As many hunters know, one in three hunting injuries involves a tree stand. I previously blogged about tree stand safety here, and here. However, as blogger Will Jenkins points out, “with much of the east coast getting nailed by hurricane Irene you need to get back out there and check each stand for damage.”
Here’s some good advice on rechecking your tree stands from Will’s blog:
For ladder stands be sure the ladder hasn’t shifted too much because as the tree sways the ladder can loosen up and slide out a bit. If this happens and you go to climb it those sections of ladder can separate completely and put you on the ground in a hurry.
For all types of stands be sure any ratchet straps are still in good shape and not loose, cut, dry rotted or damaged in any other way. Also be sure that neighboring trees aren’t damaged leaving limbs or trees in position to fall on you or the stand in the event we have another wind storm or heavy ice/snow storm this winter.
Lastly while checking stands use a harness or linesmen belt to keep you tethered at all times. If your opening day is right around the corner and you won’t have time to get in there and check them, I would suggest using a climber or ground blind rather then checking in the dark on your way in. Please be sure your stand is safe before getting in it this fall. As much as we all love deer hunting no trophy is worth your life or severe injury.
Here are a couple of vids from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission with tips for tree stand safety:
Images: NC Wildlife Resources Commission