LINCOLN, Neb. – Tree stand use by hunters in Nebraska is on the rise. So is the number of injuries from the use of tree stands.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission encourages people who hunt from an elevated stand to use a full body harness/fall-arrest system approved by the Treestand Manufacturers Association (TMA).
Injuries can occur when a hunter falls out of a tree stand or slips while climbing into or out of one. Mike Streeter, hunter education coordinator for Game and Parks, says those injuries can be prevented by using a full body harness/fall-arrest system. He says those systems have improved over the years.
“In recent years, the only full body harness available was made of wide belts that were strapped onto the hunter and secured by large buckles,” Streeter said. “These were uncomfortable and difficult to get on. The new generation is part of a vest that the hunter slips on and then secures with a few built-in buckles. No more twisted or tangled belts or large buckles in the way.”
Public outreach on the use of full body harness/fall-arrest systems comes in several forms:
— Volunteer hunter education instructors are trained in the use of this equipment. They teach tree stand safety in every hunter education course.
— Signs informing hunters of the proper use of full body harness/fall-arrest systems are being posted at the parking areas of wildlife management areas and at state parks and state recreation areas where hunting is allowed.
— TMA has a free online course on tree stand safety at http://www.tmastands.com/.
— Every tree stand sold in America comes with a full body harness, as well as an instructional DVD on the proper way to install and use the tree stand.