As we move into late August we’ve all got it on our minds. Every time we open the garage door there it is….that mountain of tree stands and sticks just waiting to be hung before opening day. And there’s that loaner over in the corner, the hang and hunt set up or the climber. As you gather your gear for that full weekend of hanging stands, at the top of that list better be your Safety Harness System.
We have seen far too many of our fellow hunters take tree stand safety lightly or disregard it all together and the results can be life changing. I can’t imagine the impact to my life if I had to stop hunting because of something I have complete control over. I regret to say I have some close personal friends who don’t wear a harness. When you ask them why they don’t wear a harness the answer is generally the same, “it slows me down when getting up a tree”. My question is this…is that extra minute today worth your life tomorrow?
It doesn’t matter if I’m hanging stands, trimming limbs or hunting, I’m connected at all times. I’ll take a few minutes and share my System with you.
We use some version of the HSS harness. LaDonna and I both like the ultra-lite. It’s easy to put on, it fits easily under our layers and there’s not much than can go wrong. Again, it doesn’t matter if we are hanging or hunting we don’t take a step up unless we are connected. It literally only takes seconds to put on…..seconds.
Most harness systems come with some sort of linemans attachment points on the harness and a belt. So no excuses on this one. I’ve found that a rope works better for me because it’s easier to move up the tree as I’m hanging sticks and stands. Again, I connect at the ground and I have both hands free to get the work done. I actually carry two of these…one for climbing and one to connect once my stand is up and I’m settled in and ready to hunt. The extra rope ensures I’m ALWAYS connected. I can tell you first hand it SUCKS to slip and have to rely on the belt to save your life but it works. A little tree rash is better than a 20′ fall.
Most of these are 30’ lines with a prussic and a carabiner included so all you have to do when you get to your stand is hook up and climb. This is ideal for our set ups that we will leave up for the season. LaDonna loves ladder stands so each ladder stand she has has a lifeline ready for her at all times.
We’ve heard this so many times and some of us still choose to disregard the message. Its a simple choice and not much expense compared to other costs associated with hunting so please, find a system that works for you and use it every time.