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Dynamic Discussions: When Should a Hunter Wear a Fall Arrest System

In the world of hunting, treestand safety is paramount. Every hunter knows that the wilderness can be unforgiving, and an unforeseen incident can turn a memorable hunt into a tragic ordeal. Therefore, embracing treestand safety practices is not just a best practice, but a responsibility. 

Hunting-Related Safety Case Study:

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division, in 2022, nearly half of all hunting incidents were tree stand use-related. In this week’s episode of Dynamic Discussions, Greg and David sit down with Casey Parsons, an experienced hunter, to discuss the critical importance of using a safety harness and fall arrest system while hunting from an elevated stand. Casey works in the industrial field and he is used to wearing fall protection while he’s at work, so he understands the importance of fall safety and always wears a harness while he hunts, too. On one off-chance encounter, Casey forgot his camera in the stand and decided to climb up to grab it without strapping in and he encountered a dangerous accident. Casey usually used a branch on the tree to stabilize himself as he climbed, but this time the branch broke and he fell 25 feet to the ground and landed on his right side. He collapsed both of his lungs and broke multiple bones.

Casey’s harrowing experience serves as a stark reminder of why using a safety harness and fall arrest system is non-negotiable when you’re perched in an elevated position on a treestand. His fall highlighted the need for comprehensive treestand safety.

Why Use Tree Stand Harnesses:

It’s no surprise to learn that most hunters who use tree stands don’t wear the safety harnesses that are recommended. Now there are a million reasons why some hunters may resist using safety harnesses and fall arrest systems. The harness is uncomfortable, it can be seen too easily, the harness is too heavy, the hunter doesn’t know how to wear it, the hunter is seasoned and has never worn one before so why start now? The list goes on, but the fact remains that numerous fall-related hunting incidents occur each year and the variety of quality fall protection equipment to choose from is minimal.

Accidents can occur to even the most experienced hunter. The importance of fall protection cannot be overstated, especially given the potential for serious injury.

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Keep the Fun in Doing What You Love 

It’s normal to keep up with safety codes at work because there are citations and violation repercussions, and even still there are thousands of fall-related injuries a year. Keep the fun in doing what you love, hunting. Don’t risk your life when you should be having the time of your life. Nothing springs someone into action like a fall does, but the goal here is preventative, not corrective. Hunters are well used to the dangers that lurk in the woods, so the possibility of a fall from the tree stand gets overlooked. Sport hunters need to be educated on fall protection, what can be done to prevent accidents from heights, and what rescue looks like once a fall has been arrested. You lay all the groundwork for your hunting season, don’t let a fall ruin the game.

Treestand Safety Tips

Most treestand accidents happen during the process of entering or exiting the stand, making a lifeline a valuable extra point of contact with the tree precisely when it’s most crucial. To stay safe while hunting, invest in a quality full-body harness and use it according to the manufacturer’s usage instructions. We recommend that single-strap belts are avoided, as they do not provide sufficient fall protection. Instead, opt for a FAS (Fall-Arrest System) full-body harness that keeps you securely attached to the tree stand. In addition to the harness itself, it is important to follow other hunter safety guidelines.

Gun Safety 

Before ascending or descending the tree stand, always ensure your unloaded firearm is pointed in a safe direction and securely attached to the haul line for a worry-free climb.

Local Rules and Regulations

Hunters should familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations of their hunting area, including legal hunting hours and dates of firearm deer season. 

Inspect Your Gear: 

Before each hunting season, perform a thorough visual inspection of your equipment, including your safety harness, tree strap, and ladder. Look for signs of wear and replace any components that show wear and tear. Ensure that your treestand and hang-on stand are securely installed at ground level.

Signal Flares or Personal Locator Devices

Consider carrying a signal flare or a personal locator device in your hunting saddle. These devices can be invaluable in summoning help in case of emergencies. Don’t rely solely on a cell phone, as signals may be unreliable in remote hunting locations.

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The Hunter’s Elite Harness from Malta Dynamics

The Malta Dynamics Hunter’s Elite Hunting Harness is the ideal addition to the hunter’s tree stand safety kit. At Malta Dynamics, we’re the already fall protection leaders for safety in the labor industry and we’ve decided to take our expertise to the woods.

The Hunter’s Elite Fall Protection Harness is crafted with the avid hunter in mind, and this hunting harness features Strata or Kanati camouflage pattern options from the TrueTimber collection to keep you hidden from your prey and safe from a fall.

This safety harness for hunting isn’t just your average joe kind of setup, it includes everything you need to climb up to your tree stand safely and sit silently for hours while you await your perfect target. As the best hunting safety harness on the market, the Hunter’s Elite comes complete with a suspension relief/deer drag strap, lineman’s climbing strap, tree strap, and high-quality chest harnesses with a shock-absorbing tether.

The Malta Dynamics engineers are avid hunters themselves and have designed this tree stand safety harness to feature all the bells and whistles any hunter would want, like premium padding on the shoulders, legs, back, and waist to keep you quiet and comfortable for hours.

The creators of this hunting climbing harness have been in their tree stands often enough to know that even the smallest sound can ruin your haul, so they’ve silenced all the fasteners with elastic to make sure they stay silent as you move. They’ve even gotten rid of the extra noise makers on the harness by featuring climbing loops that are made from high-strength polyester instead of metal to eliminate the clinking sounds that might spook your target.

And for your junior hunter, Malta Dynamics offers a youth harness. Teach treestand safety from a young age and pass your love of hunting on to the next generation!

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The Suspension Relief Component 

The Deer Drag included with the Hunter’s Elite doubles as an extremely helpful tool: 𝐚 𝐬𝐮𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐟 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐩.

As experts in the industrial fall protection world, the creators of the Hunter’s Elite know that suspension trauma can cause severe and sometimes lethal secondary injuries to someone once a fall has been arrested.

That’s why they made sure to include a suspension relief strap with the Hunter’s Elite, because not many people are aware of the dangers that are present after a fall. This strap attaches to your harness with an included carabiner so, that if a fall occurs, you can step into the loop and remove pressure from one leg at a time to keep the blood circulating through your limbs.

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Malta Dynamics: You Ally in Fall Protection

In conclusion, treestand safety is not an option; it’s a necessity. The use of a safety harness and fall arrest system can mean the difference between a successful hunt and a hunting incident resulting in serious injury. Prioritize your safety with high-quality fall arrest systems from Malta Dynamics.

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