Over the past five years there has been 170 hunting accident reports filed in Indiana by the Division of Law Enforcement. Over 61% (105) of them involved falls from tree stands. Falls from any height can cause serious injury, including death. It is vital that you prepare a fall protection plan before being exposed to any height over 4 feet.
Climbing trees is something we all did as kids and surely some of us still enjoy the practice today. Very few of the 105 people that were injured by falls were wearing any fall protection. Studies show that only 50% of tree stand hunters wear any type of fall protection. Also, over 30% of people who use tree stands will be involved in an accident at some point in there hunting career. If you assume that 50% of the people that wear fall protection, will most likely not be involved in an accident. That would leave 50% of the people not wearing fall protection a 60% chance of being involved in an accident. Your odds of being in accident hunting unprotected in tree stands are greater than 50% over your hunting career!
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service offers the following tree stand tips:
- Know your equipment.
- Select the right tree for your stand.
- Wear a full body harness that you attach to the tree before your begin climbing!
- Keep three points of contact while climbing.
- When using a platform stand, be sure to climb higher than the platform. This will allow you to step down onto the platform giving you the opportunity to test your balance.
- Use a haul line to raise and lower your firearm.
- Be sure that your firearms are unloaded when attaching to the load line.
- Be sure to cover broadhead arrows before raising or lowering with a bow.
- Don’t take chances while enjoying hunting in tree stands! #safetysaves
Can anyone share a personal experience about a tree stand accident? What was the final outcome?
In closing tree stands can be dangerous, please take the time to update your hunting equipment with the latest fall protection gear. Be a safety leader and suggest fall protection to your hunting buddies as well.