Ensuring Hunter Safety in Tree Stands: Essential Gear and Practices
The thrill of the hunt, the serenity of the woods, and the anticipation of a successful day. These are some of the reasons why archery deer hunters choose to take to the trees.
Tree stands offer a vantage point and concealment that can be a game-changer for your hunting experience. However, safety should always be a paramount concern.
In this article, we will explore four key safety gear items that every tree stand hunter should be well-acquainted with. Every hunter should be safe while hunting out of a treestand. Our article "5 Tips for Deer Hunters to Safely Hunt From a Treestand" walks every hunter through being best prepared to traverse any tree.
No matter if you are getting started installing your tree stand or currently using your gear during a hunt, these essential elements can make all the difference in ensuring your well-being.
Tree Stand Safety Harness and Fall-Arrest System (FAS)
The first safety item all hunters need to purchase is the Fall-Arrest System (FAS). The safety harness and fall-arrest system is the lifeline while traversing the tree or sitting in the tree stand waiting on the wall hanger of a whitetail buck.
A harness is designed to keep you secure and limit any physical damage in case of accidental slips or falls. When properly installed, your harness will fit snugly over your body, securing you in a way that minimizes the risk of injury.
The fall-arrest system includes a lifeline, which is your link to the tree, you will connect your lifeline to a a Prusik Knot on your Safe-Line, Lineman's Rope, or Tree Strap to prevent you from falling to the ground.
3 Keys to Choosing a Fall-Arrest System (FAS):
- Choose a FAS that fits your body, weight, and height.
- Choose a FAS that you can connect a lineman's rope.
- Choose a FAS that offers both the harness system and the lineman's rope to save money.
Tree Stand Hunter Lineman's Rope
A lineman's rope is ideal to use with your harness system when installing your tree stand ladders and tree stand. The rope wraps around the tree and attaches to your harness.
The key for the lineman's rope is it allows you to be secured and braced against the tree to allow security hands-free to install your steps or tree stand.
When you are shopping for a harness some packages like Muddy's "The Ambush" include a lineman's rope. When buying a harness make sure it has some ability to connect to a lineman's rope.
I have found using the lineman's rope is the most secure and safe tool to own when installing my equipment. But, you don't need to use it only for the installation. You can use the lineman's rope when you are traveling up and down the tree.
3 Keys to Choosing a Lineman's Rope for Tree Stand Hunting:
- Choose a lineman's rope that works with your harness. Not all harnesses work the same. The manufacturers of the harness will offer a lineman's rope that works with your safety harness.
- Make sure the lineman's rope is long enough to get around the trees you are climbing. One of the lineman's ropes I own is shorter and I found that it did not work when I took it out once. Make sure the rope is long enough.
- Make sure you review the manufacturer's instructions and check out a video or two on how to properly set up your lineman's rope before entering the woods. My first one I did not do this and got to the tree and spent 15 minutes trying to figure it out.
A final thought on the lineman's rope. Take the time to use this safety item. I recently was out moving my tree stand and found that the lineman's rope I was using wasn't big enough for the Oak tree I wanted to place my stand. I unfortunately tried installing my steps without the safety of the rope and found myself on the ground when a branch gave way. Don't underestimate this piece of vital gear.
Treestand Safe-Line or Tether System
The safe-line or tether system is another piece of gear that is essential to install once you have your climbing sticks and tree stand installed.
The safe line is a rope that attaches above the hunter at the top of the tree and hangs down to the ground. On the Safe-Line are one or two Prusik Knots that the hunter will attach to his harness carabiner. The harness or FAS (Fall Arrest System) around your body is now attached to the safe line system to ensure safety when traversing the tree.
Being tethered to the Safe-Line will provide the safety and security hunters need to get safely into and out of the tree stand.
Treestand Safety Tree Strap
Once you're nestled in your tree stand, the tree strap is your anchor to the tree. This strap is essential to ensure you remain securely attached to the tree while seated in your stand.
Your safety harness connects to the tree strap that is installed above your head when sitting and/or standing in the tree stand.
The tree stand will offer peace of mind while you focus on the hunt. It's a simple yet crucial piece of equipment that should never be overlooked.
Final Thoughts on Bow Hunting Tree Safety Gear
In the world of archery deer hunting, the use of tree stands can significantly enhance your hunting experience. However, it's important to remember that the thrill of the hunt should never come at the expense of safety.
The four key elements we've discussed in this article – the safety harness and fall-arrest system, lineman's rope or belt, safety line or tether system, and tree strap – are the foundation of a secure and enjoyable hunting experience.
The Team at Shaggy Outdoors recommends you prioritize safety while taking advantage of hunting out of a tree stand in the woods. Before heading out to install your equipment or hunt, double-check that your safety gear is in excellent condition. Conduct regular inspections and maintenance to ensure reliability.
The woods can be unpredictable, and even the most seasoned hunters can face unexpected challenges. By following these safety guidelines and being well-prepared, you can fully enjoy your time in the tree stand without compromising your safety. Stay safe, stay vigilant, and happy hunting!