Moultrie Products
Tree Stand Falls
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
groundhunter50 26-Sep-22
Lawdog 26-Sep-22
Sapcut 26-Sep-22
Rocky D 26-Sep-22
Dale06 26-Sep-22
soccern23ny 26-Sep-22
2Wild Bill 26-Sep-22
APauls 26-Sep-22
JL 26-Sep-22
drycreek 26-Sep-22
Michael 26-Sep-22
Rocky D 26-Sep-22
spike78 26-Sep-22
Mint 26-Sep-22
Bandicooter 26-Sep-22
TGbow 26-Sep-22
Lawdog 27-Sep-22
TGbow 27-Sep-22
Michael 27-Sep-22
Dale06 27-Sep-22
TGbow 27-Sep-22
LBshooter 27-Sep-22
TGbow 27-Sep-22
Bandicooter 27-Sep-22
Lawdog 27-Sep-22
Sapcut 27-Sep-22
TGbow 27-Sep-22
TGbow 27-Sep-22
WV Mountaineer 27-Sep-22
JL 27-Sep-22
TGbow 27-Sep-22
dwitt2n 27-Sep-22
TGbow 28-Sep-22
Jebediah 28-Sep-22
2Wild Bill 28-Sep-22
Lawdog 28-Sep-22
TGbow 28-Sep-22
JL 28-Sep-22
dwitt2n 28-Sep-22
WV Mountaineer 28-Sep-22
TGbow 28-Sep-22
Buckdeer 28-Sep-22
dwitt2n 28-Sep-22
Michael 28-Sep-22
dwitt2n 28-Sep-22
Jebediah 28-Sep-22
sundowner 28-Sep-22
TGbow 28-Sep-22
JL 28-Sep-22
26-Sep-22
The reports are already coming in, and rescue has already been out..... No system is fool proof, from saddles to climbers, ladders to hang ons...... Be careful this season. All screw in steps are junk,,,,,, steps on sticks can break, so have a plan and follow it, for your safety..... If you think your Superman, your not,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

From: Lawdog
26-Sep-22
All need to read and follow this advice. I fell almost 6 years ago when a strap holding the stand to the tree broke. 3 1/2 months in hospitals and in patient rehabs, 6 surgeries, and 4 1/2 years of often painful and frustrating physical therapy. And, I'm one of the lucky ones. I survived and fully recovered. A friend of friend wasn't so lucky and died falling from his stand last year. It happens.

Thought I'd share a tip. The only stand I kept was a Warren and Sweat 10' aluminum ladder stand. I'm alone when I put it up. I tie a rope to one side of the top, and when I put it up against a tree, the rope goes behind the tree to hold the stand against the tree as I climb the ladder. I move it up as I go and tie it off to the other side before I secure the stand with a rachet strap. Seems like overkill for a 10' stand, but I'm not falling again.

Be safe out there.

From: Sapcut
26-Sep-22

Sapcut's embedded Photo
Sapcut's embedded Photo
Sapcut's embedded Photo
Sapcut's embedded Photo
In Nov of '21 last season.... I was bowhunting in my XOP hand climber stand. As usual, I had my harness on while hunting and just took it off to climb down tree. After sitting on the upper hand attachment for about two hours I put weight of my upper body on it to move to foot portion of the stand. That is when the square tubing of the upper portion exploded.

I went straight backwards to the ground and rolled back onto my knees. After getting my breath back in me I quickly mentally assessed the damage waiting to feel serious pain of which bones had to have been broken....as I prayed over and over with utmost sincerity....Jesus please don't let anything be broken....please don't let anything be broken.

No pain at all. I stood up feeling some discomfort in my pelvic area, gathered my bow and beanie I found in the brush and walked about 500 yards back to my truck, Drove 45 minutes back home, went to ER and got CT scans from head to knees. Scans show nothing broken, punctured or damaged. I later felt like I had pulled a lower oblique muscle. That was all I can say was the damage. A stinkin miracle I tell you! Best I can measure, from where my back was to where it hit the ground was about 18 feet. Lower platform about 15 feet from ground.

Few side notes.....about three feet from where I landed, there were two 1" diameter stobs from privet hedge that had been mowed about a foot high. They would've left a mark and probably a body. I also hunt alone and was a mile behind a locked gate.

A week later I walked my only daughter down the isle. Just one very divinely fortunate dude.

A few days later I began my Ground Attack. Had the best season ever bowhunting from the ground. And will continue to do so.

From: Rocky D
26-Sep-22

Rocky D's embedded Photo
Rocky D's embedded Photo
Most falls occur while climbing.

I have posted this numerous times before but it’s worth posting again if it gets people to wear a safety harness.

