Merely climbing into or out of a tree stand or other elevated platform to hunt puts you at risk. Long hours spent waiting in a stand, as well as poor safety techniques, can lead to accidental falls. To protect yourself, use good judgment and follow these recommendations.
- Purchase a commercial stand that is manufactured, certified, and tested to industry standards.
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions and watch the video that accompany the stand. Review this information each season.
- Attach your FAS to the tree while at ground level, and keep it attached throughout your hunt—from the time you leave the ground until you get back down.
- Use a tree stand only during daylight hours.
- Practice first with your tree stand and FAS at ground level, using all safety devices that were included with the stand. Then continue to practice, gradually going higher.
- When climbing into or out of a tree stand, always use three points of contact with your hands and feet.
- Keep a firm hold on the climbing system as you enter or leave a platform, and don’t let go until you’re certain you are secure.
- Stay tethered to the tree while moving onto or off the platform.
- Step on the center of the platform when entering the stand.
- Do not climb with anything in your hands or on your back. Use a haul line to raise and lower equipment.
- If using a firearm, unload it and open the action.
- If using a bow, put the arrows in a covered quiver.
- Get enough sleep to ensure that you are well rested before using a tree stand.
- Carry a signaling device, such as a whistle, radio, or cell phone, to let others know if you have a problem.
- Take your time and plan every move you make while installing and using an elevated stand.
- Check your stand carefully prior to each use. Do not leave a stand attached to a tree for more than two weeks.
- Never exceed the weight limit of your stand or FAS. The limit includes your weight plus your equipment.
- ALWAYS tell someone where you are hunting and when you will return.