Though commonly used by deer hunters everywhere, tree stands often are improperly installed and as a result, are considered the leading cause of hunting-related incidents.
Different types of tree stands are available, and each type requires the user to be familiar with variations to ensure safety. Following are some recommended safety tips:
- When using a non-climbing portable or ladder stand, hunters should securely fasten the stand to the tree and install ladders or steps according to the manufacturer’s directions.
- Hunters should use a safety harness to secure themselves to the tree and not to the tree stand. If the stand were to break or collapse, a harness secured to a tree should prevent a fall.
- Hunters should have a plan on how to get down from the tree should the tree stand fail and leave them hanging from their harness. Harnesses should be attached in such a way as to allow 10-12 inches of slack between the tree and body. A full body harness is recommended instead of a simple harness or safety line.
- Hunters should use an equipment haul line to pull their gun or bow into or out of the stand. Firearms or bows should be unloaded before pulled into the stand.
- Staying awake and alert is important. Hunters should avoid taking medications that cause drowsiness prior to hunting. Also, never use alcohol or drugs before or while hunting.
- Hunters should always inform someone of where they are hunting and what time they expect to return.
For more information on tree stands or hunting-related safety, contact the nearest Wildlife Resources Division Law Enforcement office, visit www.gohuntgeorgia.com or call (770) 761-3010.