Tree Stand Safety Tips
One of the most popular pieces of equipment used by deer hunters is a tree stand. Tree stands can be dangerous if they are used incorrectly or carelessly. Nationally, one in three hunting injuries involves a tree stand. Falls from tree stands can be caused by a variety of factors, including a weakness in the stand's structure and incorrect installation. Hunters also may fall asleep while on their stands. Tree stands can also be a factor in other hunting accidents, including injury from accidental firing of a loaded firearm while the hunter is climbing to the stand. To help prevent these accidents, follow these safety precautions:
- Never carry equipment with you while climbing. Use a haul line to raise or lower your gear. Make sure guns are unloaded and broadheads are covered prior to raising or lowering firearms or bows with a haul line.
- Since most accidents occur when hunters are climbing up or down a tree, always use a climbing belt. Always use a safety belt or harness when hunting from elevated tree stands. Study manufacturers recommendations before using any equipment. Never use a rope to replace a safety belt.
- Check permanent tree stands every year before hunting from them, and replace any worn or weak lumber.
- Read, understand and follow the factory recommended practices and procedures when installing commercial stands. Inspect portable stands for loose nuts and bolts each time they are used.
- Choose only healthy, living trees when using climbing devices. Rough-barked trees such as oak are best. Do not use a tree that is rotten or has dead limbs.
- Never put all your weight on a single branch. Keep at least one hand and one foot on a secure place when reaching for the next hold.
- Climb higher than the stand and step down onto it. Climbing up onto it can dislodge it.
- Wear boots with non-skid soles, because steps or platforms can be slippery in rain, sleet or snow.
- Tell a dependable person where you're hunting and when you plan on returning. Map your whereabouts and leave a note at camp, at home or in your car so that you can be found.
- Don't fall asleep. This is a common cause of accidents. If you get drowsy, move your arms rapidly until you feel alert.
- Never wear a ring in any climbing situation. Rings can catch on tree limbs and equipment.
- As a precautionary measure, remove all logs, upturned and cutoff saplings, rocks and other obstructions on the ground below the tree stand.
- Use updated equipment. When used properly, newer tree stand equipment is solid, safe and secure. Older models of safety belts offer some protection, but newer safety harnesses offer more protection.
- Carry a whistle to call for help and carry a first aid kit, flashlight and cellular telephone in a fanny pack.
- 11/18/14 - NRP Blotter
- 11/14/14 - NRP Charges Watermen, Hunters with Natural Resources Violations
- 10/29/14 - Baltimore Man Dies After Falling From Tree Stand in Dorchester County
- 10/26/14 - Allegany County Man Found Guilty of Black Bear, Deer Hunting Charge
- 09/29/14 - NRP Uses State Police Helicopter to Catch Illegal Clammers
- 09/26/14 - NRP Charges Two Pennsylvania Hunters with Baiting Deer
- 09/22/14 - NRP Charges another Charter Captain with Operating Illegally
- 09/18/14 - NRP Charges Two with Fishing, Crabbing Crimes; Penalties Could Total $200,000
- 09/15/14 - NRP Charges Two Men with Illegal Hunting in Allegany and Frederick Counties
- 09/09/14 - NRP Continues Its “Don’t Get Pinched” Campaign to Catch Illegal Crabbers
- 09/08/14 - NRP Charges 10 Men with Riding Off-Road Vehicles on Protected State Land
- 09/05/14 - NRP, Coast Guard Shut Down Three Kent Island Charter Boats
- 09/03/14 - NRP Reports Labor Day Holiday Celebrated Safely
- 08/27/14 - NRP Blotter
- 08/18/14 - NRP Responds to Two Serious Boating Accidents
- 08/12/14 - NRP Blotter
- 08/04/14 - NRP’s “Don’t Get Pinched” Campaign Nets Violators Across Maryland
- 08/04/14 - NRP Blotter
- 08/01/14 - Two Tilghman Island Watermen Plead Guilty to Poaching Striped Bass
- 07/21/14 - NRP Wins Conservation, Boating Court Cases
- 07/17/14 - NRP Blotter
Tree Stand Safety
General Information: 410-260-8880
Boating & Hunter