Ranger offers tree stand safety tips

Many Henry County hunters enjoy using a tree stand to stalk prey but Georgia wildlife officials said precautions should be taken to avoid accidents.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources Ranger First Class Kevin Godbee said tree stands are the leading cause of hunting-related incidents in Georgia every year. Godbee said following a handful of tips can help hunters avoid a trip to the emergency room — or worse.

“Always check the hardware on your tree stand and become familiar with its features prior to hunting from it,” he said.

Safety measures should be followed climbing in and out of the stand but also while waiting inside.

“Always wear a fall arrest system or full body harness, not only while in the stand but also when climbing into or out of your stand,” said Godbee.

Hunters should never carry anything into the stand, including a loaded weapon.

“Always use a haul line to pull up and lower your gear,” he said. “Always make sure you have unloaded your firearm or bow prior to climbing into or out of your stand.”

Hunting and intoxicants should never be mixed, he said.

“Always stay awake and alert in the stand and never use alcohol or drugs before or while hunting,” said Godbee.