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MADISON – Wisconsin’s archery and crossbow deer season opens Saturday, Sept. 12, and that means it’s time to review how to stay safe in your tree stand.
Tree stands can greatly enhance a deer hunter’s chances of harvesting a deer, but DNR Hunter Education Administrator-Warden Jon King says stand-related incidents also are one of the leading causes of injury to hunters.
“A few minutes reviewing these easy-to-apply safety maneuvers can prevent a fall that could bring a fast end to any outdoor fun this fall,” King says. “The first simple safety tip is to always wear your harness.”
Here are the rest of Warden King’s tree stand safety tips:
• Always wear a full-body harness when in a tree stand, as well as when climbing into or out of a tree stand. Tree stand harnesses have an expiration date and should be replaced upon that date or if a fall occurs.
• Always maintain three-points-of-contact while climbing into and out of the tree stand, either two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand, at all times. “Most falls happen when climbing in and out of the tree stand,” said King. “Consider using a lifeline or another similar product to prevent a fall at this point.”
• Always use a haul line to raise and to lower your unloaded firearm or bow.
• Attach an additional foot strap to the body harness – this will relieve pressure on your upper legs and help to avoid suspension trauma.
More information, including how to take a free tree stand safety course, can be found by searching the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for “tree stand safety.”