Stay safe on the hunt with these tips from Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
Knowing how to properly use hunting equipment is key to staying safe when you’re out hunting. Tree stands are no different. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, tree stand accidents are the major cause of hunting related injuries. There are some common rules and tips to follow when you’re using a tree stand, and Blain’s Farm & Fleet is here to help.
Before the Hunt
Know your hunting equipment – It’s important to read through manufacturer’s instructions and guides so you properly know how to set up and use your tree stand and hunting harness. Check all your equipment to make sure it’s in working order. Test your equipment at the ground level with another person present before you start on the hunt.
Choose the right tree – Next, you need to find a tree that will safely support you and your tree stand. Look for a tree that’s healthy, straight and the right size for your tree stand. Avoid trees with smooth bark, especially in icy or wet conditions. Also clear any debris from the base of the tree to make it safer if you’re using a ladder stand.
Have a hunting plan – If the weather changes and you don’t feel safe hunting from an elevated stand, have a backup ground blind set for your hunting trip. Your safety needs to be the number one priority on your hunting trip. Let other people know about your hunting plans–where you’ll be, when you’re going and who you’re taking with you. If there’s an accident, people will know where to find you. Carry a cell phone in case there is an incident.
When You’re in the Stand
Wear your hunting harness – Put on your hunting harness and make sure it’s attached to the tree before you start climbing the tree. If you’re using a ladder stand, attach the harness before stepping onto or securing the stand platform.
Climb safely – If you’re climbing a ladder stand, you need to keep three points of contact while you’re climbing. Keep two feet and one hand on the ladder, or two hands and one foot – this will help evenly distribute and balance your body weight on the ladder. If you’re using a platform stand, climb higher than the platform and then slowly step down onto the platform.
Use a haul line – Keep in mind that you shouldn’t climb with your equipment – use a haul line to raise and lower your hunting gear. Make sure any firearms are unloaded when they’re attached to the haul line, and don’t attach it near the trigger guard or trigger. If you’re bow hunting, cover any broadheads before you use the haul line.
Practicing hunter safety will help everyone have a good time on the hunt. At Blain’s Farm & Fleet, you’ll find everything you need to hunt successfully and safely. You can even get your hunting license right at your local store. For more tips on hunting safety and equipment, visit our Hunting blog.