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of the most popular methods of Bowhunting practiced is Tree Stand Hunting.
In some regions, particularly those with high population densities, this
is the predominate method used by Bowhunters. Occasionally Tree Stand Hunting
is chosen by Bowhunters due to the nature of the terrain in the area being
hunted. While some species habits and behavior, for example Whitetail Deer,
facilitate this method more than others.
Whatever the reason, Tree Stand Hunting is definitely one of the prevalent
techniques applied by the Bowhunting Community.
This style of hunting presents several significant advantages:
Unfortunately, this style of hunting also presents several significant
By positioning the hunter an average of ten to thirty feet off the ground,
his or her scent usually will not spook game in close proximity.
Also the fact that most game species rarely look upward allows silent Bowhunters
minimal movement on their stands with game in their immediate vicinity.
Tree Stands can provide wider fields of view for a Bowhunter.
Hunting from tree stands minimizes the possibility of a hunter being mistakenly
identified as game.
Hunting from tree stands reduces spooking of game during hunting or after
being shot thereby shortening blood trailing.
Angles of shots from tree stands usually result in low exit paths and therefore
better blood trails. These shot angles also minimize shot backstop safety
If you chose to utilize this method, one issue you should keep in mind
is the Regulations pertaining to Tree Stands and Climbing Devices in the
region to be hunted. These Regulations vary considerably in the United
States and abroad. As with all game regulations, it is your responsibility
as the hunter to be familiar with those that apply to you!
The biggest drawback to tree stand hunting is the inherent risks involved
with climbing, descending, and hunting at these heights above the ground.
The potential for a fall is always present and for injury if a fall occurs,
Tree stand hunting without pre-season scouting has far less chance of success
than other techniques. Pre-season scouting is critical with regard to stand
Obviously, hunting from tree stands prevents a Bowhunter from moving about
or stalking game, he or she spots out of range.
For many individuals another major drawback to this technique is BOREDOM.
Some Bowhunters find it almost impossible to sit for long hours waiting
for game, much less shot opportunities. This style of hunting requires
even greater patience than that compelled for other methods of the sport.
Upon adopting this method, you should familiarize yourself with the
different types of stands and climbing devices available.
Permanently installed stands should be avoided for several reasons. These
stands cannot be moved readily. Generally, permanent stands are constructed
of wood and are nailed in trees. They are unsightly and offend land owners.
Usually they are illegal on public lands. The primary concern with permanent
stands however is safety. As they are constructed of wood, these stands
deteriorate quickly resulting in collapse and injury of the occupant. Nails
left in trees pose a serious hazard to woodcutters operating chain saws
The second preferable category of tree stand is the temporary or portable
type. There are six basic types,
Each type has some different safety concerns, advantages and disadvantages,
some more of one than the other. There are literally dozens of commercial
manufactures of tree stands. Do some research and ask your friend's opinions
before selecting and purchasing the stand of your choice.
Climbing devices are required for three of the tree stand types listed
above. Climbing, Ladder, and Free Standing types provide their own climbing
mechanism. While Fixed, Wedges, and Harness or Sling types generally require
an additional means of climbing be provided. Common means utilized are
Lineman's climbers, lash-on climbing blocks, hand climbers, ladders, hook
climbers, and screw-in climbers to name a few. Many feel that nondestructive
types of climbers should be used to avoid damaging trees. Regulations often
cover this as well depending on locale.
Before you go in the field to actively use your tree stand, there are
several things you need to address.
Harness or Sling
Statistically, the most common accidents occurring during bowhunting
are tree stand related, particularly during ascending, setting, and descending.
The following guidelines list some (not necessarily all) precautions you
should take when performing these procedures in order to reduce the possibility
of having any unfortunate mishaps:
Never attempt to use any tree stand and climbing mechanism without first
being completely familiar with the related safety requirements.
Never attempt to use any tree stand and climbing mechanism without first
being completely familiar with their proper operation procedure. All commercial
manufactures provide complete operating instructions. Some even include
video tape operating guides.
Always inspect all tree stands and climbing mechanisms for defects, missing
parts, or damage prior to any use. If it's defective in any way, DON'T
USE IT until properly repaired.
Always perform "dry runs" or practice sessions, close to the ground, with
the equipment you intend to use at home before going hunting. That's the
time and place to find out if anything is wrong, not alone in the dark,
miles from help.
