Remember tree stand safety

With deer gun season underway statewide December 2 to 8, the Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW) urges those who hunt from treestands wear a Full Body Safety Harness (FBSH) and use a climbing safety strap whenever their feet leave the ground.

Tree stands are one of the most popular pieces of equipment used by deer hunters in Ohio and nationwide. However, due to human error and/or equipment failure, the number of debilitating or fatal injuries resulting from their use is higher than it should be. Statistically, one out of three hunters will fall from a tree stand at some point in his or her hunting career. Given that statistic, it is imperative that the proper safety gear be used — and used correctly.

All hunter and hunter education organizations recommend wearing a Full Body Safety Harness that distributes the hunter’s weight throughout their shoulders, chest, waist and legs thus securely supporting a fallen person without causing added harm or injury.

Here are a few tips to help prevent accidents this hunting season:

• Always use a FBSH and read manufacturer instructions before use.

• Before using your FSBH in the field, practice using it at ground level.

• Always use a climbing safety strap. Most accidents occur when climbing up or down from a tree stand.

• Never climb with anything in your hands. Always use a haul line to raise and lower your equipment.

For more safety tips visit the Division of Wildlife’s Tree Stand Safety page or to check your knowledge of tree stand safety take a free, online Tree Stand Safety Course from The Treestand Manufacturer’s Association at www.tmastands.com.

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