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West Virginia Wildlife
Tree Stand Safety
Patrick McMurtry Making A Stand For Safety

September 11, 2013
Reporter: Patrick McMurtry
Videographer: Brad Rice


It doesn't get much better than heading out into the woods with your bow, arrows, tree stand and hope. You've done your homework, your bow is safe and tuned in, but don't forget about prepping your tree stand or making sure the one you have is safe. Jerry Payne is a law enforcement officer with The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, he describes some basic safety rules ever hunter should follow.

"First thing, get a tree stand that's safe. There are some out there, older ones you won't want to fool with because they aren't as safe as the new ones. There are two options, you can have a lock on stand, which is permanently attached with chains or straps, or you can climb, a lot of folks prefer climbers."

That's what I use, and it's done me just fine for years. But I always make sure the straps are in good condition and the cables aren't rusted. That's important. I also always go out and scout out a good tree before hunting season starts.

"Next you want to find a tree, you don't want to find one that has broken limbs in it, you don't want to find a soft bark one like a pine tree because when the tree stand bites in, it can slip out. You also want to stay away from hard barks like hickory trees because the teeth won't bite into it with a climber." says Payne.

So you have your stand and have picked out a safe tree with a good field of vision. You're almost ready.

"Most important of everything, always have your harness on and climb with it attached to the tree. Climbing down, have it attached. The two key times, when they reach the top they fall and when they climb down they fall, these are the two danger zones." says Payne.

In fact, it's a good idea to just attach your harness before you climb up and never take it off until you're down. We want you safe out there!

LEARN MORE at the W. Va. DNR


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