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Travis Casper, state hunter education coordinator, recommends using a lineman-style belt in addition to a full-body harness when first putting a tree stand in place.
“This minimizes the chance of falls and potential injury,” he said. “And always select a healthy, straight tree for placement.”
Other Home From The Hunt recommendations:
•Never carry anything as you climb — use a haul line to raise and lower equipment.
•Maintain three points of contact when climbing.
•Follow manufacturer instructions.
•Don’t exceed manufacturer’s maximum height settings.
•Have an emergency signal device with you.
•Tell someone where you plan to go.
As with any piece of equipment, tree stands need inspection before use. Replace rusted bolts, frayed straps or, if needed, buy a new tree stand.
Leaving a tree stand up from one season to the next has some inherent problems that outweigh any convenience. It may have damaged straps, ropes and attachment cords — any of which may potentially lead to breakage and failure.
For more information on hunting seasons, Hunting Heritage Apprentice Permits and the Hunter Education Program visit ncwildlife.org.