Deer season is gearing up for a new year and that’s why the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is partnering with other resources agencies and stakeholders around the nation to note that August is Tree Stand Safety Awareness month.
Each year in South Carolina hunters are seriously injured as a result of falls from tree stands while hunting. These accidents can be prevented through the proper use of a tree stand safety harness. There were 25 hunting accidents in 2013 in South Carolina. Ten of these were tree stand accidents and three were fatal.
Each time a hunter falls from a tree stand to tragic results, his/her family, friends and loved ones are affected as well. Every tree stand hunter owes it to their wives, husbands, children, mothers, fathers, and everyone around them to stay safe and wear some type of tree stand safety harness EVERY time they are in a tree stand.
DNR offers the following tips for a successful and safe tree stand deer hunt:
• When hunting from a tree stand, ALWAYS use some type of fall restraint device or safety harness.
• Use a safety rope (sometimes called a “life line”) with a prussic knot to secure to your safety harness so that you are always tied in from the ground to the top and back down again.
• ALWAYS use a rope to raise and lower your unloaded gun or bow and arrows up the stand. NEVER carry your gun, bow or heavy load into or out of the tree stand. Pull them up once you are safely seated in your stand. Unload your gun before pulling it up to, or lowering it from, the tree stand.
• Purchase a tree stand from a manufacturer who meets the Treestand Manufacturers Association safety standards (Look for the TMA symbol on the box).
• Inspect your stand prior to the beginning of the hunting season. Check all of the straps for deterioration and make sure that the stand is firmly attached to the tree.
• Every time you hunt, tell someone where you are hunting, where your tree stand is located and when you plan to return home.