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I have seen a lot of threads on tree stand safety lately. I always ware a safety harness in my stand but I don’t use a safety line while climbing in, but I make sure I always have three points of contact when climbing. I almost fell one time when I was hanging a stand, now I always use a linesmen belt.

I would like to hear the stories of the people that have fallen, how did it happen? Hopefully some of us can learn from your unfortunate mistakes. Thanks Steve.
 

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It happens so quick

I had been hunting from stands for over 17 years. Climbing in and out of trees like a monkey, never thinking I would ever fall. I always would wear a safety belt when in the stand but never when setting one up. I was set in my ways, young, and invincible.

The morning of November 5, 2004 found me on top of a ridge before day light. It was a wet, cold morning and I was going to set up in a very large in diameter tree. I was not able to put my arms around it. I was struggling to place the strap of the hang-on stand around the tree. My left foot was on a tree branch and my right foot was on a tree step. Both hands were dealing with the stand. In an instant my left foot slipped off the WET tree branch while my right foot stayed to the step. I went head over heals, falling about 15 feet. My face slammed into the large branch (approx. 10'' in dia.) I was standing on then my body spun out of control to the ground perfectly flat, face down.

I did not even sense I was going to fall, it happened to quick and I had no time to try and catch myself. I can not say enough how quick it happened. I did not even have a thought about the fall until I was on the ground and dumfounded.

The injuries I had were not bad considering. I broke my nose, fractured my left cheek bone and my upper jaw just below my left nostril. Loosened my upper front left teeth. Damaged nerves in my cheek going to my upper teeth (still numb) Many lacernations around my left eye and cheek that could not be stiched because of the chance of infection. Tore my right ring finger nail off. Many bruises over my chest and legs. Knocked the wind out of me.

I jumped right up, put my parka on ( thinking if I passed out after the adrenaline wore off maybe I would not freeze to death ), grabbed my truck keys, phone and started walking to the truck. I thought I lost my eye but it turned out I could not see because of all the blood in it. No cell reception so I drove home and my wife drove from there to the hospital.

Sorry for the long post, but that is what happened.
 

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The three points of contact rule gives people far more comfort than it really provides. It's fine when nothing goes wrong, but a wet step, broken foothold or handhold, beesting, or a hundred other things can transform three points to zero in a heartbeat. There are a whole lot of "statistics" that were observing the 3POC rule. Wear a harness all the way up and all the way down. Nothing else comes close!

Best Regards,
Byron :)
 

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Jlr,

that's tuff, I think the good Lord was looking out for you that day. I have had a couple of falls but nothing more than knocked the wind out of me. I ignored the signs all over my Loggy Bayou climber that said don't use in the rain. Got twenty foot up and went the sinch my safety harness and the stand slid down the tree. Luckily my arms were around the tree, I tried to slow my fall but still came down real quick. Bruised my chest and arms real good. Didn't see many deer that day, guess I scared a few off. Then had a step come out about at 10 foot and landed on my back, (with a portable stand on my back). Now I pretty much use ladder stands and enclosed climbers, and always climb with a belt (4 point harness).
 

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a picture of what a fall could do...if you survive.

enuff said...while this happend at my home it was because of deer hunting. I had killed a doe and was hanging it from the tree. I climbed a ladder to retrieve the gambrel about 15' up and was reaching for it when the ladder flipped over spilling me onto the drive way and cracking my head open. Didn't know what happened when I woke up and found that I had aterial bleeding. Falling can happen in a second...wear a harness while hunting.

As a result of this my wife had me build a meat pole with a winch.
 

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Newhunter1 said:
enuff said...while this happend at my home it was because of deer hunting. I had killed a doe and was hanging it from the tree. I climbed a ladder to retrieve the gambrel about 15' up and was reaching for it when the ladder flipped over spilling me onto the drive way and cracking my head open. Didn't know what happened when I woke up and found that I had aterial bleeding. Falling can happen in a second...wear a harness while hunting.

As a result of this my wife had me build a meat pole with a winch.
****
 

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two more for your viewing pleasure.

hope that these will make a believer out of someone...now I have a permanent part.:sad:
 

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guys...this accident I had happened on Oct 2, 2005. Put me out of hunting for 3 weeks. Could have been much worse with me dying or worse...being paralyzed.

A harness wouldn't have helped in this instance, but a safty line would have while climbing my tree. This happened in blink of an eye. So fast nothing I could do to stop it.

Just like in a tree stand...so fast when it happens that there will be nothing you can do to stop it...except be secured to the tree with a 4 point harness.

paul
 

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I fell last year too. October 9th. I fractured my elbow very slightly and did a bit of nerve damage (a couple fingers still have only partial feeling). I hit my elbow on a treestep near the ground after falling about 12 feet. Messed my arm up pretty good, but I could still draw my bow. I guess I was lucky. Glad to see you're okay Newhunter!
 

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Never fell...

Ive never actually fallen but ive had a few close calls. I started archery hunting when I was 16 and I never thought i needed the hassle of a safety harness. Well that all changed when I went sliding down a wet tree w/ my climber on my feet. Went from almost 20 foot to near ground level in seconds.Thank God i managed to keep from falling off. Wear a harness ever since. Remember guys no deer is worth dying over...Be safe for your families and friends and in the name of this great sport.
 