I was lucky And the only thing was my hunt!

From: Dale06
26-Sep-22
I fell from about 20’, 12 or so years ago. Fortunately I was wearing a body harness and line, or I’d likely not be typing this.

From: soccern23ny
26-Sep-22
Scary stuff. I stopped going higher years ago. Not worthy it for me. My feet are below 10ft off the ground. Closer to 6 or 7ft most if the time

From: 2Wild Bill
26-Sep-22
sapcut,

I'm glad to hear you are ok. Help me understand why you had to disconnect your harness to climb down. I also use a climber and the harness goes up the tree ahead of me and follows me back down again to the ground. It goes around the tree when I step on the platform and comes off the tree when I am down and no longer have my feet in the foot platform strap.

Brenda Valentine has a story of how she fell backwards with her feet in the foot straps and the harness not yet connected. Gives me shivers to think about it.

From: APauls
26-Sep-22
There is inherent danger every time you leave terra firma. Call me crazy but some guys have so many things to hook up I almost think it's more dangerous with all these ropes everywhere and trying to remember what to disconnect before you connect to the next thing etc etc. Somewhere there is a balance. I'm not saying safety equipment is bad, but more is not necessarily better. No matter what you do, there will always be risk. I like having a very simple system. Less parts to check, and I am intimate with each one, and will notice when it gets old or needs changing.

From: JL
26-Sep-22
I've fallen twice and it hurts. IMO....a safety harness won't keep ya from slipping or something breaking....but it will hopefully keep you from bouncing off the ground.

From: drycreek
26-Sep-22
I only ever used a climber and didn’t use that much. I have never used a hang on. I’m a ground blind guy. Hell, I fell down on level ground about a week ago just walking back to my tractor after closing a gate. Fell like a dead tree ! Got a big ol’ purple bruise under my left nipple and hurts every time I move. I sure as hell ain’t climbing a tree !

From: Michael
26-Sep-22
I do a lot of hang and hunts with climbing sticks and a lock on stand.

Have been thinking hard about going back to straps on the climbing sticks instead of the Amstel rope I am currently using.

Last week while climbing down at the end of a sit I had a rope come loose on one of the sticks. When I put my weight on the stick it fell. Thankfully I was using my linesman rope hooked into my saddle. Total drop was about a foot.

I hunted for 30+ years not wearing anything. 3 years ago I started using fall protection while sitting and using a linesman rope while climbing. Glad I did now.

From: Rocky D
26-Sep-22
I use a climber with safety harness up and back down!

I’ve had a pin come out and two stands that slipped on a tree and I fell for 6 to 8 feet but eventually the safety harness caught in the end! Luckily never hurt anything.

If possible, I try not to sit in a beach or a water oak!

If those are the only trees that work in a particular situation then it’s hello my dear friend!

In the military we did a risk assessment and mitigation worksheet on every activity I guess I subconsciously do the same thing on every thing else.

I have given away several safety harnesses to friends and family to try to encourage them to use them when climbing.

From: spike78
26-Sep-22
I just ordered the Primal Descender in case something happens it lowers you to the ground. Even if you have a harness on you still have to figure out how to climb down the tree. For $50 it’s cheap insurance for when I’m out there by myself.

From: Mint
26-Sep-22
I've always used a harness and now always use the linesman belt to go up the tree and then my tether and harness to get around branches or to get into the stand. That way I'm always connected. I really like to use the lifelines when in one of my set ups if not going mobile.

From: Bandicooter
26-Sep-22
I'm secure from the time I leave the ground whether I'm using a fixed stand or climber. Being safe does take more time to hang a stand but it can be done safely using a fall line and also a lineman's belt. One warning for those that think ladder stands are super safe. A family at church lost their elderly uncle who fell off a ladder stand. He had a fall line but he ended up trapped between the tree and the stand and couldn't self-rescue. Hydrostatic pressure of the harness caused his heart to fail.

From: TGbow
26-Sep-22
I've just recently, in last 3 yrs used a hang on stand. For you fellas that have more experience than I do...in the event of a fall as your climbing and setting your sticks..will the lineman belt prevent you from falling very far? I realize it's not like being tethered in but it's crossed my mind if I did fall with a lineman belt, it would keep me from falling backwards, and hopefully the rope would catch on a stick or something before hitting the ground..straight down?

From: Lawdog
27-Sep-22
TG, you might do a face plant into the tree with just the lineman's belt. If I were to hang a stand again (and I'm not), I would use a lifeline in addition to the lineman's belt. Put the lifeline on the tree, hook up and move the life lineup above you as you go, set your stand and the height and position of the lineline, and descend using the lifeline leaving it there for later use.

