Safety harnesses


July 24, 2009, 10:09 PM
Who uses them in the treestand and who doesn't? I know not everybody does but what's your take on safety harness use? Better yet, have you ever had to actually use yours to save your life/limbs?

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July 24, 2009, 10:34 PM
Sometimes. I can predict when I'll fall out of my treestand.

Your premise is flawed....that all tree stands are equally dangerous and require safety harnesses. The safety harness is a band-aid approach to the real problem...which is small tree stands, sometimes improperly installed, (height, etc.) that do not allow for a safe platform to hunt from.

I submit that there are safe tree stands and installations where safety harnesses would not be needed.

July 24, 2009, 10:47 PM
Have yet to accidently pull "really hard" on the strap,but it lets me relax when I'm "up there".

July 24, 2009, 11:25 PM
I started in a 2 man ladder stand, switched to a smaller one man ladder stand, and trying to graduate into a larger climber Ol'Man stand...I always wear a harness regardless of size and stability

July 25, 2009, 07:32 AM
Hunter safety system, it's very easy to use compaired to a normal harness.

July 25, 2009, 04:30 PM
try to use it most of the time but dont care for it much, and know plenty who dont use anything.
the old strap that just went under your shoulders that everyone used years ago didnt bother me to much the full safety harness sucks and im much more likely to take some risk rather than put it on.

Vern Humphrey
July 25, 2009, 04:40 PM
One thing to watch out for is the design of the harness. If it places pressure on your abdomin, and you are left hanging, you can strangle (that's how Edi Rainer died on the Eiger.) You need to think of two things; If you fall and are left hanging, what part of your body will bear the weight and how can you get down?

July 25, 2009, 05:09 PM
I use a climber, and I always wear the harness. Mine goes under both legs, around the waist, and over the shoulders. I have a strap cutter attatched to the top of the left shoulder strap, and a pocket knife in the opposite side pocket. I've actually suspended myself from the thing to see what it would feel like, and if I could get to the cutting tools, and if I would have trouble breathing (your legs go numb fast, as the loops cut off your femoral arteries). I have a 30 foot rope attached to the band that goes around the tree, so if I fall at any position, I always have a rope to slide down once I cut myself loose.

July 25, 2009, 05:53 PM
Even though my prediction skills are lacking. (As evident by the fact that I have yet to win the lottery.) I voted "Sometimes...". When in a climbing stand, I always use a harness. In a ladder stand, or a tower stand, I don't wear the harness.


July 25, 2009, 09:24 PM
Maybe I should have specified ladder stand vs. climber, etc...but then again they all recommend using the harness, which is why I didn't make the distinction between types of stands. I know people who don't use one at all regardless of stand type and I know some who won't leave the ground without one regardless of stand type...

41 Mag
July 26, 2009, 07:27 AM
When I was in my teens, I fell some 20 or so feet, slowed by the extended limb of the adjacent tree. When I hit the ground, I landed flat of my back. Luckily there was plowed dirt under me, but the time it took to get just my breath back left me seeing UFO's for a minute ot two. Still in all I hurt all over for several days afterword. Now in my mid 40's, I have taken tumbles from ladders and other such things not nearly so high up, and it still left me not feeling so well, only it takes longer to get over the effects now than it did then.

While at work I wear a harness whenever I have my feet over 6' high. I have two lanyards, one is a short no slip version, and the other is a 6' slow release version which decellerates your fall, for use when higher than 10' as is lets out around 3' extra to keep you from being jerked in half.

When I hunt from tree mounted stands of any type, I use the same type lanyards and similar harness. One for climbing up and the other once up top and settled in for hunting. It takes only a fraction of a second to slip or roll out frontward after dozing off or whatever the reason. I do not want my family or hunting friends to have to find me in a crumpled pile under the base of a tree. I owe it to them and my grandkids to at least use what ever is available to keep me safe.

July 26, 2009, 09:09 AM
I have never used one, never.

Georgia Gunner
July 26, 2009, 10:24 AM
I only use one on a couple of very old wooden stands because there not too sturdy and I don't know when they are going to just fall apart.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 26, 2009, 10:31 AM
The answer is YES, always --- sometimes.

In other words, if the stand is over 7 or 8 feet off the ground, then yes always. If it's 7 or 8 or less, no not usually.

