Practical Treestand Safety

No bowhunter would deny the value of hunting from a treestand, but some bowhunters ignore the danger, even though statistics undeniably show that most archery accidents are treestand related. To be safe, follow some practical rules.

Climb only large, live trees. Dead or dying trees can fall or break; they often harbor biting or stinging insects that can distract or cause you to panic; and their rotting wood and loose bark do not hold treesteps securely.

Before climbing, tie your bow, arrows, pack, and other gear to a hoist rope and place this gear away from the tree where you cannot fall on it. Using a lineman's style climbing belt for stability, climb to the platform, always keeping three points -- two feet and a hand, two hands and a foot -- on the steps at all times.

Upon reaching the platform, secure yourself immediately with an approved full-body safety harness. Only then, hoist up your gear on the rope. Follow the same precautions coming down.

Above all, never forget where you are. A fall of even five feet can kill you. Never hunt when tree and stand are coated with ice, or during heavy winds. No trophy is worth the risk.

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