Hunter Safety

First thing I would like to cover is tree stand safety. I know if you hunt you are used to hearing it or if you have not please do not skip over this article. Each year thousands of hunters that hunt in stands often end up the hunt with having to go to the ER. The number one accident related to hunting continues to be deer stand falls. In 2005 the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 5,686 injuries occurred with the use of tree stands. They estimated there are currently over 11 million deer stands in use across the United States.
Since then it is now law that tree stands manufactures offer a compliant hunter safety system otherwise known as a Fall-Arrest System or Fully Body Harness. They have to meet the Treestand Manufacture Association Guidelines or otherwise known as TMA.
A few rules of the road when it comes to stand safety. Makes sure you read all the literature after your purchase. If the max weight on the stand is 300 pound carrying capacity and you weight 250 pounds and your son weighs 100 pounds then you need to send it back and get one that suites the proper weight.
Make sure you inspect the deer stand the manufacture ships to you. Look for cracks in the steel, cracks in the cables, bent deformed supports. Inspect the grommets and bolts and make sure they are not loose. Inspect the vinyl straps or chain for not fully closed links.
Inspect the safety harness itself. Make sure the stitching is stitched all the way through. Make sure there are no tears that are not supposed to be there. These extra precautions could save your life. Takes five minutes to fully inspect the stand and harness for defects.
After inspection set up your tree stand low to the ground on a tree and attach your harness. Lightly bounce up and down to see if the platform gives way. Lean out with harness on and strapped to the tree and see how comfortable it is. Does it feel like it is giving out or it is made of a quality construction? When ever in doubt send it back and go with a different brand name. Your loved ones will thank you if you take these extra few precautions before you head out for your hunt.
My father worked as Iron-worker. They have full body harnesses made for them that walk steel all day long. The harness is made of heavy duty thick nylon. If that is something you are interested in then by all means look into it.
This is part 1 in this 5 part series a deer stand buyers guide.

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