Hunting from a higher ground can give you more advantage over a target prey. Climbing up a tree is a sure way of hunting from a higher ground more successfully. By hunting from a tree, your target prey is less likely to see you since you’re on a higher ground than its line of sight. Climbers and tree stands make it possible to climb up or down a tree. They’re safer than climbing without any form of support.
Although climbers and tree stands assist hunters in climbing up or down a tree, it’s important to learn how to use them safely. Your safety should always come first. After all, you wouldn’t want to hit a target only to fall down from your tree stand or climber. Actually, falls from tree stands are one of the major causes of injuries related to hunting.
A fall from a high height has the potential of leaving you with broken bones. Thus, you should avoid accidents by following certain safety practices when setting up and using your treestand. Here are some tips for setting up and using a climber or tree stand safely.
Tip #1- Know the kind of equipment you’re using
Before setting up your climber or tree stand, it’s important to learn more about it. First, read the instructions that came with your tree stand and harness and understand them. Reading the instructions and understanding them will assist you in learning how to use the equipment appropriately and safely. Thus, don’t assume that you know everything about the climber or harness, especially when using the equipment for the first time.
Tip #2- Check the condition of your climbing equipment
Once you’ve read and understood all the instructions, check whether the equipment is in its best condition. For instance, you should check the straps for any signs of tear and wear. Replace any worn out straps. Never attempt to use worn out straps as they may give way under your weight.
Also, check for any missing or loose bolts and nuts if your treestand has them. Replace any missing bolts and nuts. Ensure any welded joints are intact and not loose or broken. Any broken or loose joints should be welded again. Also, if you’re using a stackable climber, ensure the stacked sections lock in place tightly before climbing.
Tip #3- Choose the right tree
Another important safety tip is choosing the right tree for your climber. The kind of tree you’ll choose will largely determine your safety. You should only put your tree stand against a strong, mature tree. The tree should be tall enough and huge enough for your tree stand.
When choosing a tree, choose the one that has a rough bark. You should never set up a climber against a smooth bark, more so when hunting during the rainy season or winter. Water or ice can make a smooth bark extremely slippery.
Before placing the climber against a tree, ensure the ground on which you’re placing the climber is free from debris. Never place your climber on twigs, logs, or other debris. Placing your climber on debris can make it slip off the ground or go off balance, and you may end up falling. Simply get rid of the debris before placing your climber on the ground.
Also, it’s important to note that some insects and animals use trees as their home or hideout. For instance, bees typically build their hives on trees. Thus, choose a tree that doesn’t host any insects. Inspect it carefully for harmful insects before setting up your climber.
Tip #4- Wear a safety harness
Don’t attempt to climb up the tree stand without wearing a safety harness. You should always use a full-body harness for maximum safety. A full-body harness will support your entire body weight from multiple points. Avoid using a harness that only holds you from a single section of your body such as the waist alone. A waist-only harness may get you seriously injured due to your entire weight being supported by a single body section. Thus, a full-body harness would be your safest bet.
Before climbing, ensure your safety harness is securely attached to the tree. The harness will hold you just in case you slip and fall, thereby reducing the chances of getting injured. Only remove the safety harness after climbing down the tree.
Tip #5- Keep your hands free
Ensure your hands are free when climbing up or down the tree stand. You shouldn’t be holding any equipment when climbing. Both hands should be free to hold the climber with a strong grip. It’s safer to support your weight with both hands rather than one hand when climbing.
You can tie your equipment with a rope from one end and tie the other end on the climber to keep your hands free. Once you reach the top of your climber, you can pull them up with the help of the rope. Better still, use a haul line to raise or lower your hunting gear.
Tip #6- Climb carefully
Never climb up or down the tree stand with haste. You should climb one step at a time. Avoid skipping steps to reduce the chances of falling. You should put your feet slowly on each step.
Tip 7#- Wear the right boots
You should ensure the boots you’re using are not slippery. The sole should be non-slippery to avoid slipping off a step when climbing. Also, ensure the soles of your boots are not muddy or caked with ice before climbing to reduce the chances of slipping.
Tip #8- Let friends know your whereabouts
A family member or reliable friends should know your whereabouts. Let them know where you’re going to hunt and when they expect you back. In case of anything, they’ll be able to look for you. At least carry a mobile phone to call for help just in case you get lost or injured. You can use the map on your smartphone to trace your way back. You can also carry a paper map of the area as a backup. In case of an accident, don’t panic. Call for help.
Make safety your priority the next time you go out to hunt from a tree with the help of a tree stand. After all, you wouldn’t want to hit a big deer only to end up falling down the climber and hurt yourself. By making use of these tips for setting up and using a climber or tree stand safely, you’ll go back home safely without getting hurt.