Thursday, May 10, 2007

Making hunting from a tree stand safer

Since I hunt the majority of my time out of a tree stand this is a particular area of concern.

Safety is for me a major consideration when hunting. Thinking and acting on safe procedures and behaviors begins when I plan my hunt to the moment I leave my house and enter the woods. The safety of others and myself is constantly on my mind. Since I hunt the majority of my time out of a tree stand this is a particular area of concern. For years I had used a plain rope to raise and lower my rifle or bow to and from the tree stand but I was never quite happy with that procedure. There have been times when the rope got slippery from the rain or ice and snow making raising and lowering the rifle or bow difficult at best, and worrisome at worst. What if the rifle fell? Not only could such a fall spoil the hunt, it likely could damage the rifle or scope too. What if I was in the tree stand, with the rifle loaded ready to hunt, and it fell out of the tree stand? Even if the safety switch of the gun was on, the shock from the fall still could cause the rifle to discharge. Just the mere thought of what a stray bullet could do to others or even myself makes me shudder.

When I am hunting I hate to worry about such things because it makes my confidence and concentration on the hunt suffer. In short, when I hunt I want peace of mind. I have enough already to think about rather than worrying about raising and lowering my weapon of choice to and from my tree stand. So when I heard about a brand new product on the market that completely eliminates these worries I was very pleased and eager to field test it.

The Gunslinger from Gun Safety Innovations LLC. is one of the neatest products that has come along in a while. I do a lot of product field-testing and have grown weary of new products that claim to make hunting safer. No such concerns with the Gunslinger, it does exactly what is promises. An effective tool based on simplicity- I like that very much-simple is always good. Using a secure attachment strap and Safe-Retrieve Tether ™ and high quality components make this product easy and fail-free to use.

Here is how it works: The Gunslinger assembly consists of a heavy-duty shock absorbing cord that attaches to the tree stand. The cord itself is connected to a strap that connects to the gun stock strap that can easily be adjusted to the size of the gunstock. That is all there is to it. Attach the resizable strap to the gunstock and use the Safe-Retrieve Tether ™ to raise or lower the rifle from the tree stand. Once the rifle is in the stand and you’re ready to hunt, disconnect the Safe-Retrieve Tether ™ and the rifle is now safely “leashed” to the tree stand. You still can hold the rifle in any direction needed without interference of the leash. Should the weapon be dropped for some reason the gunslinger will make sure that the rifle falls with the muzzle facing to the ground. Should a discharge occur from the fall, the bullet will go in the ground and not cause injury to you or others in the area.

In conclusion:
For a suggested retail price of $19.95 the gunslinger gives peace of mind and it is less expensive than having to repair the rifle after a fall from a tree stand. The sheer simplicity of the product is not surprising to me, knowing the gunslinger is the brainchild of experienced hunters. As such the fine folks at Gun Safety Innovations LLC exactly knew how to make tree stand hunting with a rifle safer without producing a complicated gadget. This is a product that I can fully recommend and will regard as a standard in my tree stand hunting tactics.

Gunslinger Data:

Suggested Retail Price: $19.95
Gunslinger Assembly:

1 Nylon Webbing
1 Revolving Spring Clip
1 Bungee Cord

Safe-Retrieve Tether ™:

1 Nylon Webbing
1 Revolving Spring Hook
1 Clip Ring
1 Cam Buckle

Gun Stock Strap:
1 Nylon Webbing
1 Clip Ring
1 Cam Buckle
1 Velcro

One inch olive drab green webbing straps

Very light

Tree Stand Compatibility:
The Gunslinger can be used with the tree stand set up at 16 feet above ground and easily clips on to most standard tree stand designs

the Gunslinger comes with a waterproof blaze orange carrying pouch
that clips neatly on to the belt or can be carried in the cargo pockets of the pants or jacket.

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