Contributors to this thread:
Ok..So you fell
I was thinking about this yesterday as I grabbed my spare rope and made a prussic knot. I arrived at my stand at 5am to find that my lifeline was gone. So I made due with what I had to climb the 16 feet up into the stand that I have not sat in since last year. I hate heights. It is all I can do stay up in the stand in the dark morning without feeling gravity sucking me to the forest floor. So --those who have experienced the fall-- and have been caught by your safety harness.. Then what?? Have you been caught suspended? Upside down? Half way down the tree?? Need a knife to cut yourself out? How did it go?
Sorry this is gonna be long but read it please it does have a mora!. I have fell 3 times in 40 plus years of whitetail hunting. The first I was around 13 years old and climbed a tree leaning against another at about a 45 degree angle. I was about 16 ft up and standing leaning against the other tree. The one I was in slipped and started to go I jumped, hit the ground and rolled. I was none the worst for the wear. Second time I was around 40 years old. I had an observation stand down the road from my house and decided to sit it. It was a huge oak tree, the screw in steps had been in it for about 5-6 years. Second set of steps as the stand was in the tree for 15 years at least at that time. The stand was and is still 35 ft high. I was about 8 ft from the stand and one of the steps broke at the threaded part and down I went. Hit the ground so hard both my shoulders were dislocated and nearly bit my tongue in half. I thought my back was broke at first as I had no feeling in my lower half for several minutes. Luckily I had my self phone and called my wife and she drove right to the tree with my truck. Doctors put my shoulders in place and later I had surgery on both shoulders and they sewed my tongue up. This brings me too Thursday of this week. Last year my hunting buddy and I started putting safety lines in all our trees. We have 63 stands out so we figured do them over a few years. We had done the ones we were going to do for last year and this. We went to cut several more out on Thursday. We were at one that was roughly 15 ft high and I climbed up checking the straps as I stood getting ready to step into the stand. I had my arborist/construction harness on but had not thrown the lanyard around the tree(only 15 ft up but said the heck with it.) I checked both straps and they looked fine!! I stepped into the stand and was getting ready to clip my safety strap(the one on the loop on the upper back) into the tree strap about eye level when the stand let go. I fell about 10 ft before hitting a crotch in the tree which knocked me sideways and I landed on my left side on my shoulder and back along with my left arm. Amazingly I landed n some nasty thick stuff below the stand and it helped break my fall. My wife pulled out a 3" piece of sharp stick from my arm and I cracked one rib below my shoulder blade and have some nasty bark burn where I hit the tree and a few other bumps and bruises along with a giant one on my groin on the right side. Funny thing is I had my buddy help me up and I said I was good to go and we finished 4 more stands before I went home. It was when I got home we discovered the damage and I went to the doctors yesterday. Moral of this story: I immediately ordered enough stuff to do the last 10-12 stands we have to put safety lines in. I am getting too old to hit the ground and keep bouncing back! Sorry for the long post but if you have people who care about you, please wear a harness and put safety lines on your stands. People on here who know me, know I am very nimble and do some stupid shite when climbing and hanging stands, stuff most young kids would not try but this last one scared me enough to due the smart thing!! Take Care and be careful!! Shawn
Hell, I fall from the ground, so I aint climbing a tree....
I am with drycreek. The only time I have used a tree stand was when I set up a friends ladder stand on the edge of a waterhole. I was only about 6 ft. above the ground and the waterhole was about 4 ft. in front of me and then down about 8 ft. I figured if I fell I could manage to stay on that 4 ft. strip without sliding into the waterhole. The whole time I was up there I was antsy. The next day I went back and fastened myself in with some small cargo straps, felt better but was much harder to move around. Decided that climbing is for linemen and trapeze artists.
The amazing thing is that I was a helicopter crew chief for 15 years and never had a problem with being above ground there.
I fell November 5, 2015 (peak rut here)... Not only did it end my season but happened during peak period while on vacation. So ruined my season and vacation, although I'm still alive... Platform was probably about 14-15' up and fell head first landing on my head and shoulder... Went to the hospital after regaining conciseness and feeling in my legs... Yeah, was kinda paralyzed for a minute or so until numbness wore off, that was the scariest part...
Xrays showed no broken bones, but my shoulder is still messed up to this day... Matter of fact it hurts a little right now...
Another scary thing,,, after coming to was on my back and the first thing as I looked up against the sky was my arrow dangling from my string hanging down pointing straight at my face held barely held on by the snap nock...
Reason for falling was a malfunctioned modified treestand...
