Whether you are an experienced deer hunter or this is your first time in the field, now is the time to prepare if you are going to use a treestand. Here are some tips to help.
Use a well-designed and built, sturdy treestand. Treestands built since 2006 and approved by the Treestand Manufacturers Association (TMA) are commercially designed and tested to meet recognized industry standards.
Read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions on the use of your treestand before using it. You should practice using the treestand in the morning and evening hours. As the saying goes; practice makes perfect.
Carefully inspect your treestand for wear, rust, metal fatigue and cracks, loose or missing nuts or bolts, and rot and deterioration before and after each use. Tighten loose nuts and bolts and replace rusty or worn hardware. Check straps or chains or other attachment devices for wear, and replace if they are unsafe.
Check with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to see if your stand has been recalled due to safety defects. In the search field type in the word “treestand”, then click on the link for your stand. Contact the manufacturer if it has been recalled.
- Let other hunters in your party know where your stand is located. Leave a map on the dashboard and also the time you will return.
- Put a whistle, horn, strobe, 2-way radio or a cell phone in your pack. Make sure it is properly charged or have fresh batteries.
- Don’t move seriously injured victims; treat for shock, stop the bleeding, and go for help. Mark trail out.
- Wear a full-body safety harness and maintain three points of contact at all times.
- PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE using your treestand and harness.
- Inspect for damage to a stand before the season begins and before and after each use.
- Securely attach stand to a healthy tree.
- Read the instructions that came with the stand.
- Always use a haul line for gear.
- Tie a haul line to the belt or stand when climbing to keep hands free.
- Unload gun or bow before climbing or descending stand.
- Be especially careful using tree stands during rain, snow and ice conditions.
- Don’t use treestands if you’re tired, sick or on medications.
- Wear blaze orange in the stand. Let other hunters in the area know where you are.
Remember: Always Harness Up Before You Climb Up! Take a Hunter Education Course in your area!