When hunting, a tree stand is a useful tool. You can more easily see game, and when you are at an elevated position, you are less likely to leave behind a scent that can drive the game away. But the tree stand can also be dangerous, so you will need to use the stand safely to avoid an injury.
Tell Someone Where You Will Be
Always tell someone where you are hunting and for how long. Find a map of the area and show where you will be exactly on the map. If you fall and break your leg, for example, your friend may come looking for you if you do not contact him or her. Keeping a cell phone with you will also allow you to contact emergency services.
Maintain Your Spatial Awareness
One common risk is when you forget where you are on the stand in relation to the rest of the platform. While focusing on the game, make sure you do not fall over the side. Also, check weather reports before you hunt to make sure that there will be adequate visibility and that wind is not so strong that it may cause you to lose your balance.
Make Sure You are Well-Rested
Use a tree stand only when you are well-rested so you do not risk nodding off and falling out of the stand. If you start to feel sleepy, climb down the tree stand and return to your tent.
Climbing up and down the tree stand can also lead to a fall. Make sure that you do not use the stand during icy or wet conditions. When climbing, keep three points of contact at all times. At any given moment, you should either have one hand and two feet or two hands and one foot touching the ladder. When you reach the top, climb higher than the stand and then step down.
Use a Safety Harness
The best way to stay safe is to use a safety harness. The majority of hunters who have fallen out of a tree stand were not wearing a safety harness. Never use a waist or upper-body harness because these can still cause injuries if you fall. Instead, use a full-body harness. Before putting the harness on, look for tears in your harness.
Take a Firearms Safety Course
Besides following the advice above on tree stand safety, you should consider signing up for a firearms course. Then, you can learn other safety tips that will minimize the risk that you will have an accident.