With season starting soon tree stand safety should be on everyone’s mind. I have personally done some sketchy things in my past. Hanging on tree limbs, way out on steps, hanging heavy stands with your leg wrapped in your steps all with no harness. We have all done these things over the years.
This year I had a close call while trying to hang a double stand set close to dark. I was in a hurry and was getting frustrated cause the stands not fitting right on the tree. I thought I was undoing the ratchet strap for the stand to move it slightly, when what I actually did was loosen the strap to the stick I was standing on. I was luckily wearing a harness, but without it I would of fell 18 ft and ended my season before it even began.
Tree stand hunting accident statistics
After almost falling I decided to do some research and see what was most common reason, and why people fell.
- 74% of the accidents occurred when climbing up or down or when installing or removing a stand.
- 7% of tree stand hunters surveyed had an accident in the last 10 years.
- 73% said poor judgment and carelessness caused their fall.
- 80% said safety was a concern but actually believed that a fall “wouldn’t happen to me.”
- Type of stand used:
- 43% self-climbing
- 34% fixed-position
- 18% ladder
- 58% of the hunters who fell were not wearing a fall-arrest system.
- 34% of the hunters surveyed now wear a fall-arrest system because of an accident.
- 39% of the accidents occurred at less than 10 feet.
- 21% of the accidents were related to structural failure.
Ways to prevent from falling.
- Wear a harness- there is now a lot to choose from, I used to think they were uncomfortable, but after wearing them for awhile I feel weird without one.
- Check your stands- look over your cables, bolts and the main structure of the stand before climbing in. Always strap in before taking that first step.
- Life Lines- this is something new we are adding to our main sets this year. As you can see most accidents happen when climbing in or out of stand.
- Take your time- slowing down and thinking through what you are doing will help you be much safer in the long run.
- Be your buddy’s keeper- if you see your friend or family not wearing a harness mention to them about wearing one. If you aren’t used to wearing them they can be easy to forget.