Experts urge tree stand safety during hunting season

Experts urge tree stand safety during hunting season

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - On October 18, many hunters will grab their guns and be out in the woods for the start of deer season. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources said hunters need to be cautious when using one of the most common hunting supplies, their tree stand.

According to DNR, there have been nine tree stand deaths since 2010, and about 100 tree stand incidents that have caused injuries.

Jeff Rowland is a product training specialist at Cabela's, and he said it comes down to safety and common sense.

"Common sense, complacency. People forget their common sense, they get too excited about what's going on and they forget the basic things," he said. 

Experts and wildlife officials are urging the public to take extra care when using their tree stands this season. This includes performing checks on all your equipment.

"It's just like an airplane, you don't take off without doing proper safety checks. So don't go climbing 10, 20, 30, 40 feet up in the air and you know, by happen-stance and not checking your gear first," Rowland said.

Check your safety straps, follow assembly instructions, and make sure you purchase a safety harness to catch you if you fall.

Ken Chancey is an experienced hunter, and said another big thing to remember is gun safety.

"Always making sure that the gun's unloaded until you get to your stand because if you dropped your gun it could fire accidentally," he said. 

But the biggest thing both urge is to remember the safety of you, and your fellow hunters.

"Always be aware and conscious of safety of not just yourself, but everyone else that's either in the vehicle with you or the woods with you," Chancey said. 

"Never take your safety for granted, don't take your child's safety for granted, or your co-hunter. There's people always depending on you. Just use your common sense, follow the manufacturer's recommendations to the letter and you'll have a safe enjoyable hunt. No hunt's worth not coming back from," said Rowland.

Both Rowland and the Georgia DNR recommend people take hunting safety and education classes to make sure they're familiar with the basic and necessary skills.

The Georgia DNR is hosting a class on Tuesday, November 4 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Wesley United Methodist Church in room 25. For a list of Cabela's Deer Camp weekend activities, click here.

Copyright 2014 WFXG. All rights reserved