UNLESS it's a 2-man ladder stand with a large platform, then no I do not. But my rule above applies to climbers and strap-ons.

I think you're borderline insane, and/or mentally deficient if you don't use one with a climber or strapon, and you're over 10 feet off the ground. I suppose that if it's a brand new stand with non-weathered straps, and you're extremely young and athletic, then your chances of getting hurt are pretty low, but that's the exception to the rule. Most of us are older, and/or not 100% athletic, and / or not using brand new stands.

July 26, 2009, 05:40 PM
All in all it's kind lof like the seat belt issue with some folk's. It saves lives but it does cause some to have a hang up over it use even when they know better. If you ever fall out of a tree and if you are still alive you will wish you had be using one. I have a friend that broke his neck and now is wheel chair bound for the rest of his life plus he doesn't hunt as much because of his condition, his is depressed alot because he did not want to use his harness.

July 26, 2009, 11:12 PM
Yes I wear one each time I am in a stand. In my youth I thought it was stupid until I fell out while climbing in icy weather. I use the Hunter safety system and recommend it to my hunter ed students.

July 27, 2009, 04:47 PM
Assuming you're wearing one,a couple of strategically placed screw in steps on either side of the tree, could prove invaluable in the event of a "minifall".

Covey Leader
August 2, 2009, 04:23 PM
I wear mine EVERY time i get in a treestand.

Uncle Mike
August 3, 2009, 12:53 AM
Ever wake up while in the treestand.... now THAT'S a rush for a second or two!

41 Mag
August 10, 2009, 07:09 AM
Ever wake up while in the treestand.... now THAT'S a rush for a second or two!

Yep, with head on hands resting on the rail around the front, started off trying to shake a major headache. I guess I dozed for just a few seconds, then slowly opening my eyes, I could see straight down to the leafy floor of the woods, and as everything came slowly back into focus, it seemed exactly like I was falling. I bout knocked myself out leaning back so quick.

Even with the harness on, it shook the daylights out of me.

August 10, 2009, 07:33 AM
No excuse for NOT wearing a safety harness when over 6', its simply irresponsible and begging for a mishap.

The hunting world is chock full of people that learned that the hard way, many of them with permanent disabilities now.

Just my .02 on it.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
August 10, 2009, 10:20 AM
By the way, I've had a harness save my bacon before. Climbing stand. On my way up. My boot laces somehow got tangled with the cotter pin that holds the cable in place on the bottom part as I was going up. Alla sudden, cable pulls out, bottom drops free, and I drop free, hanging in my harness. Luckily I had tied the top and bottom parts together like you're supposed to, so I was able to hoist my way up into the seat on the top part just with upper body strength**, then pull bottom part up, then for a substitute cotter pin, I used something I found in my fanny pack - the pointed auger part of a little screw-in hanger for sticking in a tree and hanging stuff on, to re-connect the cable on the bottom part (tricky though). Then I finished hunting and later was able to climb down. Moral is, take a substitute cotter pin, follow the maker's directions, and always use a good harness.

**Note that this was not too easy and had I been a fatbody this would not have worked - my only choice would have been to dig around for my pocket knife and cut my harness and fall to the ground - but at least it would have been expected and feet first. Or maybe just shimmy down the tree. Either that or hang there until I became a frozen hunter-sicle.

I also prefer to have a neck knife for easy access so that if you do have to cut your strap you can. A cell phone and a whistle are not bad ideas either.

August 10, 2009, 10:21 AM
I voted no, for one reason only: I don't have a treestand, and the stands that I have access to, have them already (these are tripod stands). So it's a catch-22... i guess I should've voted if i had one, would i... and the answer is unequivocally yes!

August 10, 2009, 10:51 AM
Good info on what happens when you fall with a harness on

Good way to stop suspension death after the fall

August 11, 2009, 10:39 AM
I just bought one of these:
check out the video.
Lets you down on a rope. Only flaw-- designer is a bowhunter, he put the controls on the right shoulder. On a scrawny guy like me, there is just barely room for the butt of the gun. It works, but probably better for lefties and those with broader shoulders.

Deer Hunter
August 11, 2009, 11:36 AM
I grew up hunting from homemade ladder stands, some looked kinda like this

Others were a lot better. :)

But I never once had a harness and I usually didn't have slings on the guns either. Yep, pretty risky and dumb. But nowadays I'm usually on the ground so I don't worry about it anymore.

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