Yamaha Outdoors Tips — Tree Stand Safety

By Bob Humphrey

October marks the beginning of bow season in many parts of the country.  Statistics show that the overwhelming majority of bowhunters ply their trade from an elevated position.  Before you jump on the ATV and head to your favorite treestand however, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.  The Treestand Manufacturer’s Association offers the following recommendations.


Read and understand the manufacturer’s WARNINGS & INSTRUCTIONS before using a treestand;  

Practice with the treestand at ground level prior to using at elevated positions; 

Wear a Full Body Harness meeting TMA Standards even during ascent and  descent;

Attach your Full Body Harness in the manner and method described by the manufacturer;

Be aware of the hazards associated with prolonged suspension in a harness and have in place a plan for escue/recovery/escape;

Hunt with a plan and if possible a buddy.  Before you leave home, let others know your exact hunting location, when you plan to return and who is with you; 

Carry emergency signal devices such as a cell phone, walkie-talkie, whistle, signal flare, PLD (personal locator device) and flashlight on your person at all times and within reach;

Select the proper tree for use with your treestand. Select a live straight tree that fits within the size limits recommended in your treestand’s instructions; 

Use a haul line to pull up your gear and unloaded firearm or bow to your treestand once you have reached your desired hunting height.  Prior to descending, lower your equipment on the opposite side of the tree. 


Use homemade or permanently elevated stands or make modifications to a purchased treestand;

Exceed the weight limit specified by the manufacturer;

Hurry while climbing with or to a treestand.  Make slow, even movements of no more than ten to twelve inches at a time and try to maintain three points of contact with a ladder, steps or tree with each step;

Climb with anything in your hands or on your back.