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Treestand Safety Checklist

Hunting from a treestand can give you a great advantage when pursuing deer and other big game forest animals. Not only does it give you a better vantage point for shooting and a wider panoramic view of the forest spread out around you, but it also helps keep your scent off the ground and gives you a better element of surprise for hunting deer.

However, hunting from treestands can also be extremely dangerous. Injuries resulting from hunters falling out of trees are common, and depending on how high up you like to keep your treestand, a tumble can result in anything from serious injury to death. Since many hunters like to hunt alone and don't take as many precautions as they should to ensure that they can contact the outside world in case of emergency, treestand falls can be especially problematic.

With all of this in mind, we've put together a checklist of sorts that you can walk yourself through every time you set up a hunting spot in a treestand. Here's to injury-free hunting.

Your Treestand is Strong and High-Quality: Before you purchase a commercial treestand, research different products to find out which stands are the best on the market. This is no place to cut cost: get a treestand that you will feel comfortable entrusting your life to every time you go hunting, and don't be afraid to buy a replacement if your old stand begins to show wear and tear.

Know What You're Doing: Every treestand is a little bit different, from climbing stands to ladder stands and beyond. Before you use your stand, make sure you have read the instruction manual and know precisely what procedures to follow in the use of the product.

Check Your Stand: Stands can be susceptible to rust, loose screws and bolts, or other signs of wear and tear. Make sure to check for such weaknesses every time you use your stand, especially if you are bringing it out of storage after a long hunting hiatus.

Read about some more treestand safety tips.

Put Emergency Safeguards in Place: This rule can apply to treestand use in a variety of different ways. For one, you should use a safety harness to prevent falls. For another, you should create a "safe landing zone" at the base of your tree by removing rocks and sharp sticks and perhaps piling up snow or leaves to cushion a potential fall.

A safeguard can also be as simple as telling someone you are going hunting and when you expect to be back, or taking a fully-charged cellphone into the woods with you. You won't always have service in the woods, but it's always good to have a potential communication method in case of emergency. Finally, bring along a whistle that you can use to signal other nearby hunters.

Take Care with Your Weapons: Don't climb a tree with weapons in your hand. Instead, use a haul line to lift unloaded weapons into the tree, then load your weapons and prepare for your hunt after you are in the tree.

Check the Tree: Not all trees are created equal, either. Check to make sure that the tree you choose has strong, healthy limbs, a stable trunk, and rugged bark that won't become too slippery in the case of snow, rain, or ice.

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Treestand Safety Checklist