Know your Tree Stand.
How might you get to know your tree stand best you ask? Well… read the directions/instructions. This might come as a surprise to many because most of us don’t like to read instructions but you’re going to be pretty high up there in the tree so you better get to know your stand inside out. It is necessary that you know the ins and outs of your tree stand before you are us there in the tree. All joking aside this could be a matter of life and death.
Know your Tree
Choosing the right tree is a very important portion of tree stand safety. You should choose your tree not only based on positioning, but also based on the structure of the tree. This one is going to be a surprise for some of you out there but make sure the tree you are about to climb isn’t dead! You would be surprised how many people try to climb dead trees just because they are positioned in that perfect hunting spot. This is downright stupid and dangerous. Many of you need to learn to take tree sturdiness into consideration or at least put it higher on your list.
Use a Harness
I’m not adding this in here as a suggestion. I am always surprised how many hunters don’t use a harness. Tree stand safety harnesses allow you to safely enter and exit tree stands while staying secure while you hunt. You will find that some harnesses will install directly to the stand and tree and often have reflective tape on them to ensure your stand is easy to find in low-light conditions. Look on the packaging to make sure the system is rated for the height that you plan to place your tree stand up in the tree. Just imagine how much better your wife (or husband) will sleep knowing that you are guaranteed to stay attached to the tree from the ground to your stand and back again.
Don’t Carry Your Equipment up the Tree
Use a rope! This is one of those things that half of you are not going to listen to. I know for a very long time during my hunting career I didn’t use a rope and just carried my bow up the tree. Although you may be athletic enough to do this, I would suggest that you don’t. This is a very simple procedure and it takes a great deal of danger out of the tree stand experience. Simply tie your equipment to a rope that is tied to your tree stand and once you are in the tree stand and have solid footing, pull your equipment up.
Get a Better Grip
I know your stand might have come with a bunch of grip tape, but you can always apply more. There is nothing manly about slipping while climbing up a tree stand. You know there will be dangerous weather like snow or dew that cause you to slip… why take the chance? Extra grip take is not very expensive and can be a great asset to keep safe and reduce chances of slipping while climbing a tree stand.