As Michigan’s bow season enters its second full week and the weather continues to change, officials are urging people hunting from a tree stand to be particularly safe.
A 12 state study found most people fell because they slipped as well as lost their grip or balance, which was most common in lock-on and climbing stands as well as where people were not using a harness.
Most falls occurred when people hunted with traditional firearms or bows, followed by muzzleloaders and crossbows. The information collected by the Tree Stand Safety Awareness Foundation also found the average fall victim’s age was 47.
“The DNR is in full support of the foundation’s effort to boost tree-stand safety,” said Lt. Tom Wanless, the hunter education administrator for the state of Michigan. “The more information hunters have, the safer they can be.”
Lt. Wanless also shared a few safety tips for hunters including using your hands and feet to maintain three points of contact when climbing up or down a tree stand. Wanless also suggests using a full-body harness attached to a secure fall line positioned above your head.
Additionally hunters are encouraged to use a secure pull system like a rope when lifting a crossbow or firearm, that is unloaded with the safety on, into a tree stand.
The DNR teaches tree-stand safety, safe firearm handling, first aid and other important life skills as part of its hunter education program.