Safety tips for hunters using tree stands

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GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (9/25/17) - Bow hunting season starts in Michigan Sunday and every year hunters are seriously injured falling from their tree stands. Taking a few extra minutes to be safe can keep you from a world of hurt.

"It's tempting to take short cuts while using a tree stand. But a trauma specialist says that's not a good idea.

"It means when you fall out of a tree stand you're breaking either your back or your neck the majority of the time," said Zachery Landers, Genesys Trauma program manager.

One of the biggest safety tips is to wear a full body harness that will allow you fasten yourself to the tree as you sit in your tree stand.

"Then you're going to take the tether and put it behind you and then you get into a seated position in your tree stand and then you're safe to start bringing your equipment up," said Landers.

And Landers says all too often the falls happen when hunters are trying to climb while carrying equipment.

"To make sure you are safe means to not climb up with gear in your hands," said Landers.

And that means securing a rope to the tree and making another trip down to tie on your bow and other gear.

"I know it's two or three trips up and down and nobody wants to do that but nobody want to fall out of a tree stand either," said Landers.

By securing yourself to the tree with the tether, you've added some protection if you should fall asleep or lose your balance. And don't drink in your tree stand.

"One of the worst things you can do because it does mess with your judgment and it does affect your balance as well," said Landers.

As an emergency room nurse, Landers has seen the serious injuries that can result to hunters who don't take precautions when bow hunting. And he knows how satisfying hunting can be in a tree stand.

"It's more intimate. You get up close and personal with the environment. You're one with nature, with the animals," said Landers.

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