October 15th marks the opening of buck season for the Genesee county hunters. Specifically my family. As most of the hunting population will be out we all want to consider tree stand safety. Multiple times a year we hear on the local news of hunters who have fallen, bruises, broken and in worst case died. So what does this mean. That means in layman’s terms we need to stop being rushed morons who fall out of trees. We’re not monkeys, climbing trees is a second nature to us and we need to be safe about it.
When I was 18 or 19, how that now feels like forever ago, I slipped. It was raining. I was lucky that my shotgun was slung over my shoulder, safety on and that it was only three rungs. Three rungs of a wooden stand that was built by my dad means roughly 3.5 feet, thanks dad. So what did I learn? Get better boots!
Always climb with either the gun slung safely across my back, safety on. Or, in cases of extreme ladders tie your gun to a pull rope and pull it to the top when you are safely seated.
Since this is my first year with a cross bow I knew that carrying it up and down our ladder stands was going to be a bit tricky. I wanted to check out the typical safety precautions.
- If hunting from a tree stand, always cock the crossbow on the ground before climbing into the stand.
- Once seated and secured in the tree stand, pull up your unloaded crossbow with a haul line.
- Do not place an arrow on the crossbow until you are safely secured in your stand.
Until I actually get into a stand I won’t be able to fully comment on the stated safety guidelines.
One last thing, since Genesee county allows rifle shooting this shotgun season. Make sure that you practice shooting your rifle on the ground first, siting it in, and getting used to the weight, recoil and reload. This is one thing that I have fully done. My rifle this year, when hunting in the stands will be a .243 that was my dads. It has a modified butt, better suited for my shoulders and jaw line. It also has a recoil that I can handle. Now if you put me in the stand with my brothers 30-06. While I can handle the recoil, the weight, and the gun itself, I will more than likely be knocked back into tree or out of the tree in a worst case scenario. I know that standing on the ground I can brace myself to hold the kick but in a tree my base is compromised and in the end I don’t trust myself unless strapped in.
The end of this PSA is that you should trust your gut, follow the safety guidelines if you’re unsure and don’t go into unsafe conditions. Wet, dry, windy. Always make sure no matter what type of equipment you’re using this hunting season always use a safety strap.
So be safe out there and if you’re hunting in Genesee county good luck and bag a boomer.