Each year throughout the country hunters are seriously injured as a result of falls from tree stands. These accidents can be prevented through the proper use of a tree stand safety harness. Twenty-five hunting accidents were reported in 2013 in South Carolina. Ten of these were tree stand accidents and three were fatal.
Each time a hunter falls from a tree stand to tragic results, his/her family, friends and loved ones are affected as well. Every tree stand hunter owes it to their wives, husbands, children, mothers, fathers, and everyone around them to stay safe and wear some type of tree stand safety harness every time they are in a tree stand.
South Carolina DNR offers the following tips for a successful and safe tree stand deer hunt:
* When hunting from a tree stand, always use some type of fall restraint device or safety harness.
* Use a safety rope (sometimes called a “life line”) with a prussic knot to secure to your safety harness so that you are always tied in from the ground to the top and back down again.
* Always use a rope to raise and lower your unloaded gun or bow and arrows up the stand. NEVER carry your gun, bow or heavy load into or out of the tree stand. Pull them up once you are safely seated in your stand. Unload your gun before pulling it up to, or lowering it from, the tree stand.
* Purchase a tree stand from a manufacturer who meets the Treestand Manufacturers Association safety standards. Look for the TMA symbol on the box.
* Inspect your stand prior to the beginning of the hunting season. Check it thoroughly and if it is a permanent ladder stand, check all of the straps for deterioration to make sure the stand is firmly attached to the tree.
* REMEMBER, EVERY TIME YOU HUNT, tell someone 1) where you are hunting, 2) where your tree stand is located, and 3) when you plan to return home.
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In Deer & Deer Hunting’s Guide to Hunting the Rut, you’ll discover how to understand the three phases of the rut — pre-rut, rut, and post-rut — and how understanding each of these phases can help you become a better hunter.
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