Why You Should Wear A Bowhunting Safety Harness
Believe it or not, bowhunting is actually a very dangerous sport and no, not hunting big, dangerous game. Every time you climb up into a tree stand, you are taking a calculated risk that you might, heaven forbid, fall from the tree stand. A quality bowhunting safety harness, while can’t prevent you from falling, can certainly save your life in the case of fall. There are several bowhunting safety harnesses on the market today, and each year they become lighter, easier to put on, and more importantly safer. Let’s take a look at what makes a quality bowhunting safety harness, and analyze the bowhunting safety harnesses available to bowhunters today.
What is the Best Bowhunting Safety Harness?
First, it should be made very clear that safety harnesses should not be worn exclusively by bowhunters. Rifle hunters, muzzle load hunters and handgun hunters should all wear a safety harness anytime they plan on climbing up a tree to hunt, scout or glass for game.
With several quality safety harnesses available to hunters today, personal preference will determine which one is the best for you. A quality safety harness is one that is lightweight and easy to put on. Your safety harness is your single most important piece of hunting gear, period. That being said, once you put it on, you don’t want to know that it’s even there, until you need it of course. This means a safety harness that can be comfortable worn under layers of your hunting clothing.
Another feature that many hunters, particularly bowhunters, enjoy is a long tether that attaches to the tree. A longer tether allows for more freedom and shot opportunities while in the tree stand. For right -handed bowhunters, a tether that is too short will limit shot opportunities to the hunter’s right, and vice versa for left-handed bowhunters. This may not be as problematic for gun hunters, but for bowhunters, this is definitely something to consider when looking for a safety harness.
Many safety harnesses either come equipped with, or have the option of, adding a vest over the top of the actual harness. Whether or not you view this feature as beneficial is entirely subjective. Most vest style safety harnesses have binocular straps and gear pockets on the outside of the vest that many hunters find useful. However, many hunters feel that it is too bulky and cumbersome to wear, and almost always means you have to wear the safety harness and vest as your outermost layer. Again, many bowhunters shy away from these harnesses because they prefer a lightweight, less bulky model because they can be worn underneath clothing eliminating the possibility of interference during the shot.
Price shouldn’t limit you in your choice of a quality safety harness. You simply can’t put a price on safety and your loved ones count on you to hunt safely and return home after every hunt. Spending the extra money for a safety harness you believe in and trust is worth it.
Top Safety Harness Manufacturers
When you purchase a safety harness you trust your life with the manufacturer who produced your harness. While all harnesses on the market are safe and can save your life in the event of a fall, it’s helpful to do a little research on the top manufacturers and learn what they have to offer.
Hunter Safety System
The Hunter Safety System is one of the more popular bowhunting safety harness companies on the market today, and their success is a tribute to their dedication to keeping hunters safe in the tree stand. They offer 6 different models to choose from and all are capable of saving your life in the event of a fall.
Their HSS 600 Pro Series model is their premiere model and offers several features to keep you safe in the treestand. It includes a free Lineman’s Climbing Strap to keep you safe when climbing in and out of your stand and hanging tree stands. It features an elastic binocular or rangefinder strap on both shoulders and break away stitching in the tether for better shock absorption should you fall. It also has side loops to conveniently attach the Lineman’s belt and sports a suspension relief/deer drag system and all tree straps are included.
Their HSS-400 and HSS-100 models are similar, but are different in hunting camouflage patterns featuring Realtree APG and Mossy Oak Treestand, respectively. The HSS- 400 and HSS-100 are reversible and are camouflage on one side and blaze orange on the other, making it a year round harness for those who both gun hunt and bow hunt. The saddle style legs straps distribute weight evenly across the body and legs eliminating uncomfortable pressure on the crotch area. The extremely useful deer drag strap now doubles as a safety device in the event of a fall. Should you fall from your deer stand, you can easily recover by placing a foot in the loop on the end of the deer drag strap and stand up. This removes pressure on the legs and relieves chest pressure eliminating circulatory and suspension distress.
Hunter Safety System also features two lightweight safety harnesses for the hunter that is always “on the go.” The Treestalker is a smaller vest style safety harness that possess all the features the more Pro Series and HSS-400 and HSS100s offer but for a lesser price. Hunter Safety System has also developed their first vest-less safety harness, the HSS Ultra Lite. If you are a mobile hunter who doesn’t want to sacrifice safety while remaining versatile in the woods, this is harness for you.
To compliment their line of quality safety harnesses, Hunter Safety System also produces the Tree Stand Life Lien, a necessity for tree stand hunters. The Life Line is 30 foot rope with a prussic knot and carabiner hook and keeps you attached to the tree from the time you leave the ground, to the time you get back to the ground after your hunt.
Muddy Outdoors designed The Safeguard Safety Harness with one goal in mind: to develop the lightest, most user friendly safety harness on the market. Weighing just 1.9 pounds, the Safeguard Safety Harness is, without a doubt, the lightest safety harness available. In fact, it weighs less than half, and in some cases weighs just a third than other safety harnesses on the market today. