Is No Accident
Goldsby, Regional Hunter Education Coordinator, Division of Wildlife and
The use of elevated platforms
for hunting purposes has increased tremendously and gone through
considerable changes. More deer hunters take to the trees now than at any
other time in history. Hunters have more choices and better engineered
equipment than could have been imagined 30 years ago. Modern platforms are
engineered with the safety of the user in mind. If properly used, these
platforms are designed to reduce the risk of injury to the hunter.
When comparing and shopping
for an elevated stand or fall-restraint device, only purchase equipment
approved by the Treestand Manufacturers Association (TMA). Look for this
indication on the packaging or visit TMA's
website to view products they have approved.
A fall-restraint harness is
one of the least expensive investments in deer hunting gear, and can save
your life when used properly. Read and follow the directions and
instructions and practice using it before the day of a hunt. Having a
recovery plan in place should you fall from a platform (while properly
attached to the tree) is a must. You will only have a few minutes before the
effects of suspension trauma (loss of consciousness) begin. Simply practice
getting back to the platform or to the ground from a suspended position.
Don’t just wear your harness
to climb up or down a treestand. To use it properly, attach the tether to
the tree and remain attached to the tree until you are safely on the ground.
Climb only a healthy,
straight tree and always use a haul line to bring your equipment up behind
you, only after you have reached your final stand placement. Before
descending, lower your equipment using the haul line. Never rush, and know
your limits; if you think you are high enough in the tree then you probably
Always let someone know where
you will be and when to expect you back, even if you carry a cell phone.
When hunting season is over
remove your stands from the woods and replace any damaged or expired
equipment before storing. Always contact the manufacturer before making
alterations to any equipment.
Keep in mind that it is not
necessary to hunt from an elevated position to have a successful hunt. Stalk
hunting and the use of ground blinds have become increasingly popular and
productive. You should hunt from the ground if it makes you feel more
The Division of Wildlife and
Freshwater Fisheries received reports of 14 treestand accidents -- one of
which resulted in death -- during the 2014-2015 Alabama deer season. The
majority of the victims were complacent adults who chose to ignore simple
safety rules while using an elevated platform.
Be responsible to yourself,
your family and to the community of hunters. Follow all instructions and
rules and keep safety the number one priority. Remember, treestand safety
is no accident!
Treestand Maintenance Could Save Your Life
Free Treestand Safety Course from TMA
Walk Away and Hunt Another Day