Deer and bowhunting: Treestand safety starts now
Since we're heading into a season of challenging early spring weather, I think it’s appropriate to touch on a subject that isn’t much fun but is important. Each year hunters across the country leave treestands up all year long and each fall a few of those hunters end up losing their lives.
The common thought is that connection straps just cannot handle the annual growth of a tree and therefore eventually become compromised. This happens, although it typically takes more than a year. On a side note, a single year can make stands straps tight enough to the point where they are very difficult to loosen.
An underrated culprit for treestand failure and dangerous situations has everything to do with wet conditions. Some stands are designed with over-molded cables that allow a slight bit of moisture to penetrate deep inside where rust can compromise their integrity. This is nearly impossible to see until it’s far too late. Stands left hanging from year to year also have to deal with ice build up and the expansion and contraction that comes from freezing and thawing.
These things are by no means a guarantee to immediate treestand failure, but a stand left in the woods from year to year becomes exponentially dangerous as the elemental effects accumulate. Take a little time to pull all of your stands and give them a good visual inspection. Oil any parts that show any signs of rust and make sure your straps/cables are in good operating condition.
A little extra work right now will keep your stands in quality hunting shape and just might save your life come hunting season.