When I fell, I didnt bounce ... this was back before most used Linemans belts when setting stands .... 1996..... No one else around... 20 ft down, slipped off a climbing stick, broke my left ankle and 2 vertebrae, knocked me out for about 15 minutes... used the bow as a crutch to get back to the truck, a 3/8 mile hobble and then drove my self to the ER room, over 25 miles away......BTW, the damn Truck had a clutch, try shifting with a busted left foot ... smh ... ...all my trucks now are auto .. ;0) ... and now I always use a linemans belt (11mm Climbing rope w/ ascender and carabiners) ....
Yeah, I fell in love once when I was young and full of spit. Never recovered from that fall. It hurts a little once in a while but I survived all these years being married.
Fell if u could call it that twice. I set my tree strap about eye height (now its my safety line)so when I sit it tight. Slipped off stand. Jolt woke me up lol. I just reached over and got back into the seat.
Bones, I use the spider speed harness. If I'm going up a ladder stand, I hook up to a safety rope with a prusik knot before I leave the ground, and don't unhook until I'm back down. If I'm in my API climber, I'm attached to the tree strap the entire time from the ground up and back down.
I have two things attached to my harness... on the front of my right shoulder strap, I have a suspension relief strap attached with elastic bands, and on the front of my left shoulder strap, I have a folding tree step attached with elastic bands.
If I fall, the first thing I'll do is take my suspension relief strap and hook it to the waist-high loop on the right side of my harness. Then, I'll put both feet in the loop at the bottom of the suspension relief strap and stand up. That will relieve the pressure in my groin. Then, I'll take the folding tree step and screw it into the tree a little above knee level. Once it's in, I'll step on it and reach up to lower the tree strap or the prusik a couple of feet, step off the tree step to let my self "fall" the two feet, unscrew the tree step, then screw it back in two feet lower, step on it, lower the tree strap or prusik knot again, and repeat the process until I'm on the ground.
I also will have my cell phone in a breast pocket of my t-shirt, and possibly even my walkie-talkie, depending if I have my jacket on at the time. Obviously, as soon as I get my feet into the suspension relief strap, I'll use the cell phone and/or walkie talkie to fetch help.
The bottom line is that if I fall, if need be, I know I can get myself down to the ground safely with just two simple tools.
I fell once when I was about 30. Had screw in steps in an old bur oak. One of the steps didn't get a good bite on the wood, it was just in some extra thick bark and a little into the actual wood. The step pulled out and I fell about 12 feet. Problem is I caught a branch about 8 feet down and cracked 3 ribs. Longest walk back to my truck in my life!!!
Jimbo, I carry a long prussic loop that can be used in conjunction with the prusik on my harness to climb up or down my safety line inch worm style, in the event that I would not be able to get back on my stand or tree steps. Just attach the long prusik on the safety line below your harness prusik around waist height and step into the loop and straighten your leg to take the pressure off your (upper) harness prussic and then move that prussic in the direction you want to go and then release the pressure on the foot (long) prusik and move that. Climbers and cave explorers use this method it can be used to go up or down a rope. It can be used as a suspension relief strap also. IF MY EXPLANATION IS NOT CLEAR I AM SURE YOU COULD SEE A DEMO ON A YOU- TUBE VIDEO . I started using a safety line after having a tree step pull out, luckily I did not fall. I also do not rely solely on my prusik attached to my safety line. I have a short section of rope that is attached to my carabiner that I tie around the tree once I am on the stand. I do this as a backup to my safety line since the safety line is exposed to the elements and rodents have a habit of chewing on a safety line.
Cocoon man I am going to do just. I read about it a few weeks back and I will make sure I keep one looped on to my harness at all times. Shawn
I have been hunting from trees since, I guess, tree stands were invented. Thank the good Lord, I have never fallen. On two occasions, I have had to jump. The last time, about three weeks ago, when I jumped from about 8-feet up a ladder stand. I jumped because I was not going to ride it to the ground. Moving it, had all but one ratchet strap loose and it started leaning. At 73, with a manila folder full of old injuries, I do not bounce or tuck and roll as well as I use to. No serious injuries, just sore and "ouchey". I have taken more falls in my life, being bucked off horses or jumping from horses and bulls, than most gymnasts. Fortunately, I know how to fall. That said, I am certain about three things. (1) The good Lord has a plan for me. If He didn't, I'd be dead. (2) I need to be a lot more careful and need a nice "young" man or woman, maybe someone int heir 50's to do most of my hanging and maintenance. (3) Won't be long and I'll be ground blind Johnny. I have at present, 11-stands ready for this season-6 hanging stands and 5 ladders. All have been safety checked and are ready to go. I have a large note taped to the dash of my truck" "3 POINTS OF CONTACT AT ALL TIMES-THINK BEFORE YOU STEP. My jump, three weeks ago, was a huge wake up. I am not a kid, anymore. I am no longer bullet proof. Time to realize, I could get killed, pretending I am still half squirrel.
Doing stand maintenance, harness on. This was taken when I had 50+ stands on property in three states, Some days, the harness never came off.