South Carolina Free Tree Stand Safety Harness for One Student Attending Nov.-Dec. Hunter Education Classes

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The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is partnering with Hunter Safety Systems to give away one free tree stand safety harness in each Hunter Education course in Nov. and Dec. to promote safe hunting. The winner of the free safety harness will be drawn from the students attending these hunter education classes.

Find a Hunter Education class near you.

Each year in South Carolina hunters are seriously injured as a result of falls from tree stands while hunting. These accidents can be prevented through the proper use of a tree stand safety harness. There were 29 hunting accidents in 2010 in South Carolina. Eleven of these were tree stand accidents and one of these was fatal.

Each time a hunter falls from a tree stand to tragic results, his/her family, friends and loved ones are affected as well. Every tree stand hunter owes it to their wives, husbands, children, mothers, fathers, and everyone around them to stay safe and wear some type of tree stand safety harness EVERY time they are in a tree stand.

See a DNR Youtube video on Tree Stand Safety.

DNR offers the following tips for a successful and safe tree stand deer hunt:

  • When hunting from a tree stand, ALWAYS use some type of fall restraint device or safety harness.
  • Use a safety rope (sometimes called a “life line”) with a prussic knot to secure to your safety harness so that you are always tied in from the ground to the top and back down again.
  • Purchase a tree stand from a manufacturer who meets the Treestand Manufacturers Association (TMA) safety standards (Look for the TMA symbol on the box).
  • Test your stand prior to the beginning of the hunting season. Attach it to a tree and climb up or down the tree with it before actually taking it to the woods for a hunt. Be aware of any peculiarities the stand may have and adjust accordingly. Remember; WEAR A SAFETY HARNESS WHEN TESTING YOUR STAND!
  • Make sure your tree stand is firmly attached to the tree before you walk out on the end of the stand or stand on either side of the platform.
  • If you use tree steps to get to and from the stand, be sure each step is securely attached to the tree and all the way in before you begin to climb. NEVER use tree steps without using some type of safety rope.
  • Use a rope to raise and lower your unloaded gun or bow and arrows up the stand. NEVER carry your gun, bow or heavy load into or out of the tree stand. Pull them up once you are safely seated in your stand.
  • Unload your gun before pulling it up to, or lowering it from, the tree stand.
  • If you use a climbing tree stand, make sure your climbing tree stand is angled into the tree when you first attach it to the trunk. Then, as you climb up the tapering trunk, the platform will level out and hold stable against the tree.
  • It is also a good idea to have a shooting bar on any stand, particularly if you have a tendency to fall asleep while hunting.
  • Never put more than one person in your stand at a time unless a stand is specifically designed by the manufacturer to hold more than one person.
  • Never trust a permanent tree stand that was previously built by another person. Inspect all wooden parts, nuts and bolts for stability prior to every deer season.
  • Always tell someone where you are hunting, where your tree stand is located and when you plan to return home.


Retired2hunt's picture

  Call me... er...


Call me... er... anything... but I think you can get the manufacturer to donate more than just one tree stand harness to give away at these safe hunter courses.

The course I took my son to had many hunting article manufacturers donating dozens of things that were raffled off.  This can only get a young adult more enthused on getting into the sport.

Don't get me wrong the one free tree harness is great... and the one individual lucky should be taught properly on how to use it - even a demonstration within the course.  But make more winners available!!!  However, still great Kudos to SC for getting the harness for each course and one lucky winner!!!



numbnutz's picture

That is a great bonus to

That is a great bonus to attend one of the coarses. Tree stand safety is very important. Falling out of your stand can be prevented by simply wearing a harness. Safety is an attitude. In my line of work I climb alot of power poles and every year there are a handful of techs that get lazy and don't wear all of the safety gear and get hurt. Tree stand hunting is becoming more popular out here and this is a goood reminder to hunter to always wear their harnesses and climb with both hands free. I like this idea that this state is doing. Good job and keep up the good work.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

That's a great added

That's a great added incentive to get people to come into hunter education classes in South Carolina!  I never used to wear a harness, but had one given to me a few years back, and don't go into the tree without it now.

We actually had a family friend back in Vermont that died after falling out of the tree.  He went out for an evening hunt, and never came home.  His 20 year old son went out to check his treestand and found him dead at the base of the tree.  I can't imagine that happening, let alone my son being the one who found me.

It's a very serious matter, that I hope everyone who hunts in a tree thinks about.  The harness are not very expensive, and in most cases, treestands come with some generic version of one.  It's not the best, but if you don't want to go out and buy one, it's better than nothing.

Kudos to South Carolina for having this nice little incentive to get people intot heir classes!