By Mississippi Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks
When deer season officially opened across the majority of Mississippi, it ushered in fall's favorite pastime for many hunters. However, Conservation Officers responded to many treestand-related incidents and three reported treestand-related accidents.
Treestand accidents are the leading cause of injury to hunters. Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks urges everyone hunting from an elevated stand to simply take extra time to follow safety guidelines.
Most treestand-related incidents can be avoided by following simple rules:
1. Wear a Safety Harness, also known as a fall-arrest system, when you are in a treestand, as well as when climbing into or out of a treestand.
2. Use a Haul Line to pull up your gear and unloaded firearm or bow to your treestand. Never climb with anything in your hands or on your back. Before descending, lower your equipment on the opposite side of the tree.
3. Select the Proper Tree for your treestand. Choose a live, straight tree that fits within the size limits recommended in your tree stand's instructions.
4. Hunt with a Plan and, if possible, with a buddy. Let others know your exact hunting location, when you plan to return, and who you are hunting with.
5. Carry an Emergency Signal Device; keep a cell phone or whistle on your person at all times and within reach.
6. Know Your Physical Limitations. Do not take chances. If you start thinking about how high you are, do not go any higher.
7. Make Slow Movements. While climbing with a treestand, make slow, even movements of no more than 10 to 12 inches at a time.
8. Follow the 3-Point Rule. Always have three points of contact to the steps or ladder before moving. This could be two arms and one leg holding and stepping on the ladder, or one arm and two legs in contact with the ladder before moving.
9. Check Step Security. Check the security of the step before placing your weight on it.
"Do not allow yourself to become the next statistic; take your time, be safe, and let someone know where you plan on hunting," said Captain Calvin Fulton. "One hunting-related accident is too many."
For more information on hunting in Mississippi, visit www.mdwfp.com.