LINCOLN – A tree stand is a basic tool of many archery deer hunters. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission urges hunters to use the equipment safely in order to have a memorable and successful hunt.
Nebraska Hunter Education Coordinator Wendy Horine suggests hunters follow these tips to hunt safely using a tree stand:
— Always use a fall arrest system rated for your personal weight. “Ropes or other homemade devices should never be used as a substitute for a fall arrest system,” Horine said. “The fall arrest system harness should fit snugly over your hunting clothes. Jackets and coats can be worn over top of the harness. Attach yourself to the tree from the time you leave the ground until the time you are back on the ground.”
— When climbing, maintain three points of contact with the tree stand ladder or climbing steps at all times.
— Use a haul line to get your equipment up to and down from the tree stand.
— Before using a tree stand, check for metal fatigue on all joints and welds. Check metal stands for rust and wood stands for rot. Make sure there are no missing bolts and nuts, and inspect for deterioration due to age or poor storage conditions. Check nylon straps, which may show signs of rot or chewing from mice or other small critters.
— Always tell someone where you’re going hunting and when you plan to return.
“We all get excited for hunting season and can’t wait to get into the field, but never be in such a rush that safety is overlooked,” Horine said. “We want you to enjoy hunting and all that comes with it for many years to come.”