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With an adult present, practice adjusting and using your FAS, including the suspension relief strap, at ground level before hunting from an elevated stand.

To protect yourself if you fall, always wear your FAS full-body harness, attaching it to the tree at ground level and keeping it attached throughout your hunt.

  • Attach one end of the FAS lineman’s-style belt to one side of the FAS full-body harness, wrap the belt around the tree, and attach the other end of the belt to the other side of the harness.
  • Use the FAS lineman’s-style belt with your FAS full-body harness when you are installing or uninstalling the stand or the climbing aids for a hang-on tree stand. Also use the belt with your full-body harness when you are climbing into or out of a hang-on stand.
Vest (full-body) harness

When you are in any tree stand, including a ladder stand, use the FAS tree strap and tether to attach your FAS full-body harness to the tree. Attach the tree strap to the tree so that the strap is at, or above, head level when you are standing. After attaching the tether, adjust both the tree strap and tether so that you have no slack in the tether while seated in your stand. If you fall, you do not want to drop below a level that would keep you from returning to the platform.

If you should fall while in your stand:

  • Do not panic. Your FAS will hold you.
  • Signal for help.
  • Climb back onto the platform as quickly as possible.
  • Take actions to avoid suspension trauma if you must wait for rescue. If you do not have a suspension relief strap, keep moving your legs.

Discard any FAS that shows signs of wear and tear or has been worn during a fall. Also adhere to the expiration date sewn into the FAS by the manufacturer.

Due to the risks of injuries or death, hunters who choose not to wear and use their FAS properly should stay on the ground to hunt.