The following safety tips can reduce the risk of hunting from elevated tree stands.
Before you go afield
- Practice with your stand at ground level, gradually going higher. Several Department shooting ranges and outdoor education centers have practice poles for free public use.
- Know the proper technique for securing the stand to a tree.
- Know how to use the stand properly.
- Read the manufacturer's warnings and instructions before each season.
- Use stands that meet standards of the Treestand Manufacturer's Association (TMA) rated for your weight and all gear or equipment you wear or have with you on the stand.
While you are hunting
- Always use a fall arrest system that meets TMA standards, including a full-body harness rated for your weight and any gear attached to yourself.
- Have the fall arrest system attached to the tree the entire time your feet are off the ground.
- Always position yourself so that you step down onto your tree stand to test its stability.
- Always use a haul line to raise and lower your gear, including unloaded firearms, bows, and arrows.
For more details on tree-stand safety, visit the National Bowhunter Education Foundation.