Two deer hunters climbed into their tree stands this fall.
One of the hunters was wearing a full-body harness and had a tether strap that attached their harness to the tree. While adjusting their position, this hunter slipped and fell out of the stand. The harness and strap held, and this hunter suffered only minor injuries. The proper use of a full-body harness and staying connected to the tree at all times likely prevented major injuries or death.
The second hunter was also wearing a full-body harness but was not attached to a lifeline while climbing into their stand. This hunter slipped on metal steps while ascending and fell 15 feet to the ground. This hunter is lucky to be alive but suffered major injuries including broken and fractured bones.
Moral of the story:
Wear and properly use a fall-arrest system (FAS). A FAS will keep you attached to the tree from the time you leave the ground until you get back down. A harness alone does not protect you if it isn’t attached the tree the entire time you are off the ground.
Let someone know where your stand is located and when you plan to be home.
Use a haul line to raise your unloaded gun, cocked crossbow, or bow with quiver up to the stand. Never tie the haul line to the trigger guard.
Carry emergency equipment, such as a knife, cell phone, flashlight, and whistle in your pockets at all times - not in your pack hanging in the tree.