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Treestand Safety: Will You Become a Statistic This Season?

By Brodie SwisherSeptember 14, 2022

When we don’t know them personally as a friend or family member, they often get lumped into nothing more than a statistic. But when treestand accidents hit close to home, it changes everything.

These accidents happen every year. Some end with life-altering bodily damage, while others end in death. The statistics show that it will happen again this year. Hunters will die or be seriously injured in the months ahead.

The question is, will you be among those statistics?  

Treestand Safety: Will You Become A Statistic This Season?
Most treestand accidents happen on the climb in or out of the treestand. That's why the use of the lifeline is so important on every hunt.

You may say, “Yeah, I’m good, I wear a harness.” But the truth is, a harness is not enough.

Reports show that 86% of treestand accidents occur while the hunter is climbing in or out of the treestand. The harness is of no value at this point, unless the hunter is anchored to a lifeline device. 

The lifeline ensures that the hunter is safely anchored from the time they leave the ground, until they return again. This is the only way to ensure that the hunter is truly safe throughout their treestand hunting experience.

Unfortunately, far too many hunters consider these treestand safety tools as accessories, not necessities.

Marilyn Bentz, Executive Director of the National Bowhunter Education Foundation, recently shared the piece below through the Archery Wire. Every treestand hunter needs to read and heed what she has to say. 

bowhunting attaching lifeline on tree
Don't forget about your lifeline! Visual inspection of the line and prussick knot on a regular basis are important to making sure you stay safe.

Hunters love gear, gadgets and widgets. Give us a multi tool and we are fascinated for hours! An accessory that is new or different will make its way into our backpack. But truly, some are not ‘accessories’ at all… they are essential to being a safe, responsible hunter. One such essential item is an FAS (Fall Arrest System). In fact, the National Bowhunter Education Foundation doesn’t refer to an FAS as an accessory. An FAS is an integral part of an elevated stand. Since 2004 every stand manufactured must come shipped with an FAS manufactured to industry standards. Even aftermarket vest FAS are not accessories. They are an upgraded FAS; an item which is essential to using your elevated stand.

The issue with calling an FAS an accessory is that most accessories can be left at home without causing any life-or-death consequences. Accessories may be nice-to-have but not a necessity. Multi-tools can be an extremely useful item but somewhere in the depths of your pack, you may have those same tools just as a single knife or screwdriver. But where do you have another FAS?  Many people have a favorite premium vest FAS they choose to wear but they also keep the FAS that came with their tree stand in their hunting vehicle just in case. It’s recommended that you put on your FAS at home when putting on your hunting clothing – and have a backup plan. Remember to read manufacturer’s instructions and follow them closely.

What about you? Do you wear a harness and use a lifeline when you climb into the stand?

If not, please take a serious look at adding it to your must-have gear items this fall. Consider it an investment to ensure you return home to your family and friends at the end of the hunt.

Don’t be a deadly statistic this hunting season. 

Check out the best treestands for the mobile hunter HERE 

Brodie Swisher
Brodie Swisher is a world champion game caller, outdoor writer, seminar speaker and Editor for Bowhunting.com. Brodie and his family live in the Kentucky Lake area of west Tennessee.
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