Treestand Safety For Bowhunterson Oct 8, 2012
In and Out
While safety harnesses have been the primary focus of our discuss so far, what many people don't realize is that the majority of treestand accidents happen either while climbing up to or down from your treestand. In fact, over 80% of all treestand falls occur while climbing, not while sitting.
So, how do we stay safe when the vast majority of treestand accidents happen getting into or getting out of the stand? The answer to that question is relatively simple, and it's called a LifeLine. Several companies are now offering products that will keep a hunter attached from the time he/she leaves the ground until the time they return to it.
The "Lifeline", by Hunter Safety System, allows hunters to be attached even while climbing and entering their treestand.
The model I will be using this fall is the “Lifeline” from Hunter Safety System. The “Lifeline” is a 30 ft. section of rope that the hunter attaches above the treestand and ties-off at ground level. A Prusik knot on the rope allows the hunter to attach his lanyard to the rope while still on the ground and slide the knot up as he/she climbs the tree. This allows the hunter to remain attached when they reach hunting height and does not have to worry about falling while entering or exiting the stand. This is an excellent product, and will essentially prevent any hunter from falling while climbing and entering/exiting the stand. My personal recommendation is to place one of these potentially life-saving devices in every treestand you own.
Preventing Mechanical Failures
A good rule to live by is to remember that general care & maintenance must be taken when hunting in order to minimize accidents. This includes inspecting all equipment regularly. Even if the equipment is new, you’re never really sure what has happened while you were away. For example, a friend of mine learned this lesson the hard way last fall. He was climbing into his stand early one morning, and when he placed his weight on the stand platform it fell out from under him and he fell 20 feet. Lying in the hospital, he struggled to understand how the treestand fell because he had just hung it a few weeks prior. Upon further examination, someone had cut the strap on his stand while he was gone. The lesson…..never trust your equipment until you verify it is in safe working order.
In addition, follow the 3 point rule of treestand safety which says that you should always have 3 points of contact to the steps or ladder when climbing. This could be two arms and one leg holding and stepping on the ladder or one arm and two legs in contact with the ladder before moving. Also, be cautious of rain, frost, ice, or snow that can cause steps to become extremely slippery, as well as check the security of the step or stand before placing your weight on it.
Use good judgment. If something doesn't look safe, don't use it. “When in doubt, back out” doesn’t just apply to recovering game; it also applies to treestand safety. If something looks worn out, replace it. Saving a few dollars isn't worth your life or having a serious accident. Also, always make sure to tell someone else where you will be hunting and when to expect you back. A cell phone is also very helpful to call for assistance if necessary.
Remember, use your head when it comes to safety and don't take any chances with your life......it isn't worth losing.
Being safe while treestand hunting does not mean you have to give up comfort or convenience. There are many products available that will make staying in the stand and staying safe, easier. This, coupled with plain old common sense and being careful, is a good recipe for success. If you feel safe while you are hunting, you can concentrate more on the hunt; instead of worrying about your safety every time the wind blows. This hunting season; hunt hard, hunt high, but most of all, hunt safe!