One of the most common ways to bowhunt is in a tree stand due to the need to get closer to animals in order to take a shot. Tree stands can bring a lot of successful hunts but can also be very dangerous if not handled properly. Every year bowhunters are injured and even killed while setting up, moving around on or getting onto their tree stands. Common injuries include bruises, cuts, broken bones, strains, concussions and more. Here are some common guidelines on how to stay safe this hunting season so you can see the next.
Read the Instructions
I know that as men we don’t like reading instructions, or directions or anything else that may help to speed up the process of doing something (I am definitely guilty as charged). However, when it comes to tree stand safety it is absolutely imperative that you know the ins and outs of your tree stand before you try putting it up. The upside to this is that these days a lot of products come with videos so you only have to watch and learn.
Choose the Right Tree
This sounds like it would be an obvious point however, it is not uncommon for you to get lost in the moment of finding that “great hunting spot” and decide on using a tree that is a bit less sturdy because it gives a better shot area. The tree you use should not only be able to hold your weight it should also be sturdy enough that it does not excessively rock or sway when it is windy. If you notice that a good portion of the tree is dead or dying this could be an indication that the roots are dying and the tree could look and seem stable but could come down in a strong wind.
Use a harness
This is an absolute must. Most if not all deaths are due to falling out of your tree stand. You need to wear a harness when setting up, climbing onto, on your tree stand and when you get down from your tree stand. It is a bit annoying and can get in the way sometimes however, it can save your life should you suddenly lose your footing and fall.
Use a Rope to Bring up Equipment
Getting up into a tree stand can be a chore in itself, let alone trying to carry your equipment up at the same time. One of the best ways to keep yourself from getting hurt is to tie your equipment to a rope that is tied to your tree stand. Once you are in your tree stand and have a solid footing start pulling your equipment up to you. This will help to curb accidental falls, equipment hitting you or getting snagged on branches.
Apply Grip Tape to Stand and Steps
Some of tree stands do come with anti slip material on the stand and steps however, if your tree stand does not have any type of non slip material, it is definitely something you should think about. Many times out hunting there will be rain, snow or dew that can greatly increase the chances of slipping. Grip tape is not very expensive and can help to keep you safe and alive to see the next hunting season.
Tree stands are a great tool and asset when it comes to bowhunting and can really help to improve your chances of success in the field. It is just very important that you treat them with respect and that you don’t take any unnecessary risks as they can become harmful very quickly.