Tree Stand Safety Awareness Month
As summer ends and fall rolls in, it’s that time of the year for hunters to head back into the woods with excitement in anticipation of claiming their next (or for some their first) “trophy.” For most hunters, preparation for a new season requires scouting, strategy, and precision when it comes to hanging new tree stands or moving existing stands around their property. September is the time when this preparation typically occurs for hunters of all ages and skill levels throughout the U.S. For that reason, the Tree Stand Safety Awareness Foundation (TSSA) chose the month of September to “promote its mission to significantly reduce tree stand accidents and put a special emphasis, promotion and education to highlight the best practices tree stand users should know and follow.”
ABC’s Of Tree Stand Safety
Hunting is generally considered a safe sport, but injuries, and even deaths, do occur every year. Falls from tree stands is the number one cause of injury or death out of all hunting-related injuries. TSSA’s goal is to raise awareness and cut the number of tree stands incidents in half by 2023. As part of its mission, TSSA created an education campaign called the “ABC’s of Tree Stand Safety” to serve as the building blocks:
A — Always inspect your equipment. Check and double-check every bolt, strap, latch, turnbuckle and other parts and hardware to make sure they are present, working and in good condition.
B — Buckle on your full-body harness. It’s like wearing a seat belt when driving. It’s just as important if you are only driving a few blocks as when heading on a long trip.
C — Connect to the tree before your feet leave the ground. The most cumbersome part is wearing and using a harness system. The harness system protects the user when climbing into or down from a stand. But far more falls come from hunters going up or down the tree than when they are actually sitting or standing on their perch.
Defective Tree Stands
While a hunter can take certain precautions to promote safety certain events are beyond a hunter’s control. Our attorneys have been representing injured hunters for nearly three decades. We specialize in injuries suffered as a result of faulty tree stands and defective hunting equipment.
Tree stands, harnesses, and ratchet straps all play a key function in enabling a hunter to ascend to an elevated position on a tree. Each one can be defective for a variety of reasons. This can include inadequate materials used to make the equipment, defective parts or assembly, or a faulty mechanism. Even for experienced hunters, erecting a new stand can be a challenge. Instructions on building a stand are frequently confusing, contradictory or simply inadequate. Likewise, warnings accompanying tree stands historically fail to provide hunters with the right choices to fully avoid injury. While state laws may differ, a product is typically considered defective if one of the following conditions is present:
- design defect
- manufacturer defect
- defect in warnings, marketing, or instruction
To learn more about the “ins and outs” of pursuing compensation for injured hunters, visit our tree stand injury page or contact us for a free consultation. We have offices in Kansas City and Springfield, Missouri, but we travel nationwide helping hunting accident injury victims.