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Tree stand safety


Matt Crawford

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I think its great to be concerned and proactive in our kids safety no matter what they are doing. But at the risk of sounding like an old fart I use to climb trees all the time when I was a kid as many others likely have. Me and my friends would build treehouses way the frig up in trees and the thought of safety cords or ropes or belts or harnesses never crossed our minds because they weren't in existence. Maybe kids these days have no experience climbing like that anymore?

I built a treehouse in a Pine behind the house for my oldest daughter when she was maybe 9 or 10 and she use to climb a rope ladder then branches to get to her tree house. I just never really worried about it. Maybe I am a bad parent.

I dont know it just seems like we as parents can sometimes overworry about this stuff. I personally don't think climbing up into a tree stand or down from a tree stand if the steps or climbing sticks etc are solid is so dangerous even for a teen. Of course anyone should strap in before getting onto stand and stay strapped in until they are heading down. But maybe that's not the "correct" way anymore?

I climb into tree stands now and buckle in w/ a safety belt etc once I am about to climb onto stand. I also strap in when I am attaching the stand to a tree of course.

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One more little tidbit. There is a guy that lives near me that fell out of his stand getting in it. It was about 3:00 in the afternoon.

One of his screw in tree steps broke his fall. Problem was that it snagged him in the groin and hooked right into his scrotum.

He hung by the balls almost 12 hours before emergency services were able to extract him from the tree. Lost his sack and his eggs to traumatic tissue damage.

There's worse things that can happen than a broken arm.

FWIW

He must of had a hell of a "set" if "they" held him up for 12 hours :D  

If you had to lose a arm or the "boys" which would you choose?

I don't think a choice is part of it. I slipped when standing on a flagpole cleat when I was nine.   The cleat caught my arm just past the pit and literally skun out my entire upper arm.

It took  almost a hundred stitches and two skin grafts before it was all over.  The Doc told my parents how lucky I was to catch my arm as I guess getting caught by the marble bag is pretty common.   I didn't feel all that lucky at the time.

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I hope he gets one, too. Lee.

Or I hope he freezes his ass of and he realizes how boring deer hunting can be and that he'd rather bird hunt. Then, if things go right, he (and by extension, me) will be into bird dogs for the rest of his life.

Sounds like a good plan.

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Matt--I didn't see that you mentioned a tree stand.

i have a Summit Viper X only used a couple of times with the harness still in the bag unused (so there is no deterioration there).

You are welcome to borrow it till you figure things out--I'm just not deer hunting these days, except to take a walk with the rifle once in a while.

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Disregard my last Post. I am feeling like I do when I defend bird hunting with dogs during deer seasons. I'd never forgive myself if something bad happened.
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A special thanks to Lee and PC - my palms a sweating, I'm light-headed and may hurl. Please - no more stories of getting "hung up".

Gravity has no conscience.

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I use Hunter Safety System products; harness vest, quick connect, lineman's rope (when hanging stands), and the life line.

The life line would give him something to attach to when climbing up the stand.

I NEVER - let me say that again - I NEVER climb into a stand without my harness on and attached from the ground to the platform. My 9 yr old shared a two man ladder stand with me this weekend. He has the youth model harness. I'm teaching him from the get go to do it right.

I lost a friend several years ago do to a treestand fall. I made a promise to myself to never go up without one.

Here's a link to Hunters Safety System:

http://www.huntersafetysystem.com/

Good advice.  

Good treestand harnesses are well worth the $$.  Be careful of the older style belt harnesses.  They can leave you stranded upside down.  I guess that's better than hanging by your sack though.

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Check out "The Fall Guy".  Pretty slick, know a few folks who swear by them.  Uses auto safety belt technology--loose until a fall occurs, then locks tight.  

I think you still need to get it up the tree but once there it works as you climb up and down as I understand it.    

Every tree stand these days should come with a safety cd or dvd.  Remember the rule of threes when climbing.  Two feet one hand, or two hands one foot--on the steps or ladder rungs all the time while going up/down.  Unless it's a self climber.  Never have liked them, seems like a high percentage of folks who I know use them have had trouble.

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braque du upstate
my friend poped his finger off when jumped only 8" from the ground. his ring got caught in a screw in step. also watch the loose clothing,bino staps,etc.  i use a rope and a backback. i bought a cheap climber. the stand is a death trap. use more steps than u think y need.
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My "boys" are 42,40 and 36 and all hunt deer from tree stands.  When they were younger they had to listen to me, or else.  Now, outside of buying them safety gear for Christmas, etc., and reminding them of things they should already know, all I can do is worry.  And I do.  If anything ever happened to them it would be such a personal disaster that I can't even imagine it.  

Train your boy well, while you can.

Then again,  they drove cars, bassboats, dirt bikes, ATV's, and did a lot of other dangerous stuff that I don't even know about, and never got hurt.

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One of the first trees I ever went up in was while sika deer hunting in a marsh on the eastern shore of MD. I slogged through thigh high water to get to the stand, one my uncle said was a good one. Everyone else refused to hunt it, but wouldn't tell me why. The stand was literally 25 feet up an 10" tree. I had no harness. It was windy and when I was at the top of that tree it swayed like you wouldn't believe. I sat in that tree for 6 hours and barely moved. I'm not scared of heights, but ****, I thought that tree was gonna snap with my weight at the top and the wind going.  Every stand I have been in since has been a dream.

No suggestions, just a pointless story.

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In my younger days when I was fearless and dumb I'd find some way to get up to the lower branches of a big mature red pine--pull my gun up, toss it across my shoulder, and climb the natural limb ladder towards the top.  30 feet and more.  Great view and managed to ride the wind pretty well too, you can hear it coming and get prepared before the tree really starts swaying much of the time.  But eventually I found it was kind of hard to hold on for dear life while aiming and shooting a gun at the time.   I remember climbing up for a real close look at some porky's too.  

These days I know way too many people who have been injured climbing in or out of much better stands, and how many tree stand accidents occur in general--to take such chances.   And we have so many equipment options we didn't have back then to make it safer.

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Anyone using a rock climbing harness?

I don't bow hunt anymore, but when I did it seemed to me that a rock climbing harness, that would position you toward the tree if you fell, would be a better bet than a harness that terminated on the climber on the back.

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