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Tree stand safety focus of awareness campaign

The campaign to reduce and eliminate tree stand accidents by raising awareness of this issue and providing education about safe tree stand hunting best practices appears to be getting positive results.

Nationally, the estimated number of falls from tree stands requiring emergency room visits decreased by 28 percent in 2017.

“That’s a significant, positive move on the tree stand injury prevention front but we still have room for improvement,” said Megan Wisecup, hunter education administrator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Nearly all of tree stand incidents are preventable by implementing three simple measures: First, inspect your equipment. Second, wear a full-body harness and third, stay connected from the time your feet leave the ground. It really is that simple.

 Tree stand accidents can happen to deer hunters of all skill levels and result in serious injury or death. In Iowa last year, there were four tree stand incidents and all resulted in injury.

 “Hunters should take tree stand safety seriously, every time you hunt from, hang, or move a tree stand,” Wisecup said.

Since September is traditionally a busy time for deer hunters who are preparing for the upcoming hunting season; it has been chosen as Tree Stand Safety Awareness Month. 

To help prevent injuries, the Iowa DNR in partnership with TSSA, is promoting a new awareness campaign called the “ABC’s of Tree Stand Safety.”  

Always remove and inspect your equipment

Buckle on your full-body harness

Connect to the tree before your feet leave the ground

“By performing these three simple steps, tree stand users can virtually eliminate their risk of falling to the ground as the majority of falls occur outside the stand,” Wisecup said.

Tree stand safety awareness month is a national campaign by tree stand manufacturers, retailers, media, natural resource agencies and deer hunters to reduce the estimated number of tree stand incidents by 50 percent by 2023.

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