If you follow these rules, you should hopefully avoid a mishap while hunting
from Tree Stands. Common sense goes a long way toward preventing accidents.
Most so-called accidents are usually the result of folks just plain forgetting
to use their heads!
NEVER CLIMB OR HUNT FROM TREE STANDS WITHOUT A SAFETY BELT, ROPE OR HARNESS.
The belt should be rated greater than 600lb test. Attach the belt to the
tree at waist height or a little higher with no more than 12 inches of
slack. In the case of a fall, the hunter can't drop more than a foot.
Always set stands strictly per the manufacture’s instructions. Once the
tree stand is set, always test its security by applying your weight gradually,
beginning with only one foot, with firm support from the safety belt, climbing
mechanism, and tree for the balance of your weight.
NEVER CARRY YOUR BOW OR PACK WHILE CLIMBING. Use a haul line tied to a
belt loop to pull up your equipment after you are securely in your stand,
with your safety belt on. Orient your haul line to avoid catching your
arrows on branches.
For stands with seats NEVER USE THE SEAT AS A STAND.
After securely in place in your stand draw your bow and check for obstacles
which may strike its limbs resulting in damage or injury.
Avoid sleeping in stands, even with a safety belt falling may crack ribs.
Make sure you’re wide awake prior to descending from your stand.
Use your haul line to lower your bow, pack, and equipment. Swinging them
to the side so a fall will not result in your landing on them.
USE YOUR SAFETY BELT AS YOU CLIMB DOWN.
Until next week, Good Luck, Happy Hunting, and God Bless.
we all know, the golden rule--when it comes to arrows used for Bowhunting--is
that they be razor sharp! Every experienced Bowhunter understands this
rule to be a matter of ethics and good procedure to insure efficient harvest
of game. After all, unlike firearms which bring down game predominately
by shock, archery tackle in skilled hands accomplishes the same task by
hemorrhage. The sharper your Broadheads are the more massive hemorrhages
will be, with well placed shots. Subsequently, the more effective your
tackle will be. Clean, humane harvesting of game is a big responsibility
for all Bowhunters. Razor sharp Broadheads go a long way toward meeting
Another clear responsibility Bowhunters have is safety for themselves
and others. Both handling and hunting with these razor sharp Broadheads
present obvious risks which can be minimized by proper techniques. Most
experienced Bowhunters, who have hunted for any significant period of time,
can testify to cutting themselves while handling broadheads. These wounds
can be extremely serious with devastating consequences. Especially if they
occur far afield from professional medical attention.
The following guidelines list some (not necessarily all) precautions
you should take when handling and hunting with arrows in order to reduce
the possibility of having any unfortunate mishaps:
If you follow these rules you should hopefully avoid a mishap with hunting
arrows. Common sense goes a long way toward preventing accidents. Most
so-called accidents are usually the result of folks just plain forgetting
to use their heads!
Arrow spine should always match the poundage and draw length of your bow.
Always be sure of your target and what is beyond it. Never shoot at targets
on the crest of a hill, at the edge of a ledge, etc. (Washington State's
only hunting fatality last year resulted from a Bowhunter doing just that.)
Always use Broadhead Wrenches when handling Broadheads.
Always inspect your arrows, along with the balance of your archery tackle,
to insure it is not damaged prior to use. Damaged, bent, cracked arrows
can fail catastrophically when shot, likely resulting in personal injury.
Never climb fences or into tree stands with arrows nocked on your bow.
Place bows with arrows in the quiver under fences and climb over a few
feet away so you can't fall on your tackle if you do fall. Always hoist
bows with arrows, and everything else for that matter, into your tree stands
with a hauling line after you are safely in the stand with your safety
Never carry arrows nocked on your bow until you are actively stalking game.
Bowhunters have stumbled, cutting themselves or others with them.
Always use a covered quiver to protect yourself and others from your Broadheads.
Always store archery tackle in the trunk of your vehicle in order to prevent
passengers from injuring themselves with it. In the event of a motor vehicle
accident this reduces "missiles" in the vehicle as well.
Always sharpen Broadheads away from your body to avoid cuts.
When recovering harvested game, check your arrow first. Are all your Broadhead
blades still in place? If not, use extreme caution during field dressing!
Never shoot arrows straight up in the air.
Until next week, Good Luck, Happy Hunting, and God Bless All.
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