Next to driving drunk and texting behind the wheel, American sporting men and women are about to engage in the most dangerous behavior of the year- hunting from a tree stand. Tree stands and whitetail deer hunting are nearly synonymous and adrenolyn filled hunters climb trees like monkeys in their quest, often without regard to the danger involved. Do you know someone who was injured, perhaps killed from a tree stand fall? I can name five, possibly 10 without much cognitive effort. Fortunately, today’s tree stands are better built

One of the most dangerous time to use a stand is the first time. Be extra careful, especially with permanent stands.
One of the most dangerous time to use a stand is the first time. Be extra careful, especially with permanent stands.

and new safety advances such as life-lines and harnesses make hunting from an elevated stand much safer, but like seat belts in a car, they don’t work unless you use them. This post from the Realtree website contains at least 10 tips that can save your life or at least keep you from becoming a paraplegic for life. Before getting to that list, I’d like to speak to “old school” tree stands and the danger they pose for hunters. Before the popularity of metal ladder stands, many deer hunters built their stands from lumber, often scrap timber retrieved from a job site, choosing economy over the security that pressure-treated material provide. Since these stands are designed to be permanently in place they are subject to all the elements that weather mother earth- freezing, thawing, rain, snow, wind, etc. Additionally, if timbers are nailed to a tree, that tree will expand in diameter each year and pull the nail heads through the lumber. It won’t fall off, but weaken with each year’s use until a heavy weight is placed upon it and support fails. As a result, the first time you enter a permanent stand can be the most dangerous. Did a porcupine or squirrel chew on one of the supports or ladder steps? It’s difficult to determine from the ground, so make sure you use a lifeline when climbing. Wood rots, especially in the elements, so consider an expiration date on any stand you build and the day will come when you must tear it down and rebuild. The folks at TheHuntingPage wish you good luck this fall, but moreso we wish you safe hunting. Make sure you follow these 10 safety tips:

The bowhunting boom of the 1970s introduced a new tool to hunters — portable, commercially-made treestands, and hunters were quick to discover their advantages. You can see over the brush, deer generally don’t look up, and when the wind is right, your scent will drift above deer that are close. However, using them safely demands preparation and precaution. With archery season open and firearms season just around the corner, here are some tips to get the most out of your treestand hunting experience:

• Choose a live, straight tree. Find the deer first, then find a healthy tree within shooting range