Falls from tree stands are the leading cause of hunting accidents in Indiana. But many of these accidents are avoidable. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources offers hunters some tree stand safety tips.

Never carry equipment with you while climbing. Use a haul line to raise or lower your gear. Make sure guns are unloaded and broad-heads are covered prior to raising or lowering firearms or bows with a haul line.

Always use a safety harness when hunting from elevated tree stands.

Check permanent tree stands every year before hunting from them, and replace any worn or weak lumber.

Choose only healthy, living trees when using climbing devices. Rough-barked trees such as oak are best. Do not use a tree that is rotten or has dead limbs.

Never put all your weight on a single branch. Keep at least one hand and one foot on a secure place when reaching for the next hold.

Wear boots with non-skid soles, because steps or platforms can be slippery in rain, sleet or snow.

Tell a dependable person where you are hunting and when you plan on returning. Map your whereabouts and leave a note at camp, at home or in your car so that you can be found.

Don’t fall asleep. This is a common cause of falling from the tree stand.

Carry a whistle to call for help and carry a first aid kit, flashlight and cellular telephone in a fanny pack.

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

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