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I've read that studies have shown that most treestand accidents occurr when entering and exiting the platform. That would say to me that you might want to snap in your lanyard before you climb onto the platform; and make it the last thing you do after you're securely on the steps going down. Assuming you don't use a climbing safety line from ground to above the stand.
 

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My old Baker self-climber tree stand nearly put me on the ground. I always bungeed my feet into stirrups when climbing or descending. I had made those stirrups because the stand felt like it wanted to slide down the tree with the slightest easing of foot pressure on the outermost edge of the stand. Well, Baker is out of business due to lawsuits from injured customers for that very reason. The angle of the bracing rail was wrong and the stand would indeed come down the tree very easily.

One day it let go on me, too, as I started to climb down, even with my feet bungeed into my homemade stirrups. It crashed to the ground in an instant. I was left hanging by my safety belt about 15 feet up a tree. I fell about 2 feet before the belt ran out of slack, tightened up, and my weight slammed me against the tree hard enough to stun me for an instant.

My hunting partner had been razzing me about me always using my safety belt, even when climbing in the stand. After that he didn't razz me anymore and is a lot more careful himself.

I use ladder stands now where I can. They are challenging to put up because most of them weigh about 50 pounds, but they are a lot safer. My Christmas gift to my brother and his young son last year was 4 ladder stands. I wanted to get them out of their hanging stands and it looks like it worked.

I also have a friend who is in a wheel chair because the 2x4's he had nailed into a tree for his permanent stand pulled out of the tree as he started to climb down. He wasn't using a belt. He landed on his back and is now paralyzed from the waist down.

Gravity is very, very fast and doesn't forgive.
 

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Tom D, I have a friend who is now a quad due to a fall from a tree...you can never be too safe. Your last line is so good I added it to my signature (with proper credit, of course). Hope you don't mind.
 

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stasnd safety

Cabela's sells a real good system for entering and exiting stands. It works like a seat belt. It will not let you fall over a few inches before it locks up but you can use it climbing up and coming down. They are a little pricey and would probably get stolen in many places but they sure are the answer to falling while going up and down and while in your stand.:darkbeer:
 

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Good Post!

I was like JLR: Mr. Monkey. However, I've taken my lesson from him and others like him, and God Bless me, not personal tragedy.

This year, I decided not to rely on my guardian angel's vigilance anymore. I bought an SOP harness. I intend to buy a second rope so that that I'm always attached to the tree. Being dead, crippled or in a coma just ruins your deer season.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Xtecera said:
I've read that studies have shown that most treestand accidents occurr when entering and exiting the platform. That would say to me that you might want to snap in your lanyard before you climb onto the platform; and make it the last thing you do after you're securely on the steps going down. Assuming you don't use a climbing safety line from ground to above the stand.
Now I like that idea. I might go and buy about 30 ft. of climbing rope and make extra tree straps with a little extra length and snap in my D ring before I climb in. The only problem I have with a safety line is you have to keep adjusting the knot on your way up and down the tree. I just think using a safety line would be awkward making you unbalanced while climbing. You can still hurt your self bad using a harness and safety line.
 

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steveo19 said:
Now I like that idea. I might go and buy about 30 ft. of climbing rope and make extra tree straps with a little extra length and snap in my D ring before I climb in. The only problem I have with a safety line is you have to keep adjusting the knot on your way up and down the tree. I just think using a safety line would be awkward making you unbalanced while climbing. You can still hurt your self bad using a harness and safety line.
You think it would, but once you try it, you'll find that it isn't awkward at all. Unless you are using impaling screw-in steps, a properly-used safety harness and mainline system make it rather difficult to get hurt. No matter what climbing aids you use, the harness & rope cannot be thought of as any real risk.

Best Regards,
Byron :)
 

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I fell during gun season once. I tried to use the front bar of my climber to rest my foot on to use my knee as a brace for my rifle. When I fired the recoil from the rifle dislodged the top section from the tree and there I went. I fell about 25 feet but amazingly not a scatch just a big bruise on my hip. I also still got the deer I shot at!
 

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not yet but still aware

this year is the first time i went to the HSS but still what worries me is the climbing in and out of my ladder stand any thoughts on how we can eliminate that factor ive also looked at the seatbelt that you hook to while climbing any pics of ideas like the climbing rope for a lean to ladder stand also what is the heavist body weight that any ones actually test any safety system im 300 and im maxed out with my system but been told they test well over the max Better then nothing
 

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lilblknight said:
this year is the first time i went to the HSS but still what worries me is the climbing in and out of my ladder stand any thoughts on how we can eliminate that factor ive also looked at the seatbelt that you hook to while climbing any pics of ideas like the climbing rope for a lean to ladder stand also what is the heavist body weight that any ones actually test any safety system im 300 and im maxed out with my system but been told they test well over the max Better then nothing
I think you'll be fine with the system you have, yes. For any non-climbing stand, including ladders, you should use a mainline/prussic system like the one advocated by SafeTreeHunt here on AT. Look around at some of his posts, or email him ([email protected]) for FREE instructions on making your own. Good question!

Best Regards,
Byron :)
 
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