Also, the many fall-arrest devices on the market are easier
to use. The assumption is that the easier they are to use the more likely
hunters will use them. But accidents still happen. A few weeks ago fellow
hunter at a camp in Ohio suffered a fall due his own mistake. He was trying to
make an adjustment in the stand while halfway up the tree. He ended up hanging
upside down from the stand before falling. He spent two nights in a Columbus,
Ohio hospital with broken vertebrae, broken ribs, and a broken wrist.
Most of us think about broken bones and head injuries as a
result of treestand falls, but broken bones and heads aren’t the only danger,
and maybe not even the most serious.
People say it’s not the fall that kills you; it’s the sudden
stop at the end. That’s meant to be funny, but it’s true. That sudden stop has
the potential to tear internal organs loose and cause sudden and severe
internal hemorrhage. If that happens, your time is up.
Maybe you’re one of the 37% who has fallen from a treestand.
Or maybe you know someone who has had a serious fall from a tree stand. For
sure, you know someone who knows someone for whom a fall was a life-changing – or
life-ending – event.
Here’s my advice: Respect treestands like you do a deer
rifle. Research them for safety features. Make sure the one you use is well
designed, in good condition, and you know how to use it. Be afraid of home-made
stands. Research fall-arrest devices and safety harnesses, and know how to use
them. Treat every move you make off the ground with absolute safety. Take a few
minutes each year to review safety practices – a quick Internet search will
lead you to instructional videos worth watching.
I sometimes use treestands, so I’m certainly not against them. But I am against falling, and virtually all falls from treestands can be prevented by taking advantage of of today’s well-designed treestands, a quality fall-arrest device, and easy to find training materials.
These 600 words serve only as a warning, and are not a replacement for
educating yourself on treestands safety. If you don’t take the warning, you’re
increasing the odds that you’ll spend the rest of your life in a wheelchair. You
don’t want that. Your family doesn’t want that either. Nor do they want you to spend
the last few seconds of your life lying on the ground below the treestand you