According to statistics, tree stand accidents are the most common cause of hunting-related injury among hunters. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, one in every three persons who hunt from an elevated stand will suffer a major injury as a consequence of a fall from their stand. Fractures of the spine and extremities are the most common forms of injuries, followed by head and lung injuries as the most serious. According to another study, 82 percent of individuals who were wounded were not wearing a fall arrest system (FAS). The remainder of the group was most likely not utilizing it appropriately.
When hunting at altitudes ranging from 20 to 30 feet above the ground, the most important factor is safety. Falls from treestands can occur, and they can be lethal or severely disabling in their consequences. However, by taking the necessary measures, you may avoid falling and have a successful bowhunting experience. Never take the safety of your treestand for granted. When hunting from a treestand, the most important safety precaution is to wear a full-body harness and remain attached to the tree or lifeline for the whole time you are off the ground.
In conjunction with a tether, which is positioned on the back of the harness just behind the neck, the bowhunter is secured to a tree or lifeline with a full-body harness. The harness is worn across your thighs and torso, distributing pressure evenly throughout your body as a result. A lifeline, often known as a “safe line,” is a rope that is attached to the trunk and branches of a tree. Hunters tie their tether to the lifesaver using a carabiner or similar method, which allows them to effortlessly slide up and down the lifeline while maintaining a connection from the ground to their hunting stand. The usage of a tether and harness can protect you from dropping more than a foot to 18 inches if they are utilized appropriately.
The safety tips are very common when it comes to the tree stand harnesses. Following the Treestand Manufacturers Association (TMA), all of its members are required to supply a free FAS strap and guidelines on how to use it with every stand sold.
Here are a few of the main safety tips that your need to remember:
First and foremost, whether you use a static stand or a climber, you should properly examine your stand before the season begins, just as you would with the rest of your hunting equipment. Assuming it is a static or permanent stand, climb it and examine every step along the way, making certain that everything is safe and robust before proceeding.
Take advantage of any available space by bringing a ladder out to the stand and inspecting it from there. Earlier this year, a hunter in Iowa died when the treestand he was sitting in fell on him. Prevent yourself from worrying about anything when climbing in the dark by double-checking everything.
This is a dark subject, but if you want to live to see the next season — and if you want to ensure that your family never has to experience the horror of having their lives turned upside down when the local police arrive to deliver tragic news — then consider the following to be your “apple a day that keeps the doctor away” strategy.
Putting the Strap on:
To set on a safety harness, start by putting on the shoulder straps and then fastening the chest strap across your chest. However, you should avoid allowing the harness straps to bind or restrict your motions as you tighten them. As soon as you have secured and tightened the thigh straps, your harness is good to use. The majority of treestands feature a full-body harness, but more convenient and comfortable harnesses can be purchased as add-ons. Archery stores sell high-quality harnesses that are equipped with amenities like cushioning, quick-release buckles, and pockets for storing smaller goods.
The Right Length:
Some hunters believe that if they put their safety straps too high on the tree, the tether will interfere with their shot. However, for the safety line to function properly, it must be fastened to the tree in such a way that, while you’re sitting in the stand, the tether is practically tight with very little slack on either end of it. If the other end of the tether is linked to the top of your harness, as it should be, it normally translates to approximately a foot over your head when you’re standing up and looking about. There is no bulge in the mid-back or the waist. It should go without saying that the safety strap should be fastened directly to the tree rather than to the stand, but this should be obvious.
If you fall quickly and with force, the amount of gap in your tether will be picked up by your body weight. Depending on how low the tether is attached and how long the cable is, you may fall a foot, two feet, or even four to five feet, depending on how long the tether is. When you come to an abrupt halt and holt like that, it can cause a variety of injuries and discomfort. It might also leave you dangling below the level of your treestand, making it difficult to climb back into it if you are unable to reach the ladder or climbing sticks to assist you.
If you Fall:
We should not negate the possibility of you falling totally. It is necessary to know what to do in those cases.
Falling from a treestand is a terrible experience, but wearing a full-body harness will help you avoid serious injury. Nonetheless, you must act swiftly to return to the safety of the tree, your stand, or the earth below. Put your tether around the trunk above your head while tying it to the tree, adjusting the height of the tether to provide just enough slack to allow you to sit down comfortably. If you were to fall, this would ensure that you don’t fall too far and that you come to a rest near the tree rather than dangling in space.
You should respond fast if you fall and are unable to readily re-enter your stairs or ladder. The suspension-relief strap on your harness should be used to remove pressure off your legs. Hanging over extended periods, even when wearing a full-body harness, can result in significant harm. Using a radio or mobile phone, call for assistance once the suspension-relief strap has been secured in place. Ensure that you can securely reach your ladder, tree stairs, or treestand at this point by moving carefully and systematically. It’s also important to practice recovering from a fall using the suspension-relief strap before the start of the season. Practice sessions should be carried out near the ground, with one participant taking turns with another.
Hunters who are properly strapped and tied and who survive the first impact of a fall are nonetheless in danger of suffering from a condition known as suspension trauma. In some cases, it can cause blood to pool in the legs and blood flow to the heart and brain to be reduced. This is the point at which the additional expenditure of an after-market FAS becomes worthwhile. Most are now equipped with a suspension relief mechanism, which is meant to release pressure and prevent suspension stress from occurring. It may also provide you with an opportunity to regain control of your situation.
If you are unable to, you should have a backup plan. Always keep emergency signal equipment such as a mobile phone, radio, whistle, signal flare, personal locating device, and flashlight on your person at all times in case of an emergency. In addition, ensure sure it’s easily accessible, even while dangling.
Even if you follow all of the trees stand safety instructions to the letter and can contact and summon aid, you may have to wait for assistance for an extended time. Make an effort to keep your body, particularly your arms and legs, moving. If you can reach a limb and place some weight on it, transfer your weight from time to time. Above everything, try to maintain your composure.