If you’ve ever talked with someone who fell from a treestand and survived, chances are good you’ll hear some familiar comments like these:
“It happened so fast I didn’t even have time to react.”
“I was in the stand and the next thing I knew, I was on the ground.”
“I’ve never had anything like that happen to me before.”
“I didn’t think something like that could happen to me.”
But it can. It can happen to any of us.
August is Tree Stand Safety Awareness Month. Falls from stands are preventable. There are plenty of good harnesses on the market to choose from along with accessories to help you be safer. Three things to always remember when you’re hunting and using stands:
— Always wear a full body harness, and know how to use a suspension relief strap to give yourself a boost if you fall and are hanging there in your harness.
— Stay connected from the moment your feet leave the ground.
— Make sure your family and friends are doing the same thing.
Editor’s note: As part of Treestand Safety Awareness Month, D&DH will be publishing stories, tips, gear ideas and more this month. The following accounts are verbatim reports sent to Hunter Safety System from hunters describing their experiences.
Hunter Safety System,
A few years ago, I had the unfortunate experience of falling from my treestand. It took several surgeries to piece me back together again but, thank God, they did and I was able to resume my favorite sport of bowhunting. Since I had fallen once and endured the pain associated with it, I decided to purchase a Hunter Safety System. I never dreamed that I would actually have to put it to the test so quickly.
A few days after both my buddy Loren and I received our new products from you we set out to set all of our tree stands (4 total). We set our first 2 stands without any problems and were really pleased with the simplicity and performance of your products so far. Then it happened! Like a bad nightmare all over again, I had just finished setting all of our steps and securing our third tree stand to the tree and was coming down when the first step unbelievably pulled out on me. I was coming down again. This time however I was secured by your safety harness that was tethered to the lifeline by a prussic knot. I fell only about a foot to 2 feet when the harness tethered to the knot on the lifeline stopped me. (I am not small 6’3”, 215 lbs). After a little bounce against the tree I was just hanging there. I looked down at my stepson who was underneath me on the ground in disbelief that it had happened again. I don’t know who was more pale me or him. My heart was racing probably 100 miles per hour and visions of what happened the year before flashed through my mind. I was shaking but safe. I recovered and was able to get down out of the tree safely without any injury. I later in the season harvested a cow elk and almost (but for a few more steps) got a bull.
Looking back on all of this now even with all that I had to go through on that first accident, I have to thank the good Lord because it could have been worse. I could have been paralyzed or even killed. As far as the second accident, I want to thank all of you at Hunter Safety System. I want to thank you for developing these products that worked for me in a real hunting situation under real circumstances.
To any fellow hunters who might read this, don’t take any chances or think about the money that needs to be spent. I can tell you from experience. “It’s not worth the risk”.
Hunter Safety System,
I had to put my tree stand safety training to use this fall during my first Ohio whitetail deer hunt. I was hunting the hills of Ohio for the very first time. I hiked up the hill with my HSS Pro Series full body harness and bow. My fixed position stand was 22 feet up in the tree. I attached my HSS lineman’s belt and started my accent. I reached the stand and I attached my tether to the tree and tried to undo my belt and just could not get it off. I had screwed the D ring screw clip too tight. I spent a few minutes getting it off. As I climbed into my stand the platform collapsed. My left hand has a death grip on the right hand side of the sear and my left corner dug into my ribs. My feet dangled for a few seconds until I recovered.
Both cables had snapped on the platform and my tether prevented me from falling 22 feet to the ground. The seat did not collapse and I was able to recover and catch my breath. I climbed down and I was totally exhausted. My hunting partner Tom actually witnessed the platform collapse.
HSS full body harness saved my life. I have a wife and three kids under the age of six and the thought of them growing up without me brought a tear to my eye. Thanks for making a quality product that saves people lives.
I am a bow hunting safety instructor for the state of Texas. I will have my own story to tell my students and I am glad I am here to be able to share this with them. Hopefully, they will listen to my story and start wearing full body harnesses when they go hunting.
In January 2012 I was hunting one of my favorite places. It was in the middle of the week and all of my hunting buddies were working so I was hunting alone. It was about mid morning and a coyote came in from my left. I was going to do the right thing for man that owns the land and take the coyote. As I twisted in my stand to take the shot I leaned too heavily to my left and the upper part of my climber swivelled on the tree.
At this point I was dumped out of the stand. I was fully suspended, hanging on the side of the tree 30 feet up, supported by nothing but my Hunter Safety System. Other than a good bit of soreness for the next couple of days I was fine. Thanks to everyone at Hunter Safety System for making a great product. You possibly saved my life or saved me from severe injury. To all hunters who hunt from an elevated position: there is no time to react, it happens quick. Wear a safety harness and I know that HSS works.
A Must-Have Treestand Safety Resource Kit
Are you familiar with the safety precautions that need to be put in place in order to ensure proper tree stand placement and usage?
If the answer is “no,” or you feel like you need to brush up on your tree stand safety skills, then the Tree Stand Safety Resource Kit is for you. Containing three prime resources regarding tree stand safety, this collection will ensure you’re well on your way to avoiding as much danger as possible while installing, climbing or descending from, or using a tree stand.
Begin with Treestand Safety and Placement, and learn the proper method for hanging a stand. You’ll also get placement advice for the best hunting. Learn more about how tree stand safety has evolved over the years, as well as how tree stand accidents have changed over time withComprehensive Guide to Treestand Safety.With the 30 Years of Deer and Deer Hunting Collection CD, you actually get six prime tree stand safety articles exploring the results of two tree stand safety surveys.