Tree stand safety is an important issue for deer hunters. Though good common sense should keep hunters safe when using tree stands it never hurts to review a few simple tips.
Practice With Your Stand
The time to learn how to use a tree stand is not at 5am on opening morning. Take the stand out in the daylight and learn to use it properly before taking it into the woods on a hunting trip.
Use Live Trees
Though that dead tree is in the right spot and it looks solid, it may not be. Roots may have rotted away and just a slight breeze (or a hunter hanging from the side) may be all that is needed to bring the tree down. Be aware of dead trees and limbs nearby that may fall on a stand location as well.
Let Someone Know Where You are Going
Make sure that someone trusted and reliable knows where you are going and when you will be coming back.
Take Along Something Orange
Deer season often corresponds with other hunting seasons including hunting seasons for squirrels and various birds. Having something orange to wave at other approaching hunters can alert them to your presence.
Leave Equipment to the Side
Though no one wants to fall from the tree, leave your equipment off to the side so that it does not become a hazard if you do fall.
Unload Your Gun
Guns and bows should be raised and lowered to the tree stand by a rope. The gun should always be unloaded before this occurs.
Tree Stand Safety for Deer Hunters – Use a Safety Harness
While a properly used tree stand should be safe and secure, problems do occur. A safety harness secures the hunter to the tree in case of stand failure or falling out of the stand.
Tree Stand Safety for Deer Hunters – Keep Survival Items With You
A select few survival items should be kept in a hunter’s pockets. In case of a fall or being stranded in the tree stand or suspended by the harness these items will be on hand. Three minimal items would be a bottle of water, a communication device (cell phone, whistle, flashlight, etc.), and a pocket knife (to cut the safety harness if needed). A more complete survival kit can be stored at the base of the tree in case of a debilitating fall.