General Hunting Tips

Hunter Tip: Prepare to Hunt From Tree Stands

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!


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.