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climbing stand safety

Old 12-08-2014, 01:44 PM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: IN.
Posts: 506

I was climbing with same model with a back pack on several years ago (no safety harness) and lost my grip on the upper part and basically fell backwards out of the stand. Luckily my feet stayed in the stirrups but it sure is no fun doing a set up with around 30 pounds strapped to your back. Needless to say I climb with a harness and that stand went by,by. I now use the viper that has the bar all the way around you.
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Old 12-08-2014, 03:34 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,186

I'll try to keep this brief. I know of two men who fell out of tree stands. Both werre severely injured. Neither was killed. One was partially paralized for years and never fully recoveded his upper body strength. The other was in a wheel chair for months and will walk with a limp for the remainder of his days. Both falls were completely avoidable and neither was using a harness.

My No. 1 , life long hunting-fishing buddy fell from 20' up when the straps on his
hang-on failed. He was wearing a HSS safety. It saved him from serious injury or maybe worse. He was able to easily swing to his stick ladder and come down.

I 100% of the time wear a harness (HSS Brand) when climbing. I stay attached to the tree or a safety rope until I am back on the ground. I know some don't think that such is necessary, but in my book it is.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:14 PM
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 31

I always look over the stand and safety stuff prior to the season, the harness can double up as a good deer drag, just slip the harness on and tie off your drag line to start dragging your deer, it definitely helps once you get the drag length line the right length. My buddy ties off two, one shorter one for logs and such, he claims it help use his legs more for added leverage when needed. He just hooks the shorter one to the deer when he needs it, then tosses it over his shoulder when using the longer one, I always said to thinking about tie a short loop (Enough to get around a heavy stick we typically run though the thin skin area below the thigh when dragging) in the primary and leave the short rope home..LOL
Naturally keep in mind this could stress the harness cinching, so inspect it afterwards.. I always try to keep multiple use stuff in mind, its helps reduce what you carry in the field, or on the quad.

Last edited by Tollster; 01-06-2015 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:01 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 13

I would say most accidents happen when climing up tree steps or ladders rather than falling out of the stand. Also hear about cables breaking on lockons when the hunter goes to step on the platform.
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Old 03-04-2015, 04:54 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,926
Default A Tree Climber is not a hunter...

and doesn't necessarily make a tree climber just because he hunts.
It's up to the hunter to learn safety rules and observe them.
I would practice learning the tree stand, on its own with no hunting, and observing how it operated, things that had to be checked, how an individual could fall using one.
Of course, I learned to climb before I hunted.
Some may have is trouble hunting and tree climbing at the same time. You have to do both things at the same time.
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:57 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 449

My son has the old version of the Summit Viper that is made out of steel and weighs around 30lbs. I don't know about the new versions but the old versions they provided you with a rope to tie the bottom stand to the top stand just in case your feet slipped out of the straps or whatever. Needless to say my son thought they were a waste. Yep you guessed it. About 18ft up the tree as he was climbing his feet slipped out and the bottom stand fell about 6 feet. Thankfully he was hunt with a friend and they both had their cell phones with them. After about 40 minutes my son's friend climbed up the tree where my son was perched sitting on the bar of the top stand. and gave him the bottom stand so he could climb down. Don't know what would have happened to my son had his friend not been there. Plus I did not know where my son was hunting that day and to top it all off he was not wearing a safety harness because he felt the Summit Viper stands are the safest stands on the market and felt there was no way he could fall out. Needless to say he now uses both ropes to secure both sides of the top and bottom stands and wears a safety harness.
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Old 03-05-2015, 02:37 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,186

I have first hand knowledge of 3 falls. One was a fall from a ladder type stand. The guys was going up. He was carrying his firearm and had a day pack across his shoulders. The day was marked by icey rain and sleet. About 11-12 feet up the ladder, he slipped in an icey step and fell out backwards. The ladder was set on a steep hillside. He ended up fall ing about 20'feet and tumbling anotehr 15-20 feet. Shattered T-3 but did not sever his spine. Though not paralyzed, he never fully recovered strength in his upper body. He used an FRS radio to get help from his hunting buddies and was rushed to the hosital where one of the top neuro/soine guys just happened to be on site. Second was out of a Summit Viper. The hunter had set the stand a few days before. He went in in the dark. Once he reached his desired height he settled in. As day began to break, he discovered a rather large limb had fallen partially down the tree and was blocking a shooting lane he had cleared months back. He was standing and in the process of trying to remove the limb when he lost his balance and fell backwards. His feet remained hung in the stirrups. He hung upside down for aobut an hour before freeing himself to fall under as controlled as possible under the circumstances. Had double compoud fracture of one ankle, complete separation of the other, broken ribs, punctured lung and a whack on the head. Was able to carwl to his ATV and drive to an area where he had cell service. He will forever walk with a limp. A third guy "lost" the lower section of his climber because it was not attached to the upper and had simply slipped to the bottom of the tree. He was seated some 25' up. He was able to "coon" his way down but ended up with severely scratched up arms and a totally ruptured bicep in his left arm. He can no longer use a bow. The last was a guy who stepped off his stick ladder on to a lock-on that had been set the afternoon before. He had connected himself to the tree before stepping off. He was seated in the stand, pulling up his bow, when the strap snapped. He was up 20+ feet. He suffered no injuries other than a sudden increase in heart rate.

The first three were not using any type of fall restraint system. The third was wearing a HSS brand fall restraint. The first three are flat lucky to be here. The first of those two is my brother. The last guy is about my best friend in the world. He may have been lucky, but he was also smart.

I cannot stress enough that value of wearing a quality fall restraint. In the whole scope of what most of us spend on hunting gear, the cost of a good one is minimal and the benefit can be beyond price.

One improvement by buddy and I have made is that every ladder and every lock-on is double strapped to the tree and every one now has a safety rope installed to which we hook our safety utilizing a Prussic knot.
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Old 03-06-2015, 07:07 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,834

I'll make this short. My younger brother, 6'-6", 285#, fell on 11-17-13 here in So. Illinois while in his climber descending. He was approx. 23' up when it happened. Had been 31'. Pull up rope is 30'. He had taken the rope between the seat and floor and disconnected to descend. Bottom fell away(failed to bite tree) and he came down to only have the bottom finally grab at 16' and launch him backwards and down. Landed on his back/neck/shoulder area. Slammed his knees into his chest with his backpack still on. Weapon on ground. Broke 8 ribs, cracked sternum, dislocated shoulder, pulled left calf muscles, hyper-extended knee and minor concusion. And had his safety harness system on, but no connect rope to tree while descending.
I bolt ALL my ladder and lock-ons to the tree as well as use the ratchet straps to secure it to the tree. I also use a prussic knot system for all my stands. I am a Cert. Il Hunter Safety Instr. and preach and show I use and make my prussic knot system in my classes.
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