MADISON (WKOW) — As the time to bag a buck draws near, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is reminding hunters to brush up on tree stand safety ahead of hunting season.
About 25% of Wisconsin bowhunters have fallen or nearly fallen from a deer stand in the past, according to the DNR. And the longer a hunter hunts, the more likely risky tree stand behavior will catch up to them.
To avoid falls, the DNR is reminding hunters to always wear a full-body harness — also called a full-arrest system. Once the harness is connected to the tether line, keep the tether short.
When climbing up and down, keep three points of contact and use a lifeline.
Another way to stay safe is to use a haul line to raise and lower an unloaded firearm or bow to or from the stand. A haul line can also be used for other items, like a heavy backpack.
Finally, be sure to tell someone where you’ll be hunting and bring a cell phone in case of a fall.
Hunters can also participate in the Tree Stand Manufacturers Association Safety Course. The free and interactive course takes 15 minutes to complete.