Using a tree stand can be an effective way to hunt for whitetail deer. Rather than tracking deer and potentially spooking them as you make noise, you can sit quietly in a tree stand positioned so that it offers a considerable viewing area. Then, when you get a deer in your sights, you can shoot it before climbing down and tagging it. It's important never to overlook the importance of tree stand safety. Being up in a tree stand is generally safe, provided that you have your harness on and you're sitting still, but going up and down can put you at risk of being injured or worse. Here are some tips for getting in and out of a tree stand safely.
Assess It Each Year
Some hunters set up their tree stands annually, while others leave a tree stand up for several years. In the latter scenario, you should always be careful to assess the strength of the tree stand at the start of each hunting season. For example, the tree could have begun to rot since last year, causing the stand to be loose. Or, someone may have climbed into your tree stand over the last year and damaged it willingly or accidentally. Either way, a careful inspection to ensure that the tree stand is sound is important for your safety.
Use A Pulley System
Rigging up a pulley system is a smart move whenever you're setting up a tree stand. You'll commonly want a wide range of supplies up in the tree stand with you, given the length of time that you'll spend in this spot. Some hunters attempt to speed up the process of getting set up for the day by carrying large amounts of supplies up the tree. Doing so, however, can be dangerous, as you may be off balance and slip as you're climbing the tree. Using a pulley system allows you to lift items up to the platform, and then climb up to take them off the rope and set them up.
Unload Your Weapon First
Whether you're going up into the tree stand or climbing down from it, it's important that you unload your rifle. This is especially important to remember after you've shot a deer. You'll be in a hurry to climb down from the tree stand and approach the deer, which may result in you forgetting to unload your weapon. Unfortunately, it's relatively easy for an accident to arise — you could slip while climbing down and drop the rifle, and there's a chance that it may discharge upon hitting the ground. When you unload it first, you won't have this concern.
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