As we head into another season of chasing whitetails, it’s always extremely important to spend some time during the off season to do a safety check of all your treestands and related equipment. Here are five tips for your pre-season tree stand safety checks and to make sure key items are in good shape.
1. Check Straps
If you leave your stands out during the off season be sure to check all of the straps that secure both the stand and your ladder or climbing sticks to make sure they are still in good shape. Check to make sure they stay tight and that they aren’t dry rotted. If you question their viability at all, replace them. If you take your stand down during the off-season the straps will last longer but should still be checked each time they’re installed.
2. Check Ladders and Steps
As ladders and steps settle they can begin to separate. Climbing into a tree in the dark on opening morning only to come tumbling down because the steps or ladder have settled and separated at a joint is not how you want to kick off your deer hunting season.
3. Check The Trees
Make sure the tree your stand is in is good and healthy and that there are no large dead branches in either that tree or trees nearby. Windy days in stand can be bad enough. A tumbling widow-maker won’t help things.
4. Check Your Harness
Most people use harnesses now, but did you know they generally have a 5-year expiration? Go ahead and look at the tag on your harness, I can almost guarantee you there is a notice of expiration with a manufacture date. This isn’t just a move for the manufacturer to cover themselves, it makes sure that you have a harness that is always in it’s best shape and ready to save your life.
5. Suspension Relief Strap
After you check your harness, make sure you have a suspension or fall relief strap that you’ll keep on you at all times. This strap has a loop on either end so you can wrap it around the tree feeding it through the one loop and then using the loop on the other end to place your foot in it and stand. This way, if you are stranded hanging waiting for help you can do so more comfortably and prevent any injuries that can be caused by prolonged suspension.
These are 5 easy steps to help ensure your safety while hunting this season. A final suggestion is assessing yourself. Are you physically able to hunt from an elevated stand? Be honest with yourself. Climbing up in a tree requires a decent amount of strength and flexibility. Take that into account when deciding the type of stand or even ground blind you should use.
If you’d like to learn more about whitetail hunting in Illinois with Hadley Creek Outfitters, please explore the rest of our website. For availability or specific questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 217-335-3804 or contact us online.