We have all seen the tree stand accident statistics. It’s easy to think it will never happen to me. Nature’s Paint Pro Staffer, Chad, recently encountered his first tree stand accident and has taken the time to share his story with us. We encourage you to use this story as a reminder, accidents can happen to anyone, it’s important to take the time and properly secure yourself in your stand.
When it happens to you…
All I remember is hearing a snap and instantly I was on my back looking up at the sky. As I tried standing my left knee buckled. I knew falling back to the ground wasn’t an option; if I did there was no way I would get up again without help. I stood there, balancing myself trying to figure out what had just happened. I was wearing my safety harness and using a linemans belt. How did I fall on my climbing steps?
I started to investigate. First, I looked to make sure that none of straps broke on the tree. Next, I checked my linemans belt to see if it pulled lose. Come to find, the stitches on the end attached to the carabineer clip broke lose! All I could do was stand there and think great, what was supposed to keep safe caused me to fall. Luckily, I was only about six feet up when I fell back.
The only problem was I still had to figure out how to get back to the truck. I couldn't walk on my own and I was too far from the steps to use them as crutches. I was down to one option, calling the wife. Luckily I wasn’t too far from the truck and was able to give her directions to my location.
She helped me the best she could but just wasn’t big enough to support me. After a couple crashes I called my dad for a little extra assistance. It was slow going but we made it and I was very thankful!
My thoughts on tree stand safety has dramatically changed. I will no longer be using hang-on stands or climbing stands (nothing against them). I will only trust my hunts to ladder stands and ground blinds. I will also be changing my safely harness brand. While this accident caused me to miss work and part of my hunting season it could have been way worse.
To all my fellow hunters, please make sure you inspect you safety equipment just as much as you inspect the rest of your equipment before you enter the field. God bless and always enjoy the good lords amazing wilderness!
Chad “Sasquatch” Bales