are leaning on safety harnesses to keep them safe while enjoying the sport we love. If you haven’t yet joined in on the bandwagon, now is the time. Have a happy and safe hunting season this fall!