From: TGbow
27-Sep-22
Blake, that's the safest way IMO ascending and descending the tree once the lifeline is in place, but initially, there will be no lifeline.

From: Michael
27-Sep-22
TG, When I fell last week it was about a foot that I fell. My fall was when I was descending the tree. Like I said in my earlier post. I do a lot of hang and hunts so I use my linesman rope a lot while climbing and descending the tree.

This distance can vary depending on how loose you have your linesman rope. I use an ascender instead of a prusik knot to make quick adjustments constantly while going up and down the tree.

The only thing that smacked the tree when I fell was the boys. They were not happy but got over it fairly quickly. Lol

From: Dale06
27-Sep-22
TG, I WAS 20’ up, putting in screw in steps when my foot slipped off a step. I was wearing a linesman belt. I fell 2-3 feet and was slammed into the tree trunk. Wind was knocked out of me and a had some bad bruising on my chest. It would have been hugely worse had I not had on the linesman belt.

From: TGbow
27-Sep-22
Imbglad yal had the linemans belt on. Michael, I bet that did hurt..lol I'd rather fall a foot or two than all the way down.

From: LBshooter
27-Sep-22
Won't go,through the whole story, but, back in 2012 my hunting buddy who I use to argue with about safety harnesses died by falling out of his stand. Sat dead with a broken neck dead before he hit the ground for 3 days before he was found. Left behind a wife and two small girls, very sad. Guess what side of the argument he was on?

From: TGbow
27-Sep-22
That's really sad Peter. We can't stop everything that could go wrong from happening but we can do our best to be as safe as we can.

From: Bandicooter
27-Sep-22
Just remember it's not the fall that kills you.....it's the sudden stop.

From: Lawdog
27-Sep-22
TG, you can install it as you go up to hang your stand. Just keep moving it up as you go.

From: Sapcut
27-Sep-22
2Wild Bill, I chose to disconnect the safety belt just because its easier to go up and down tree. I shouldn't have but I did. That was an awful feeling the instant I knew the stand broke and I was headed South extremely fast. I make 100-120 sits a year bowhunting. That small amount of risk that I knew I was always taking but still felt safeand ended up safe....just isn't worth taking any longer. Hunting on the ground in whatever cover the terrain gives you and then meet up with the animal your hunting is stinkin awesome.

From: TGbow
27-Sep-22
Blake, I didn't think about that.

From: TGbow
27-Sep-22
Somehow , I missed that in your previous post..just went back n read it again.

I was at work when I read it...probably rushed thru it

27-Sep-22
Saddle hunt. Tethered in from the ground up. I suppose the rope could break. But, I suppose a falling asteroid could clunk me in the head too.

I’m not one to preach safety. But, I am smart enough to see the advantages of only falling the length of your tether.

I prayed safety for everyone when reading this. Be smart. Don’t take chances. And don’t trust things that shouldn’t be trusted. Metal and aluminum fail. Have a tether holding you up when it does.

I’ve fell twice. Once about 10 feet. Once about 17-18’. I couldn’t take another. So, I use gear to prevent it.

God Bless men.

From: JL
27-Sep-22
This fella was using a saddle.

From: TGbow
27-Sep-22
I considered a saddle but I'm afraid I'd ve moving too much in a saddle

From: dwitt2n
27-Sep-22
I’ve been using ratchet straps on both my hanging stands AND climbing sticks for several years now. I never felt the single strap they all (or most ) come with we’re all that reassuring. Always tethered from ground up until I come back down. A caribou hunting buddy told me he always double up using the lineman strap when he hung steps and his stands. Ya - it’s a lot of strapping but after having my single lineman strap let go this year, I’ll be using two from now on. Pushing 70 years old and want to be in my tree stands for another 70 if I can. Safe hunts.

From: TGbow
28-Sep-22
David, what happened with your linemans belt? How did it fail?

From: Jebediah
28-Sep-22
TG I am a big fan of my saddle but you’re right, it is so easy to move around ten thousand different ways. This is both a blessing and a curse. I think if you took a movie of me for a couple hours up in the tree, and then played it back sped-up, it would be comical. And probably explain my limited success.

From: 2Wild Bill
28-Sep-22
JL, Thanks for the video, he took a nice buck and I loved that yella wagon. I wish he had explained the fall in more detail, yall know what I mean.

