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You should use a fall-arrest system (FAS) that is manufactured to industry standards. Never use single-strap belts and chest harnesses—they can be deadly. Before hunting, carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use of your FAS and follow all safety guidelines. Due to the risks of injury or death, hunters who choose not to wear and use their FAS properly should stay on the ground to hunt.

  • Always use a properly fitting FAS that includes a full-body harness while climbing a tree, installing a tree stand that uses climbing aids, and hunting from a tree stand.
  • Make sure your FAS includes these components:
    • Full-body harness—the vest harness is a very effective style of full-body harness
    • Lineman’s-style belt and/or climbing belt—used when climbing up and down the tree
    • Tree strap—goes around the tree
    • Tether—attaches the harness to the tree strap
    • Suspension relief strap—provides a loop to stand in if you fall
  • With an adult present, practice adjusting and using your FAS at ground level before hunting from an elevated stand. Also practice using the suspension relief strap.
  • 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.