Over the last 3 years, there is hardly a moment I am not secured to the tree my stand is in. I made the decision to buy my first tree stand safety harness after my first year of bowhunting for a number of reasons, the primary one being safety. After I wore the harness the first few times out in the woods, I found that it did a lot more than just keep me safe from falling out of my stand. It gave me confidence.
The Risks of Hunting from a Tree Stand
Hunting from a tree stand can be a thrilling experience, but it also comes with risks. Falls from tree stands are a leading cause of hunting-related injuries and deaths. In fact, according to the Tree Stand Safety Awareness Foundation, falls from tree stands account for nearly half of all hunting incidents. These falls can result in serious injuries, including broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and even death. It's important to take the necessary safety precautions to prevent these accidents from happening. Because, well, let's be honest… Hunting is too much fun to get these injuries!
Benefits of a Tree Stand Safety Harness
When I knew I had a lifeline in the tree (both literally and metaphorically), it allowed me to feel more comfortable moving around in the stand to get the best shot possible. And, to a certain degree, I felt better knowing that every shot I took would be done with complete focus on the target. I wouldn't lose my footing on a slippery stand or tip over at full draw. I may be a little bit of a worrywart, but you never know what may happen in the woods, especially during unpredictable weather.
Confession: I don’t like heights–unless I am enclosed in something or secured to something. This is why a tree stand safety harness has made a world of difference to my comfort while hunting. My first time in a stand, I was terrified. A tree swaying in the wind, sitting/standing on a 2'x 2′ platform 15 feet up in the air (or more). Let’s just say trying to focus on hunting instead of falling filled me with anxiety. Then came my next realization that I did NOT like getting into or out of the stand without a “safety net.”
My next step was to buy a lifeline to attach to my harness for ascent/descent.
I know many hunters out there say they don’t like to use a harness for multiple reasons. One reason is that it restricts movement. Though this may be true, it depends on which way you turn for a shot. If you choose the right tree and the stand facing in the optimal direction, to begin with, it should not impede your shot. It is definitely a piece of equipment to get used to. But, if it means making it home safely out of the woods after a hunt, I’m all for it.
How to Choose the Right Tree Stand Safety Harness
When choosing a tree stand safety harness, it's important to consider several factors. First, make sure the harness is rated for your weight and size. It should fit snugly but not be too tight or restrictive. Look for a harness with adjustable straps and buckles for a customized fit. Additionally, consider the type of hunting you will be doing and choose a harness that is appropriate for your needs. Finally, make sure the harness meets industry safety standards and has been tested for durability and strength.
Tree Stand Safety Harnesses to Use in the Woods
- Hunter Safety System Lifeline and Ultra-Lite (shoulder and leg) Harness:: I personally use this setup and I love it. It is comfortable, durable, and easy to use. I also like having a full-body harness rather than just a pelvic harness.
- Hunter Safety System Lady hybrid harness-mossy oak
- For the kids: Hunter Safety System Lil’ Treestalker Youth Harness
- Tree Spider Men's FeatherLite SpiderWeb
- Gorilla Gear Women’s G-Tac Air Safety Harness with Flex Fit
Answers to your commonly asked questions about tree stand safety harnesses:
What is the safest safety harness for a tree stand?
The safety harness considered safest for a tree stand depends on personal preference and specific needs. However, some popular options known for their safety features include the Hunter Safety System Lifeline and Ultra-Lite Harness, the Hunter Safety System Lady Hybrid Harness, and the Tree Spider Men's FeatherLite SpiderWeb.
Should you wear a harness in a tree stand?
Absolutely, wearing a safety harness in a tree stand is highly recommended. Falls from tree stands are a leading cause of hunting-related injuries and deaths. By wearing a harness, you significantly reduce the risk of falling and suffering serious injuries, ensuring a safer hunting experience.
How do you secure yourself in a tree stand?
To secure yourself in a tree stand, start by wearing a properly fitting safety harness. Attach the harness to a secure anchor point in the tree, such as a lifeline or tree strap. Ensure the connections are tight and secure. Remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions for your specific safety harness to ensure proper usage.
Which is the safest harness to use while climbing a tree or in a tree stand?
There are several harnesses known for their safety features while climbing a tree or in a tree stand. The Hunter Safety System Lifeline and Ultra-Lite Harness, the Hunter Safety System Lady hybrid harness-mossy oak, and the Tree Spider Men's FeatherLite SpiderWeb are considered among the safest options. However, it's essential to choose a harness that fits well, is rated for your weight, and meets industry safety standards.