Karen Cranford's List Of Columns
a service to the hunting community Cranford Manf. publishes the following
information as an educational aide and guide for those who hunt from elevated
Common sense combined with this knowledge should provide each of you
with years of safe hunting experience in elevated tree stands.
Before Going Into The field:
Prior To Climbing:
ALWAYS use good judgment when climbing to hunt. ATTITUDE may mean
ALWAYS let someone know where you will be hunting and when you will return.
NEVER compromise safety. Always follow instructions. Use proven equipment.
(CMCI recommends EZY® Climb Tree Steps, Guardian Climbing Safety Systems
and Angel Wings™.)
Practice with all equipment. Begin at ground level to get familiar
with your equipment. It's a good idea to do some of this practice
at night when lighting is similar to actual hunting circumstances.
ALWAYS inspect equipment before use. Replace any worn, deteriorated,
frayed, or broken equipment. ONLY YOU CAN ENSURE YOUR SAFETY
BY USING PROPER EQUIPMENT AND BY PROPER USE OF SELECTED EQUIPMENT.
NEVER allow anyone other than the original manufacturer to make repairs
or modifications to your equipment.
Use each of your products only for their intended purpose. Be sure
to purchase all products you will require before going to the field to
avoid the temptation to reengineer products on the spot.
ALWAYS USE A FULL-BODY SAFETY HARNESS THAT IS CAPABLE OF BEING SECURED
TO THE TREE IN EVERY PHASE OF TREE STEP USAGE AND CLIMBING. CMCI
recommends Guardian Climbing Safety Systems and Angel Wings™.
Climbing On Your Tree Steps:
NEVER WEAR RINGS OR ANY OTHER TYPE OF JEWELRY when climbing on tree steps.
These items can become caught on your climbing equipment and cause severe
NEVER climb when fatigued or under the influence of alcohol or any other
type of drug.
DO NOT CLIMB TO HUNT if you do not possess the physical strength, stamina,
and flexibility to do so.
NEVER exceed the manufacturer indicated safe working load of the specific
product you are using.
ALWAYS select a straight, live tree that is suitable for climbing.
Avoid trees that are dead, have dead or rotting limbs, are unhealthy, have
excessive knots or weak spots, or are too small to support the weight of
climbing. Avoid trees that have thick, slick, or loose adhering bark.
Avoid trees composed of soft wood that might not be strong enough to support/hold
a properly installed tree step.
Prior to climbing, CLEAR THE POTENTIAL LANDING ZONE of objects that might
injure you in the event of a fall.
Use a haul-line to raise and lower bows, firearms, and other equipment.
Never climb with or raise/lower a loaded firearm.
Take your time while climbing. It seldom takes more than a few minutes
more to use proper care and to potentially save your life or avoid the
inconvenience of spending the rest of your life in a wheel chair.
Take additional care in wet or icy conditions. Remember, there are
times when it is unwise to climb for any reason. NO TROPHY is worth
your death or serious injury.
Be sure shoes/boots are dry and free of dirt/mud before climbing tree.
For more information go to: www.ezyclimb.com
NEVER install a tree step in an existing or pre-drilled hole.
ALWAYS allow the step to create its own tapered hole.
NEVER partially unscrew a tree step and place weight on it. instead,
completely remove the step and reinstall in a new location.
ALWAYS screw a tree step into the tree (not in the bark of the tree) until
the step frame is within 1/8” of the tree. (EZY® T uses a different
ALWAYS ensure the entire upright portion of the tree step is flat against
the tree for support.
ALWAYS place your foot completely on the step area as close to the tree
as possible. NEVER step out on the end of the step away from the
NEVER place tree steps farther apart than you can comfortably reach.
(Typically, steps should be spaced no farther apart than the distance from
the ground to the inside back of your knee when your knee is bent at a
90 degree angle.) Pushing and placing weight sideways on steps can
cause screws or steps to break or bend.
ALWAYS step straight down on tree steps.
NEVER leave steps or screws in tree for extended periods of time.
NEVER leave screws or tree steps in tree through a freeze.
Store steps in a dry area, away from weather and sunlight.
ALWAYS use enough steps to climb high enough to step down onto or across
into your tree stand. DO NOT attempt to climb up from steps into
stand. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your tree stand.
NEVER jump from tree or tree steps. ALWAYS descend to ground on tree
Never substitute a tree limb for a tree step.
DISCLAIMER: This list
is an attempt to provide you with guidelines, recommendations, and warnings
compiled as a result of incidents that have occurred in the past that we
at CMCI are aware of. This list is by no means exhaustive.
Other dangers are possible. Following this list completely will not
necessarily guarantee you will not be injured while hunting.
Visit our website at www.ezyclimb.com
or www.cranfordmfg.com for information
on our many products.
© Cranford Manufacturing
Company, Inc. 2003
This document can be copied
and distributed to other hunters for their use as long as it is copied
in its entirety including the copyright statement.
Karen L Cranford
Karen is the Director of
Operations for Cranford Manufacturing
Company, Inc., the creators of EZY®
Climb Tree Steps and Hunting
Accessories and the manufacturer of Guardian
Climbing Safety Systems and Angel