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Hunters Reminded to Check Safety Straps

January 26, 2011

Hunting remains one of the safest outdoor activities. However, falls from treestands are a leading cause of injuries for Alabama hunters.  To date, the 2010-11 Alabama deer hunting season has seen 14 treestand-related accidents, four of which were fatal. This is the highest number of treestand-related fatalities Alabama has experienced in a single year. In six of those accidents the nylon strap securing the treestand to the tree broke and caused the hunter to fall to the ground.  The nylon straps broke due to dry rot as a result of being left in the woods for periods as long as several years.

According to N. Gunter Guy Jr., Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), proper treestand safety precautions including inspecting all treestand equipment could have saved more lives this year. “We value the lives of all Alabamians and encourage hunters to ensure they make it home safely by testing their safety equipment before and after each hunt.”

These few simple hunting safety tips are life savers:

  • Inspect your safety harness, stand and tree before each use.
  • Always wear and use a full body harness anytime you are climbing, sitting, or descending from an elevated position.
  • Always pull your gun or bow up with a pull up rope.  Firearms should be unloaded, action open, and safety on.
  • Inspect all safety devices when you take down your treestand at the end of the hunting season, including the full body harness and devices securing the treestand to the tree.  Re-inspect everything again before the next hunting season.

John Woller Sr., founder of Summit Treestands and treestand safety advocate, agrees that hunter safety is paramount for a safe and successful hunting season. “It is very important that hunters read and follow the manufacturer's instructions before they hunt from a treestand,” Woller said. “And most importantly always wear a full body harness and have it connected to the tree upon leaving the ground. It will save your life.”

For more information about safe hunting tips and an in-depth video on treestand safety visit the hunting section of www.outdooralabama.com.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions:  Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.  To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com .

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