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Hunter without an FAS fallen from an elevated stand

Tree stand and elevated platform hunting involve a degree of risk. Falls from tree stands can cause serious injury—even death. Merely climbing into or out of a tree stand or other elevated platform to hunt puts a hunter at risk. Long hours spent waiting in a stand, as well as poor hunting techniques, can lead to accidental falls. A few simple precautions can prevent tree stand accidents and make your hunt more enjoyable.

A study of Vermont and North Carolina hunters revealed that, among typical accidents, falls from elevated stands have the highest potential for fatalities. In most cases, complacency, poor judgment, or carelessness caused the falls. Hunters can prevent these accidents by using caution while climbing up into and down from the stand and by wearing fall-arrest systems (FAS).

Tree Stand Hunting Safety

Tree Stand Safety Study

A study of Vermont and North Carolina hunters revealed the following.

  • 74% of the accidents occurred when climbing up or down or when installing or removing a stand.
  • 7% of tree stand hunters surveyed had an accident in the last 10 years.
  • 73% said poor judgment and carelessness caused their fall.
  • 80% said safety was a concern but actually believed that a fall "wouldn’t happen to me."
  • Type of stand used:
    • 43% self-climbing
    • 34% fixed-position
    • 18% ladder
  • 58% of the hunters who fell were not wearing a fall-arrest system.
  • 34% of the hunters surveyed now wear a fall-arrest system because of an accident.
  • 39% of the accidents occurred at less than 10 feet.
  • 21% of the accidents were related to structural failure.