Did you know that 1 in every 3 hunters will fall from a tree stand in their life? No matter how long you’ve been hunting or how much experience you have, accidents can and will happen. If you or someone you know loves to hunt, make sure that they read through the following tree stand safety tips from the Treestand Manufacturer’s Association.
5 Basic Steps to Tree Stand Safety
More hunters are hurt by poor tree stand safety than firearm and archery accidents every year. The statistics don’t lie. Tree stand safety could potentially save your life, and it is our responsibility to follow the guidelines that are set to protect ourselves and others.
The Treestand Manufacturer’s Association (TMA) has come up with 5 points to tree stand safety that, if followed, will help protect you from being another statistic.
- READ all instructions and manuals from the manufacturer.
- PRACTICE with your stand at ground level, first.
- WEAR a full-body fall arrest harness system every time you leave the ground, including while ascending or descending from a tree.
- INSPECT the tree stand and all equipment before each use.
- NEVER HURRY while using a tree stand.
Inspect, Inspect, INSPECT!!
I asked one of the board members of TMA why he thought there were so many tree stand accidents, and he replied, “One of the most common reasons these accidents occur is because hunters are not inspecting their equipment. They’re just assuming everything is okay, and that is when accidents happen.”
- Inspect your tree stand and full-body fall arrest harness system for signs of wear or damage before each use.
- Look for discolored hardware, such as faded webbing; frayed or cut straps; rusty or cracked metal; and any deformities.
- Contact the manufacturer for any replacement parts you need. Destroy all products that cannot be repaired.
- Check the tree stand safety manual provided by the manufacturer to make sure everything is installed correctly, and inform all potential users of safety steps.
Even if you think your equipment is okay, inspect it anyway. Many factors can contribute to tree stand failures, such as tree growth, UV rays, weather, and pests. Just because it was okay yesterday doesn’t mean it’s safe today.
Tree Stand Safety Equipment
Full-Body Fall Arrest Harness System
There are many different brands and plenty of extras to make each full-body harness better than the next. The most important thing is that you have the harness and you wear it every time you plan on leaving the ground.
Never climb up or down your tree stand with anything in your hands or on your back. Instead, use a haul line or lift cord to raise your gear to you, once you’ve reached your desired hunting height. Before you get down, lower your equipment on the side of the tree opposite of your descent route.
If your stand fails, a safe line is supposed to prevent you from a fall. You will want to be sure to check the weight rating of your safe line and test it before use. Have a plan for recovery/escape and practice close to the ground. If you fail to recover in a timely manner, you could still be seriously injured.
Current Tree Stand Safety Standards
TMA members are required to meet standards given by the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) to ensure their products are the safest available. Make sure the equipment you’re using follows these standards by checking the current standards here.
The ASTM standards have been put in place for your safety, so don’t use homemade tree stands or safety equipment.
If you, your family, or your friends like to hunt, have them read this post and visit TMAstands.com for more information on tree stand safety before you start you hunting in one this season.
To find out when hunting season starts in your state, check out our hunting season dates list.
Stay safe, and happy hunting!