Tree stands are a great way to take your hunt to the next level, but they also come with new dangers. Watch the video below for a refresher on how to stay safe in your tree stand.


Tree Stand Hunting Safety

Here’s a recap:

  • Unload your rifle and use a haul line to get your equipment safely into the stand. Always keep the firearm pointed away from you.

  • Wear your fall-arrest system from the time you leave the ground until you are back on the ground. This can include:

    • A full-body harness

    • A lineman’s-style belt or climbing belt

    • A lifeline system

    • A tree strap

    • A tether

    • A suspension relief strap

  • Practice three-point climbing: Always keep three points of contact with the tree or your ladder.

  • If you do fall, use your suspension relief strap and keep your legs moving.

  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions every time you use your tree stand.

These are the keys to using a tree stand safely.

  1. Pick a safe tree. Your tree should be alive, fairly straight, and very stable.

  2. Assemble your stand according to manufacturer instructions; bring the instructions with you to double-check as you go. Use a lineman’s-style belt or climbing belt during setup.

  3. Inspect your stand to ensure everything is in working order—every time you use it.

  4. Stay connected—always. Wear a full-body safety harness and use a lifeline the whole time you are off the ground.

  5. Carry a communication device like a cell phone in case of an emergency, and use the buddy system.

Before you leave the ground, watch the video below to make sure you’re following tree stand safety rules.

When selecting a tree for your tree stand, choose carefully. Look for a straight tree within the size limits of your tree stand, in the area in which you plan on hunting.

Always use your fall-arrest system (FAS), which should include a full-body harness, a lineman’s-style belt or climbing belt, a tree strap, a tether, a suspension-relief strap, and a lifeline. Remember, the FAS needs to be rated for your hunting weight, which is your weight plus the weight of your hunting equipment and gear.

Tree stands are a great tool for hunters, but you have to use them safely!

Remember…
Set up your stand where you know the game you’re hunting will be. You can use a trail camera or look for animal signs when looking to place your stand for your hunt. Remember, don’t leave a permanent stand in a public hunting area.

An average of 20 hunters per year die, and many others are permanently impaired by disabilities, because of tree stand falls. That’s why August is Tree Stand Safety Awareness Month, so hunters remember to brush up on essential tree stand safety practices. Hunter Ed supports Tree Stand Safety Awareness Month, and has a few simple tips to keep hunters safe.

Tree stand falls are the number one cause of serious injuries or death to deer hunters, but they are preventable if you follow these basic steps.

1. Wear a fall-arrest system, which includes a full-body harness.

2. Stay connected to the tree the whole time you are off the ground.

3. See that your buddies do the same.

Tree stand harnesses are one part of a fall-arrest system (FAS). Components should include a full-body harness, a lineman’s-style belt (or a climbing belt), a tree strap, a tether, a suspension-relief strap, and a lifeline system. When used properly, these components can protect hunters from a dangerous fall. Always follow manufacturer recommendations when using your FAS.

Any hunter who can’t wear an FAS properly should stay on the ground.

You and those you hunt with should always use a full-body harness and lineman’s-style belt or lifeline to stay connected to the tree from the time you leave the ground until you get back down. Following these simple steps can save lives.