Treestand safety

Treestands are popular with hunters and wildlife photographers. Accidents have increased with the rise in treestand use; learn how to stay safe in the trees.

Treestand safety tips

Plan ahead

  • Read, understand, and follow manufacturer's instructions.
  • Practice using equipment at ground level with a partner, including suspension release while in the harness and recovering from the suspended position.
  • Inspect equipment before each use.
  • Have a plan and let someone know where you'll be and when you plan to return.
  • Keep emergency equipment like a knife, cellphone, flashlight, and/or whistle on you.
  • Select a healthy, straight tree that is large enough to support your weight.

Climbing

  • Always use a Full Body Fall Arrest Harness (FBH). 
  • When climbing, keep three points of contact with the ladder at all times (both feet and one hand or two hands and one foot).
  • Keep your weight centered.
  • Always use a haul line to raise and lower equipment; never carry equipment while climbing. Firearms should be unloaded and arrows should be quivered while using a haul line.

In the stand

  • Never place your stand higher than 16 feet.
  • Remain attached to the tree at all times.
  • Adjust the tether of your FBH so that you will not hang lower than your stand in the event of a fall. There should be very little slack while seated. 

If you fall

  • Attempt to recover and return to your stand.
  • Stay calm and call for help.
  • Relieve pressure on your legs using your suspension relief device or exercise your legs by pushing against the tree until help arrives.

Take a free online treestand safety course

The Treestand Manufacturer's Association provides a free, interactive treestand safety course you can finish in minutes online. Treestand safety has evolved over the years as new research becomes available. Take 20 minutes to learn about the latest safety standards and guidelines–it just might save your life! 

Certified treestand products

For a detailed list of certified products, refer to the Treestand Manufacturer's Association Products List.

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