RALEIGH, N.C. (Aug. 3, 2010) – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is reminding hunters to give some pre-season thought to hunting safety, especially for tree stands — the portable, elevated platforms typically used for deer hunting.
It may seem counterintuitive at this time of year, but tree stand safety is important at times other than hunting season.
“Unfortunately, every year there are a number of tree stand accidents with injury before deer season even opens,” said Travis Casper, state assistant hunter education coordinator. “We need hunters to think about and practice tree stand safety all the time, not just during hunting season.”
If you are scouting a location and putting up your tree stand, even on a trial basis, use the same precautions you would during hunting season:
- Wear a full body safety harness
- Maintain three points of contact when climbing
- Follow manufacturer instructions
- Have an emergency signal and tell someone where you plan to go
The statewide “Home From The Hunt” safety campaign conducted annually by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission urges frequent hunting equipment inspection. Long-term placement (leaving your tree stand up from one season to the next) has some inherent problems that outweigh any convenience. Exposure to the elements will damage straps, ropes and attachment cords and potentially lead to premature failure. Trees are living, growing things and alter over time, also affecting stability.
“So, if you or someone you know has had a tree stand up for an extended length of time, take it down,” Casper said. “Inspect it. Replace rusted bolts, frayed straps or, if needed, buy a new tree stand. Your life could depend on it.”
Successful completion of hunter education is required for all first time hunting license buyers in North Carolina. Courses are offered free by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, with schedules and registration available.