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Be Safe this Deer Season!

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I know much of this is common sense, but none-the-less, there are always a number of serious injuries and even deaths each deer season. Safety when it comes to deer hunting is a very serious issue. Some minor thought and preparation from everyone will eliminate a good portion of these accidents. I just want to remind everyone to be safe in the woods this year. The majority of hunting related deaths/injuries are totally unnecessary and can easily be avoided by following some common sense guidelines.

I had one very close call when my stand malfunctioned years ago. My partner also fell out of stand that broke loose at 20+ ft. years ago. We were both very lucky. And we always considered oursleves relatively careful, just like all of you do I'm sure. Since that time I've taken extra precautions that just take a few more minutes of your time each time out to the stand, those few minutes may just save your life someday. Tree stands can be as dangerous as any gun or bow. A few tips that I will share that I've learned over the years..

  • Always let somebody know where you are hunting and when you will return (location of stand - draw a sketch map for them). It can easily mean the difference between living and not getting out of the woods alive.
  • Have a cell phone or 2-way on you when your climbing up and down the stand (not on the ground in your pack).
  • Wear a safety harness, not just a belt
  • When possible, wear the safety harness when climbing and descending from your tree (I know this isn't always possible - with climbers it is).
  • Inspect your equipment. Don't automatically trust all manufacturers stands and equipment. Check it all out. With homemade stands and permanent stands, this is even more critical.

Firearms Safety Tips

  • Be sure of your target before you shoot - the biggest buck in the woods isn't worth someone's life!
  • Always use your safety when you have a round in the chamber!
  • Unload your gun when climbing up your treestand
  • Always wear your Blaze Orange while in the woods during gun season - hunting or not.
  • Never point your gun at anything you don't intend to shoot.
  • Always wear your safety harness when hunting from a tree stand (a belt should be worn at a minimum).
  • Consider what is beyond the target before pulling the trigger.
  • Always treat every gun as if it is loaded.
  • If you are hunting alone, let someone know where you are hunting and what time you expect to return.
  • Assume that other hunters are not as safe as you are.
  • Unload firearms when not in use with actions open.

Here are some important safety precautions when using tree stands:

  • use a fall-restraint system, preferably a full-body harness. This includes climbing and descending the tree.
  • make sure there is little or no slack in the fall-restraint tether when in a sitting position.
  • Make sure permanent stands are stable and haven't deteriorated with age.
  • Be very careful with home-made temporary tree stands. If you are unsure about it, don't use it.
  • inspect your stands and equipment regularly.
  • ALWAYS pull up your gear with a rope or haul system. Do not climb with your gear.
  • make sure firearms are unloaded prior to climbing
  • never attach the line near the trigger or trigger guard
  • make certain if your hunting alone that somebody knows where you are and when you plan to return.

Everyone have a great and SAFE deer season! Good luck!

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