Remarkably, deer season for gun hunters is here again! This means several things, including having our tree stands in place and ready to ambush the first buck that strolls by.
This also means that, with safety as the highest priority, we need to address several issues. The first, and perhaps most important, is that hunters should wear a safety harness anytime that they hunt from a tree stand. I will be the first to confess that I do not always take the time to do this, but I certainly should. Wearing a harness becomes very important if you hunt from a stand without a shooting rail across the front. Without a shooting rail, you have nothing to stop you from falling forward out of the stand if your aren’t wearing a harness. Next, the tree stand should be securely fastened to the tree. This means ratchet straps around the tree from the seat, and from the bottom of the platform where your feet rest. A bottom brace, reaching from mid-point on the ladder to the tree must be firmly locked in place and fastened via a strap, to the tree.
Climbing stands are an entirely different kettle of fish and require a great deal more finesse and careful use. Most climbing stands are what are called sit-stands climbers. You use your weight to make the seat part of the stand solid to the tree, then lift the top part of the frame manually, secure it and then lift the bottom part of the stand up with your feet, then repeat the process. These are not my favorite as I am much more comfortable in a ladder stand, simply because they are safer and lots less trouble. We also need to remember to have a tag on our stands with our name, address and phone number, assuming that this is a deer stand and not a baited bear stand.
Please keep in mind that statistics show that tens of thousands of hunters are injured annually, often critically, by falling from tree stands. Take the time to be sure that your stand is safe, and be sure to leave word at home saying where you are and an expected return time. Stay safe, hunt quiet and good luck!
Next month……..My Annual Christmas Wish