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Hunter using haul line to haul rifle up to elevated stand
When hauling a firearm into a stand, make sure it is unloaded. Also you can avoid getting debris in the barrel by placing a cover over the muzzle.

Ensure that your hunting equipment is positioned on the opposite side of the stand from your climbing route so that you do not fall on it if you lose your footing.

  • Firearms:
    • Unload a rifle or shotgun, and leave the action open.
    • On muzzleloaders, remove the primer from the pan or the cap from the nipple.
    • Lay the firearm on the ground with the muzzle elevated, covered, and pointing away from the stand.
  • Bows and crossbows:
    • Make sure that no arrowheads are exposed or nocked.
    • Make sure the crossbow is not cocked.

Use a haul line attached to your stand to bring up your hunting equipment or to lower it prior to climbing down from your stand.

  • Firearms: If your firearm has a sling, tie a sturdy hauling line to the sling so that the firearm hangs with the muzzle pointed down. If your rifle doesn’t have a sling, you can make one by tying a yard-long piece of cord to the wrist of the stock and the barrel, just forward of the forestock.
  • Bows: Attach the haul line so that the arrow fletching points down when raising your equipment and points up when lowering it.

Slip the end of the haul line through your belt—leave it untied so that it can pull free if you fall. Put on your FAS, secure yourself to the tree, and climb to your stand.

After you’re in your stand and secure, haul up hunting equipment and untie the haul line. Check for obstructions before you load your firearm.

Use additional haul lines if you have other equipment to be hauled into the stand with you. Follow the same procedures for using a haul line for your firearm or bow.

Never attempt to climb up to or down from a stand with your firearm, bow, backpack, or other equipment.

Follow the above steps for lowering the hunting equipment from your stand.