Safety Harnesses and Treestands

Discussion in 'Bowhunting' started by dudlbugr, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. dudlbugr

    dudlbugr New Member

    Messages:
    176
    State:
    Cleveland, AL
    Hi guys,

    I just wanted to try to remind everyone to wear those harnesses. This isn't just a "random" idea for me. I've never worn them, and always kinda scoffed at them..."just something else to have to move up the tree!"
    Well, yesterday morning, I got shown, firsthand, why I need to wear them!
    I was climbing a hackberry tree with a Grand Ol Man stand, and at about 6 ft high, the eye in the seat platform's cable broke, with me on it! I fell backwards, while facing the tree, and became suspended upside down, about 3 ft above ground. My ankles were caught in the ankle straps. I could not pull myself up because the leverage was against me. Fortunately, my cousin was about 150 yds away, and I began yelling for him to come help me. When he got there, I talked him into cutting my ankle straps, so that I could fall to the ground. My face broke my fall. I consider myself to be very fortunate to be alive. I can't count the times I've used that stand when no one even knew what county I was in, much less what tree I was in. Needless to say, I'll never use a climbing stand again, and will NEVER, EVER, go into a tree stand without a safety harness. I might have still been hurt, but chances are I would not have landed on my head!
    I've had no pain in my back, my neck is sore, my left ankle is sprained, my right knee is strained, and I've got a "really cool" scrape from my forehead down to my jaw on the left side of my face.

    For anyone who uses these stands, know that:
    a) the eyes on the cable are locked off with a clamp or crimp, not spliced as they should be.
    b) there is a recall on some of the stands that have the serrated blades.
    c) The company has gone out of business, because of the liability involved.

    As of 6 am yesterday morning, I loved my stand. As of 6:15 am yesterday morning, I never want to touch another one.

    In talking to my brother in law, he said that a friend of his had the exact same thing happen to him several years ago. He, however, was 20 ft up the side of a tree. He spent about 4 or 5 hours upside down, and when they finally got him out, he broke his shoulder on the fall.

    Whatever y'all do, be careful!
     
  2. Gator

    Gator New Member

    Messages:
    1,116
    State:
    Ludowici GA
    Man are you lucky bro glad you did not get hurt. I have always worn a climbing harness. Another thing to watch out for is the bottoms of some climers will slip out from under you. I have had that happen to me and I love to clime high as high as 40 feet or more. I do carry a rope with me to pull my rifle and other gear up to me once in place. That little 3/8 rope is hard to repel down but it can be done. I have had to do it once so now I have a 5 foot peace of rope tied to each side of my climer so if the bottom does slip I can pull it back up and try again.
     

  3. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    All it takes is one slip or misstep to lose your home ,car, boat and anything else not paid for or insured that is if you live.
     
  4. JAYNC

    JAYNC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,312
    State:
    Newport N.C.
    Glad to see that you are ok. I bought an API climbing treestand a couple years ago and love it. Instead of cables it has what looks like motorcycle chains covered in rubber, all of their stands come with a full body harnesses free of charge, along with a safety video. I have used the harness every time, just in case something went wrong. Like Mark said all it takes is one slip. I just like to be prepared in case I slip, or fall asleep, or whatever, and always pull the guns and cargo up to you with a rope once you get situated. Hopefully if you get a full body safety harness you can get back up in them. Its a different world up in the tree as compared to the ground.
     
  5. SSG Johnson

    SSG Johnson New Member

    Messages:
    638
    State:
    Saint Robert Missouri
    Thanks for the post Brother I have a climber but I havent had it out all year as Ive been hunting by myself and really like the ladder stands much better. I will think next time I go get into a climber for sure.
     
  6. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

    Messages:
    3,039
    State:
    Supply NC
    Like Gator, I've had the bottom part slip out from under and the snaps come loose. Sitting there watching the bottom half bounce down the tree just gets you to thinking, "Now what the !#%@ am I going to do".

    You never know how sharp the bark is on one of these southern pines until you have to bear hug it 20 or so feet to the ground. I did it, and also brought the top half down a little at a time.

    Glad to see you made it with just minor injuries.
     
  7. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Bob, you too?
    My first climber was a one piece climber. you stood on the platform which was also the seat and wrapped your arms around the trunk and inch wormed your way up and down. One morning i decided to come down and got left hanging on a tree a good 30 feet up. i had plenty of tree rash to go around.
     
  8. derbycitycatman

    derbycitycatman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,299
    State:
    Kentucky
    Name:
    your first name
    Good to hear your ok, that brings back some bad memories.
    Two years ago a friend of mine had one of the footstraps give way and he fell about 20 feet flat on his back. He was basically ok except for coughing up blood for a couple days and being knocked out for a minute or two. He was clearing small limbs while I went to start clearing a tree for a ladder stand. On my way back to his tree I seen him fall, not good.
    He still doesnt wear a harness even though Ive offered one of mine for free. He doesnt use a climber anymore and Ive got him sold on ladder stands.
    One more thing to be careful of is I always check my nuts and bolts on my metal ladder stands. Also check wooden stands for rot or insect damage. I always redo my wooden platform stands about every 4-5 years.
     
  9. dudlbugr

    dudlbugr New Member

    Messages:
    176
    State:
    Cleveland, AL
    In shopping around the internet, I've found that most stands for sale these days come with a full body harness. The stands and harnesses all have to meet TMA (Treestand Manufacturers Association) certification. My stand was built and purchased before this organization came into being. I sent an email to them this morning asking for recommendations for a larger capacity harness, as I weigh about 350 lbs, and most of the harnesses are only rated for 300 lbs. They could not recommend one for me, but I have since found one at Grainger that is rated for 400 lbs, and am in the process of ordering it. I think it's going to cost about $60. I know it is a good one because we use the same models at work.
    As for the coming hunting over the next week or so, however, I think I'm gonna go with the ground blinds. Maybe take my time before getting back up on the bucking bronco!
    Y'all be careful! Probably going to buy and or build some small ladder stands in the future, as well. I've built a few larger, 2 man stands. Built one last week, as a matter of fact, but it is really heavy. It required a back-hoe to put it on the tree! May need to find something a little more portable, huh?
     
  10. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Portable you say? I built one from a porta potty I bought for 50 bucks lol.