Elevated stands place the hunter above ground level. They can be tree stands placed in or against trees, or free-standing structures. While they offer certain advantages, they also have some drawbacks, including a degree of risk.
Portable tree stands are one category of elevated stands. These stands can be safe and environmentally friendly. Homemade stands should not be used. Commercial stands that are manufactured, certified, and tested to industry standards are best. Portable tree stands come in three basic types: hang-on stands, climbing stands, and ladder stands.
Tripods, quadpods, or tower stands are similar to a ladder tree stand but are free-standing.
When hunting from an elevated stand, you should use a fall-arrest system (FAS) that is manufactured to industry standards. Make sure your FAS includes a full-body harness, lineman’s-style belt and/or climbing belt, tree strap, tether, and suspension relief strap. Never use single-strap belts and chest harnesses. Carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use of your FAS, and follow all safety guidelines.
When you are in a tree stand, use the FAS tree strap and tether to attach your FAS full-body harness to the tree.
If you should fall while in your stand:
- Do not panic.
- Signal for help.
- Climb back onto the platform quickly.
- Act to avoid suspension trauma if you must wait for rescue. Use your suspension relief strap, or keep moving your legs.
Never carry your hunting equipment up or down the tree with you as you climb. Always use a haul line attached to your hunting equipment. Unload your firearm and open the action. Put arrows in a covered quiver secured to the bow.