How many people do you know who have fallen from a tree stand? Without counting, the answer is probably “many,” due to the danger involved as hunters climb into tiny platforms high enough above the ground to be killed in a fall.

Claude Crawford was an old-school hunter who refused to use the newer metal stands, opting instead for a construction made of solid wood. Unfortunately, as his base tree grew in diameter, it pulled the nail heads through the steps. When he reached for the top rung, it pulled loose and sent him tumbling. Fortunately, Crawford only crushed his shoulder, but he was never able to shake hands again. This QDMA article speaks to safety as well as recanting the thoughts of a fall.

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On August 26, 2012, while putting out trail-cameras, I came across one of my stands that I have had in place for about four years. It is a lock-on, and I suspected the straps needed replacing. I climbed up to check them. There was one on the bottom of the stand to hold the platform tight to the tree and there was one at the top to hold the stand to the tree. I loosened the bottom strap and “checked” it. It appeared sound, so I re-tightened it to the tree. I then loosened the top strap and “checked” it. It also appeared fine. I pulled on it with my hands (as if that could simulate the weight of my body!). I then tightened it back around the tree. Everything appeared good for another season.

Note that I didn’t have a safety harness because when I left the house, I had no intention of hanging or checking stands. That should have meant I couldn’t change my mind and decide to check a stand anyway without going to get a harness, but it was only one stand, it was not all that high, and besides – that couldn’t happen to me… [continued]

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