By: Brian
Kightlinger

Ned Yost, Stan Potts, and Terry Drury all have something in common. Yes, they are all hunters! Yes, you have probably seen them on a hunting show! Yes, most would consider them to be celebrity hunters! But, the three of them share something else in common. All three of them have had falls out of a treestand. This is the lightbulb moment for hunters! If it can happen to any of these guys what is keeping it from happening to you?

Millions of hunters, young and old, take to the woods each year hunting deer. Many of these hunters will hunt from some type of elevated treestand. It should be no surprise that there are hundreds of injuries reported in each state, yearly, from treestand falls. Unfortunately for some these falls are fatal!

In the 2017 New York Hunting season 5 hunters lost their lives due to falling out of a treestand. These reports should make all hunters think twice before they climb into a tree without a safety device. There are so many great products out there today that hunters can purchase. Lifelines, Safety Harnesses, and my favorite: The Treestand Wingman!

The first safety device I recommend is a hunting safety harness. Many different companies have devoted time and efforts to creating simple, easy to use, comfortable hunter safety harnesses. Hunter Safety System has a variety of harnesses to choose from and they are all easy to use. Many hunters think that falling will never happen to them and they will not spend the money to keep themselves safe. This is a big mistake! Educating hunters about the chances of falling from a stand is paramount. Hunters continue to ignore the simple step of wearing a safety harness. As hunters we could cut the amount of treestand accidents greatly if they would purchase and correctly use the harness.

Many hunters I know do wear a safety harness and I applaud them for thinking about their safety. But just wearing the harness doesn’t guarantee they will be safe. Statistics tell us that the majority of accidents happen while hunters are getting into and out of the stand. If you are wearing a harness but don’t hook it up until you get into your stand you are defeating the purpose of even having it on. Lifelines are the next safety device I recommend for your safety. Lifelines attach to the tree at the top and at the bottom. Each lifeline comes with a hook-up system so you can easily attach your harness to the lifeline before you begin to climb the tree. If you should happen to slip at any time the lifeline will catch you and save you from hitting the ground. The lifeline and safety harness are a great combination because you are connected to the tree at all times. The only negative side of a lifeline is that you might not be able to get back to your treestand or ladder. If this occurs you can suffer from suspension trauma and die! So even a hunter is using both of these safety devices there is still a small chance for serious injury or death.

For those Hunters who want to minimize their chances of surviving a fatal fall you can use a safety harness, the Lifelines, and the Treestand Wingman. The Treestand Wingman was created by Wayne Bogardus of Saegertown, Pennsylvania. The Treestand Wingman can be used with any harness and Lifeline system. The Wingman is a fall restraint system and it works. What I love about the Wingman is that it is simple to use. Whether you are using a hang-on stand, climber, or ladder stand you can use it. Unlike other fall restraint systems the Wingman is able to be used over and over again. There is really nothing to replace or send away to get fixed. The Wingman has a 30 foot tether that goes through the device. If you happen to slip or fall the Wingman will catch you and slowly lower you to the ground. Should you hit your head when you fall, and blackout, your Wingman will continue to work and slowly lower you to the ground to safety. No need to worry anymore about suspension trauma or hitting the ground full force. I highly recommend the use of the Wingman and also recommend testing the Wingman out. Hunters who hunt out of stands should really look at this safety device. As hunters we can’t predict when something might go wrong in our stands. Don’t we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to come home safe? I have found using all of these products together gives me the best chances of surviving a fall and not becoming a statistic!

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