When it comes to tree stand safety, the importance of this topic can't be stressed enough. Thousands of hunters will climb into a stand on numerous occasions this fall - please make certain it's not your last!
Most accidents happen going in and out of the stand before people are safely strapped in. The good news is this can be avoided simply by using a lifeline. The idea behind a lifeline is to keep you connected from the moment you leave the ground until the moment you return. This eliminates the chance of falling from the tree on the ascent or descent; plus it make things easier when you get into your stand because you’re already connected.
My favorite part of the Hunter Safety Systems lifeline isn’t the fact that they also make a double lifeline so you can have two people safely connected on the same setup. This is a great way to take kids hunting from a tree stand yet ensure they’ll be safe along with yourself.
The new HSS lifelines also have a reflective material in the rope so you can easily find your stand. Now you can skip using glow tacks at your stand and simply rely on your lifeline to spot the stand.
Another thing to remember when setting your tree stand is to always be aware when cutting trees or small branches around the stand. I’ve often seen people cut a small tree about a foot off from the ground because it’s easier. This is a terrible idea because if someone should ever fall, these can act like a spear if you fell upon them. They are also very easy to trip on in the dark so make sure to chop them off right at the dirt level to avoid any possible issues.
Regardless – if you’re hunting with a bow or gun from your tree stand, never take either up with you as you crawl up to the stand. I like to tie a rope to the top of my stand near the seat and tie my gun or bow to the rope. This allows me to climb with both hands free. Then, once I’m settled in, I bring up my gun or bow. I also like to ensure the rope is tied on close to the seat so I’m not leaning over at the base trying to pull something up. Also keep in mind that if you’re going to be bringing up heavier items such as a backpack or gun, use thicker rope. It’s much easier to pull compared to a very thin diameter rope.
Last and probably the most important, make sure you are always wearing a safety vest. When it comes to safety vests there are so many different options to choose from: there is surely something right for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a minimal safety vest, something that fits into a tight budget, or something that offers numerous pockets and features, the most important this is that you are wearing something every single time you hang a stand, sit in a stand, or even do maintenance on your current setup. If you’re off the ground, ensure you’re safe by always wearing a safety vest.
Overall, tree stands can be one of the most effective ways to hunt but you need to always beware and use caution. Simply wear a safety vest, use a lifeline, and you’ll be sure to safely get in and out of your stand hunt after hunt.