LANSING (Great Lakes News) – As Michigan bow hunting enters its second full week, the DNR is issuing safety tips for hunters when hunting from a tree stand. Tree stand hunting requires extra planning and meticulous preparation to prevent potential disasters.

Studies show that tree stands account for more injuries and deaths while hunting than misuse of firearms, and that roughly 55 percent of tree stand falls result in spinal injuries. The Tree Stand Safety Awareness Foundation collects data related to the safety of hunting from a tree stand. Michigan was not consulted in their data gathering, but the conclusions they reached will help keep you safe in the trees. The foundation found that the average fall victim’s age was 47, and that a majority of them were not using a security harness when they fell. This means that older hunters, who might believe that their experience excludes them from taking precautions, are more likely to harm themselves by falling out of a tree stand.

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“The DNR is in full support of the foundation’s effort to boost tree-stand safety,” said Lt. Tom

Wanless, the hunter education administrator for the state of Michigan. “The more information hunters have, the safer they can be.”

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Wanless offers a series of tips for those planning on hunting from a tree this hunting season.

“Use your hands and feet to maintain three points of contact when ascending or descending a tree stand,” Wanless said. “Use a full-body harness attached to a secure fall line positioned above your head. When lifting a crossbow or firearm (unloaded, safety on) into a tree stand, use a secure pull system, such as a rope. Never attach anything to a trigger or trigger guard.”

The DNR offers courses on tree-stand safety, firearm handling, and first aid as well as other important outdoor skills through their hunter education program. Read more hunting safety tips or find a hunter safety education course near you at Michigan.gov/HuntingSafety.