DNR advises hunters to think of tree stand safety in same vein as gun safety

Deer season kicks off Saturday

With deer hunting season kicking off in Wisconsin on Saturday, some 600,000 people are expected to be on the hunt.

With many wielding guns, the mind may go to being safe with a firearm but the DNR says injuries are far more likely to happen without a gun. 

"If you look at the data from a nationwide standpoint, this thing right here is far more dangerous than this [gun] here," said Jason Roberts with the Wisconsin DNR.

Roberts, sitting perched in a five foot tall tree stand, says a fall from a tree stand can have devastating injuries. 

"We've seen terrible injuries from as low as ten feet up in the tree stand," Roberts said. "It's not a function of height but to keep yourself from falling. That's the goal. Usually, first responders see everything from broken knees, legs, femurs and pelvis."

In order to have a safe hunting experience, Roberts said people should make sure the stand is secure; both in the ground and against the tree. 

"You want to make sure you know how to set it up properly," Roberts said. "Know that you can hunt safely from the stand and follow the proper steps to be safe while out hunting and come home safe to family and friends."

But in addition to a solid base, Roberts said a harness is a good back up. 

"We're big advocates with the static line system," Roberts said. "Being connected from the time you leave the ground to the time you're in the stand hunting, that's a key component."

The harness is a big help especially as Mother Nature impacts hunting conditions with precipitation and temperatures. 

"A lot of falls occur during the snow, during the ice of the hunting season," Roberts said. "Our steps tend to get covered with the elements."

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