Treestand Safety: How to Properly Hang, Manage, and Hunt your Treestands
Every hunting season, there are always a few hunters who are not careful and reap the consequences. Whether that comes from not properly hanging your stands, or not managing them year round, it is important to understand the safety and hunting precautions behind hunting in a treestand. Although they can give you a wonderful advantage to harvesting that big buck, there are several things that we feel are important to keep in mind when hanging, managing, and hunting your stands.
Here are several tips that we feel will help you better hang, manage, and hunt your treestands.
Selecting Your Tree(s)
When selecting where to hang your stand, only consider trees that are straight or embody a slight lean. Trees with heavy leans should never be an option, as there is no possible way you will safely sit in your stand when the wind picks up or the snow begins to fall.
Do not ever consider a tree with large dead branches, or even dead areas on the trunk of the tree. They are used for building log cabins for a reason.
Always assess the base of the tree, as that is where the majority of your stability comes from. Sometimes, a trees diameter might be a little smaller towards the top, however, if the bottom is large and sturdy you are surely safe up there. No one wants a little wind to cause their tree to sway and an unethical shot to happen.
Hanging Your Stand(s)
Real Tree made an awesome, 8 minute video that we feel breaks down the process perfectly. Click here to watch the short, easy-to-follow tutorial. However, we do have 2 tips in particular that you should keep in mind when hanging your stand.
Select your climbing sticks carefully. We all know that the slide in sticks or the one-piece ladders cost more money but that is for a reason. It is fast, it is safe, and it is effective. Save your screw-in steps for hanging gear, or additional support. However, those should never be solely relied on.
As we stated above, when selecting your tree you will want to choose one that is straight, or as straight as possible. However, few trees are ever going to be perfectly straight. Therefore, it is important that you lean your body weight into the tree as your are climbing and hanging your stand. Take a quick look at the tree before you begin to help decide what side of the tree will better your chances of being more in line with the tree.
Managing Your Stand(s)
Many hunters will choose to leave their treestands up year round at their property, making it is important that these hunters properly manage their stands. For instance, if you own private property, you might have several hanging year round at different locations. Make sure you are checking your stands by climbing your stands, accessing your shooting lanes, and making sure they are still safe considering the surrounding areas. Consider any changes in the terrain, or any major damage that may have caused the treestands to alter in any way. It is always important that you are keeping an eye any changes and alterations you should make to your treestands.
Hunting Your Stand(s)
Finally, once you are ready to hunt your properly hung and managed treestands, there are millions of tips and tricks to remember. However, we feel that some of the most important tips to keep handy are:
Never carry equipment while you are climbing. Try utilizing a haul line to bring your gear up and down the tree. It is important that you are focused on safely making it up, rather that focusing on your muzzleloader or bow. Make sure guns are not loaded and broadheads are covered.
The majority of accidents occur when hunters are climbing up or down the tree. Always use a safety harness that will attach to your LifeLine.
LifeLines should always be attached and in position on your stand in order to prevent you from falling more than 12 inches.
Although that was a mouthful of information, that was just the basics. Learning how to properly hang, manage, and hunt your treestands is an ongoing process, however, with the strategies in the back of your mind we are sure you will see success afield.
Good luck hunters, and shoot straight.