The fall hunting season is fast approaching!  Last minute preparations may include hanging your deer stands, checking cameras, prepping gear and scouting missions. Hanging deer stands can be tricky and pose a danger if not done right. Whether you plan to use the stand or let other friends or relatives use the stands, it is of utmost importance that you make sure you have covered all of your safety issues so that no one gets hurts using your stand.

It is a good idea, especially if you have never hung a deer stand before, to do a few practice runs while still on the ground. Practicing will give you the confidence to hang your stand proficiently high up in a tree. The following tips can help you make sure that you have the right tools on hand and the stand is hung safely with as little stress as possible.

  1. Use a safety harness- If you are going to be climbing to unsafe heights -especially if you’re hanging stands alone. By adding a lineman’s belt to your safety equipment you can keep your hands free in order to focus on the work of hanging your stand and installing climbing steps and tree sticks.
  2. Share your destination – If you will be going out into the woods alone to hang your deer stands, be sure to let others know where you will be. This is basic safety. Giving your family an approximate location will be a life saver should you have an accident, get lost, or get delayed some way. Don’t cause your family undue worry at the beginning of deer season.
  3. Tools- Don’t forget your drill and other items needed in your tool kit. When you begin installing screws for tree steps or installing a gear hook you will be thankful to have this tool. It will make your job a lot easier, and when you are hanging in a tree the last thing you need is to get stressed out. Items to think about are a portable drill, compact socket set, adjustable wrench, screwdriver, hammer, etc.
  4. Bring a saw- In order to cut through any limbs that may hinder you from getting to your desired tree stand spot. Some hunters may also bring along a chain saw, if planning to hang a stand in an especially difficult location. Cut in shooting lanes, remove branches that may hinder your site or pose safety issues.  You will also want to trim up limbs, brush, thorns and briars on the route to and from the stand so that you cut down on your chances of leaving scent behind and getting scratched each time you head to your stand. A clear route will allow you to get through the woods and to your stand without brushing up against every tree you pass.
  5. Install gear hooks and a rope pull-up- If you go ahead and install these necessary items to haul your gear to the tree stand ahead of time you will be glad you did come first day of hunting. It is a pain to deal with these details the day of your hunt. The day you hang your stand is the best time for this because you already have your tools with you and you’re not itching to get done and start hunting.
  6. Don’t forego safety for convenience- It is very important to cover all of your safety bases when you are installing and using a tree stand. Lifelines are a great safety addition to your hunting gear and will keep you safe and secure while in the tree.
  7. Use a tree stand hanging device- These handy devices will actually hold the stand in place for you while you fasten the ratchet traps and secure all buckles which attach the stand safely to the tree. This device will allow your hands to be free so that you can focus on the attaching process.
  8. Rangefinder- This will help you get your tree stand set up comfortably and safely for optimal shooting lanes and distances.
  9. Lighted trail markers- These will help you get back to your stands when it is dark out in the morning and back to your vehicle in the evening.
  10. Insect Repellent- Fight all the little critters that can eat on you deep in the woods.
  11. Protective clothing- Protect your legs, arms, and hands from getting beat up by the elements as well as keeping insects away. Pants, long sleeve shirts and gloves are all important pieces of equipment.

September is Tree Stand Safety Month.  Remember the ABCD’s of Tree Stand Safety to make sure your hunting set up is safe and secure!

A- Always remove and inspect all your equipment before using.

B- Buckle your harness securely.

C- Connect before your feet leave the ground.

D- Destination- share your stand location for each hunt.