Whitetail Hunting Treestand safety

Section #7: Tips To Keep You Safe In The Treestand

This will probably be the most skipped over section of the whitetail 101 content on 1st Rut.  However, this is the most important section for treestand hunters.  Returning to your friends and family in the same condition you left in should be everyone’s goal.  Every time without exception. Please take the time to read these tips on whitetail hunting treestand safety.

Grunt, Snort-Wheeze, and Rattle this to your buddies!


I will be the first to admit, that in my younger days I hunted without a safety harness. Looking back this was a terrible decision. I was lucky that nothing happened over those years, but I knew better and made a choice not to wear a harness. It was a choice and a poor one at that. Make the right choice and be safe from dirt to treestand.

There are numerous unnecessary accidents every year.  Let’s look at some tips to stay safe. Whitetail hunting treestand safety is your responsibility 100% of the time.

Treestand Safety Tips

1. Know Your Treestand – Make sure your treestand and/or equipment is in good condition and well maintained.  When in doubt, don’t use it.  Take the time to read the owner’s manual provided by the manufacturer (these can be found online if you don’t have it).  

2. Maintain Your Treestand – Set aside a Saturday morning in the summer to check you treestands and fix any worn or broken parts.  Check for any loose or missing fasteners (nuts, bolts etc.), along with reviewing the condition of straps.

3. Wear A Full Body Harness – They are extremely effective at keeping you alive in the event of a fall.  Read and understand manufacturer’s instructions prior to use.  Keep in mind, these harnesses have an expiration date.  Test the harness at ground level before ascending a tree.  Never take a step off the ground without having your harness connected.

4. Check the Tree – Prior to climbing a tree or setting up a ladder stand, be sure the tree is relatively straight and healthy.  I hiked into a new area somewhat blind one morning in my younger days and started to climb a dead tree.  I was more than a little frustrated in my blunder when I had to climb down and start the process over.

5. Avoid Smooth Barked Trees – If using a climbing stand.  I almost hesitated writing this as it seems obvious.  One year during deer camp, we were talking over handheld radios during the mid-day when a friend who will remain anonymous was telling us how his climber was sliding on the “White-Oak” tree he was in.  The group at deer camp was sure we knew where he was hunting, and it wasn’t in a wood lot of “White-Oak” trees but a wood lot of Sycamore trees.  We have had many good laughs over the campfire at that story.

6. Use A Haul Line – Never carry weapons or equipment up the treestand with you.  Always leave equipment on the ground and haul up when you are securely on the platform.  If using a firearm, make sure it is unloaded prior to retrieving from the ground!

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