It never fails that when you listen to the news after the first weekend of the Wisconsin Whitetail Gun Deer Season you about experienced deer hunters falling out of their tree stand. For something as easy as slipping on a harness, we sure do take for granted our ability to be safe when hunting for that trophy buck. This year, let’s all be safe and prevent all unnecessary falls and deaths when getting in and out of our tree stands. Next season is just as important as this whitetail season.
Here are some tips and helpful notes to staying safe this year in the deer stand.
- Use a well-designed and built, sturdy treestand. Treestands manufactured by the
- Treestand Manufacturers Association [TMA] that have been built since 2006, are commercially designed and tested to meet recognized industry standards.
- Read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions on the use of your treestand before using it. You should practice using the treestand in the morning and evening hours. As the saying goes; practice makes perfect.
- Carefully inspect your treestand for wear, rust, metal fatigue and cracks, loose or missing nuts or bolts, and rot and deterioration before and after each use. Tighten loose nuts and bolts and replace rusty or worn hardware. Check straps or chains or other attachment devices for wear, and replace if they are unsafe.
- Check with the Consumer Product Safety Commission at www.cpsc.gov to see if your stand has been recalled due to safety defects. In the search field type in the word “treestand”, then click on the link for your stand. Contact the manufacturer if it has been recalled.
- Let other hunters in your party know where your stand is located. Leave a map on the dashboard and also the time you will return.
- Put a whistle, horn, strobe, 2-way radio or a cell phone in your pack. Make sure it is properly charged or have fresh batteries.
- Don’t move seriously injured victims; treat for shock, stop the bleeding, and go for help.
- Wear a full-body safety harness and maintain three points of contact at all times.
- PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE using your treestand and harness.
- Inspect for damage to a stand before the season begins and before and after each use.
- Securely attach stand to a healthy tree.
- Read the instructions that came with the stand.
- Always use a haul line for gear.
- Tie a haul line to the belt or stand when climbing to keep hands free.
- Unload gun or bow before climbing or descending stand.
- Be especially careful using tree stands during rain, snow and ice conditions.
- Don’t use treestands if you’re tired, sick or on medications.
- And as always wear blaze orange in the stand when the season requires it.