Monday, August 24, 2009

Treestand Hunting Safety

© By Othmar Vohringer

With the hunting season approaching fast hunters are getting ready. After scouting, which you hopefully have done by now, our next task is to hang the treestands. Hunting from a treestand is for many the preferred method of hunting. And quite rightly so. Treestands offer many advantages over other hunting methods. However, every time humans leave terra firma they expose themselves to certain risks that could get deadly in a heartbeat.

Treestand hunting is only safe if the person using them acts responsibly and pays attention to a few commonsense safety guidelines and here they are:
  • Never carry equipment with you while climbing. Use a haul line to raise or lower your gear. Make sure guns and crossbows are unloaded and broadheads are covered prior to raising or lowering firearms, crossbows, or bows.
  • Always use a climbing belt when climbing up or down a tree. Use a safety harness when hunting from elevated tree stands. Study manufacturer’s recommendations before using any equipment. Never use a rope to replace a safety harness.
  • Check permanent tree stands every year before hunting from them. Replace any worn or weak lumber.
  • Read, understand and follow the factory recommended practices and procedures when installing and using commercial stands. Inspect portable stands for loose nuts and bolts before each use.
  • Choose only healthy, living trees when using climbing devices. Rough-barked trees such as oak are best. Do not use a tree that is rotten or has dead limbs.
  • Never put all your weight on a single branch. Keep at least one hand and one foot on a secure place when reaching for the next hold.
  • Climb higher than the stand and step down onto it. Climbing up onto it can dislodge it.
  • Wear boots with non-skid soles, because steps or platforms can be slippery in rain, sleet or snow.
  • Never hunt from a treestand in high wind, lightening storm or under the influence of alcohol and medication that could impair your judgement and reactions.
  • Always make sure you choose a tree that is not over or under the tree diameter recommended by the stand manufacturer.
  • Tell a dependable person where you’re hunting and when you plan to return. Map your whereabouts and leave a note at camp, at home or in your vehicle so that you can be found.
  • If sleepy, move your arms and legs to promote blood circulation until you feel alert. Always be well rested before attempting to hunt from an elevated stand
  • Maintain your treestands regularly after each hunting season and store them in a dry place. Check the stand before each use for wear and tear.
  • Repair treestands only with manufacturer recommended parts.
  • As a precautionary measure, clear all debris, branches, rocks and other hard or pointy material from the ground below the tree stand.
  • Use updated equipment. Newer tree stand equipment is solid, safe and secure. Updated safety harnesses offer more protection than older ones.
  • Carry a whistle to call for help and carry a first aid kit, flashlight and cellular telephone in a fanny pack.
  • Before you hunt from a newly purchased treestand practice attaching and detaching it to/from the tree at about a foot or two of the ground. Stand and sit on it until you become absolutely familiar with the stand and how to set it up.
  • Only use stands that carry the approval rating seal of the Treestand Manufactures Association (TMA)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Always good to have these reminders especially this time of the year with bow season either already started or about to start.

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