When it comes to safety checks of treestands, you can’t take enough precautions. It’s a topic where every one of us can improve.
Most hunting properties have a varied inventory of treestands and blinds that range from hang-on stands to ladder stands, box blinds, tower stands and everything in between.
This means that scattered throughout a typical inventory of stands, the only thing standing between a hunter and serious injury, disability or even death, are wire rope cable lanyards, nylon ratchet straps, screw-in tree steps, wooden ladder rungs, ropes, nails, bolts and any number of other fasteners and supports.
It takes time for corrosion or rust to take their toll on metal objects; but it will happen if given enough time. It’s a totally different story, however, when it comes to straps, ropes and cables.
Damage and weakening caused by UV light and weather can happen amazingly fast. For example, a hang-on or ladder stand can be perfectly safe when you climb down from your last hunt in January but then become a deathtrap by the following October or November.
If your treestand has been in place for even a few months, every stand with its cables and fasteners should be looked at closely before ever climbing in to hunt.
You should look at them, tug and pull on them; and if there is the slightest indication of stress, strain, and deterioration, replace them immediately. The wrong time to find out that there is a problem is at 0-dark-30, with your rifle or bow slung across your back.
You may have to buy a few sets of cables each year, but hey, what is the alternative cost of being injured, maimed or even killed?