Are Your Treestands Ready for Deer Season or Still Sitting in the Garage?

Deer seasons already are opening in the Southeast and if your season still is a month or more away, that’s just enough time to get things squared away for the season.

Summit TreestandsBy squared away, I mean there’s still time to give those stands a very thorough once-over for anything that could be noisy or dangerous. It’s tough enough lugging that climber into the woods on opening day in the dark when you’re amped up, but to find out then that it makes a “weekle weekle” noise somewhere or something is missing, well, that’s just a smack in the face with a stick.

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If your stands are at camp or in the shed, pull them out and give them a good look. Check any nuts and bolts. Are they secure? Do they tighten appropriately or is anything rusted or jammed up? Can you finger-tighten them if necessary?

Look at any non-skid strips on the platform. Do they need to be replaced or is there still enough grit to give you good traction? Check the straps or cleats your feet go in to make sure they’re OK and not frayed. Look on the seams or welds for any cracks or anything you might not have noticed in the past.

On the seat, look at any straps or webbing. If you’ve used the stand for several years make sure either are OK and not frayed or nicked. Sitting down and having a strap or webbing pop under your butt (literally!) wouldn’t be enjoyable.

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Of course, check the locking chain or strap that goes around the tree. Make sure it fits appropriately into the stand and locks securely, and that any locking mechanisms work correctly.

Put the stand on a tree in your yard or at camp. Sit on the platform. Stand on it. Hook up your safety harness and climb, making sure it’s all OK. Lean, hop, wiggle, sit and do whatever you do when you’re hunting.

If you hunt from wooden ladder stands or box blinds, don’t neglect to check them out very well. Wood can rot and be affected by rain, sun, snow and ice. Trees grow and can pull nails from support boards or platforms, stretch support straps and put undue pressure on chains and connection points. Floors in box blinds need to be checked for wear, along with snakes and wasps.

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Get a safety harness and wear it. It’s inexpensive insurance to help protect you from injury or death. If you don’t think you’ll fall, just remember two things: a lot of hunters who have fallen thought the same thing, and you have family or friends who would hate to see you in a hospital or at a funeral service. For goodness sake, get a safety harness, get it situated before the season opens and wear it. Today’s harnesses are comfortable and are worth it.

Doing a good, thorough check of your stands and harness is something you can control. If you find anything amiss, get it repaired or replaced and be ready to climb and hunt safely.

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