February 14, 2022
As kids, we all grew up learning our ABCs and many educators and marketing professionals use the A, B, C’s as a pneumonic for teaching steps to a process or a learning a new concept. In this case, it’s the ABCs of tree stand safety.
Hunting from manufactured tree stand built to standards recognized by the Treestand Manufacturer’s Association (TMA) is a safe way to hunt as long as you follow the manufactures instruction and safety guidelines. When you don’t follow instructions or use home-made stands you expose yourself to unnecessary danger. Learning to use the ABCs of tree stand safety on each and every hunt will help keep you to stay safe when hunting from an elevated stand.
The typical scenario in which hunters fall from their stand usually starts with something like this:
The hunter left the stand in place after the season ended and neglected to remove it for inspection. During the off-season, the straps undergo a lot of stress from tree growth, UV rays from the sun, weather, and other factors, and begin to weaken over time. Then upon opening weekend, the hunter heads to their old stand and climbs up as if all is normal.
As hunters, we must remember to remove our stands and perform preventative maintenance before we ever step into a situation like the one above. Simple steps to prevent an accident can safe your life.
Today's full-body harnesses are lightweight and easy to use. With practice, any hunter can put one on in less than a minute. But for the full-body harness to work, it must be connected to the tree at all times for the harness to arrest a fall. Many hunters only attach once they reach the platform of the stand. This practice leaves you vulnerable during the climb up and down and during transfer to the stand with some stand types. In fact, the research found that the majority of falls happened during the climbing and transfer phases including ladder and climbing stands. Keeping the harness attached while putting a stand up, taking the stand down, and hunting is the only way to stay fully protected.
Follow along with the videos below as Stan Potts steps through the basic steps of staying safe and strapped in by using the Tree Stand Saftey Association's ABCs of tree stand safety.
A - Always remove and inspect all your equipment before using.
B - Buckle your harness securely.
C - Connect before your feet leave the ground.
D - Destination. Share your stand location for each hunt.