Archery and crossbow deer seasons began last weekend and the Department of Natural Resources is reminding hunters to think about tree stand safety. While tree stands increase a hunter’s chances of spotting and bagging a deer, they can also be dangerous as tree stand accidents are one of the leading causes of injury to hunters. Injuries from such accidents are easily preventable.
The DNR has a few tips to share with hunters about tree stand safety:
- Always wear a full body harness while you are in a tree stand, as well as when climbing into and out of a tree stand. Make sure it is worn properly. Tree stand harnesses have an expiration date and should be replaced when they expire and/or a fall occurs. A safety strap should be attached to the tree to prevent falling more than twelve inches.
- Always have three points of contact when climbing into and out of a tree stand; either two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand at all times.
- Always use a haul line to raise and lower your bow or unloaded firearm.
- Be aware of suspension trauma, which occurs when a person is held upright for a period of time and blood flow to the brain is affected. Suspension trauma can happen in less than twenty minutes and can be fatal. Attach an additional foot strap to the body harness to take pressure off your upper legs.
For more information about tree stand safety, please visit the DNR’s website.