From: Lawdog
28-Sep-22
Just another note on how important a lifeline can be. My stand was a hang on stand with a ladder stick to it. We had installed the stand using a 4000 lb ratchet strap. I climbed the ladder and went to hook up my vest to an I bolt and couldn't quite reach it. I stepped further onto the stand to reach it. I was within an inch of hooking up when the strap broke. I fell 25' breaking my pelvis (basically in two with multiple fractures), shoulder (humerus at the ball in two), and fracturing numerous lumbar vertebrae and several fingers. I had various internal injuries that included damage to my uretha (sp) and bladder, a cut artery in my pelvis-one that branched off of the femora artery, a collapsed lung, and I impaled my right hand on something. 9 days in a hospital-2 in ICU, and 3 months in an inpatient rehab facility. I was non-weightbearing for all 3 months-wheelchair or bed. I was not walking right with a full gait for the next 6-9 months and did not regain full range of motion in my shoulder for another 4 years. Most of my rehab was self-imposed-morning stretching and evening work outs at the gym. I've been a gym rat most of my adult life that daily workouts were that inconvenient.

A lifeline would had saved me a whole lot of heartache. I understand that life is risk, but a fall is an avoidable one. I know it's a hassle, but take the time to protect yourself. Your family will thank you.

From: TGbow
28-Sep-22
Blake, that should make anybody reading your post think long n hard about being hooked up.

From: JL
28-Sep-22
Hopefully most ladder stand users know about using two lines on the seat frame. You wrap those around the tree to make an X and then ratchet them back to the bottom of the ladder. I didn't do that on one of my early falls with a wooden ladder way back when....never knew about that technique.

Nowadays.....just a safety plug for some of the X-Stand ladder stands. I have the Duke. I like the clamping jaws on the back of the stand that clamp onto the tree and help secure the stand to the tree as you initially put the stand up. You still need to secure yourself to the tree, but the clamping jaws work pretty good to help stabilize the ladder on initial setup. Something to think about.....

From: dwitt2n
28-Sep-22
Clay, I’m not 100% on what happened. I’m going with pilot error in that - I believe the strap doubled over in the locking mechanism and created enough play when it had my weight on it. It reeled out ~ 18 / 20 inches before I grabbed strap. I hit kinda hard and one foot was off the climbing stick I was on. I don’t think it could have been anything else as the strap itself was intact, ie; no ripped stitching. I decided then to double up on the lineman belts - if for no other reason than at some point during the ascent or decent- your likely having to disconnect to clear a climbing stick of tree limb. The reason I ratchet strap my sticks is I had a single strap break going down one year. I was tethered which kept me from hitting the ground, but reminds you we’re one act of fate away of changing everything.

28-Sep-22
What part of this is confusing? It doesn’t matter the stand type you use. If you don’t use your safety equipment correctly, it’s going to hurt when something goes wrong.

A saddle is the only stand that you can tether from ground to ground and keep it tight while climbing. If you don’t, you can fall. Be it three inches or ground impact.

It’s pretty simple. I can buy a subaru with all its safety ratings. But, if I don’t use the seatbelt, I’m at a higher risk. That applies to everything in life.

Be smart and you’ll be safe. Take risks and sometimes you get humbled. Sometimes you get killed.

From: TGbow
28-Sep-22
David, extra precaution is definitely a good idea.

From: Buckdeer
28-Sep-22
On bowhunt or die theres an article where a guy died practicing in a sling only 6 ft off the ground

From: dwitt2n
28-Sep-22
Clay, I know whenever I’ve gotten into a situation- 99 times out of 100, I got in a hurry somewhere along the way.

From: Michael
28-Sep-22
Straps whether they are a ratchet or cam should be considered as a consumable. I change all straps out every year.

The sun is very hard on Nylon. Repeated wet then dry cycles can dry rot it. Not to mention snags can fray it pretty easily.

From: dwitt2n
28-Sep-22
Micheal’s absolutely correct. That strap that broke on me was in its 3rd season. Now they all get swapped out yearly.

From: Jebediah
28-Sep-22
Concerning ladder stand install: put it up against the tree, put those x-straps around behind the trunk, and have someone hold it. Then climb up the back of the tree (in a climber or sticks) and install the straps. I will never again do the “death climb” up the ladder before it’s thoroughly strapped to the tree.

From: sundowner
28-Sep-22
My 20 year old nephew in upstate NY fell from his stand a couple of weeks ago. Broke his elbow on one arm and wrist on the other.

Be careful everyone. Use your safety devices.

From: TGbow
28-Sep-22
Yep, getting in a hurry increases the chance of mustakes..don't ask me how I now

From: JL
28-Sep-22
For me....even with the harness on....the trickest time to climb a stick or ladder is when it's frozen and iced over. When I step off the stick and unto the hang-on.....I'm on full alert and going slow....my inner ninja is engaged. I've had my boots slip once or twice.

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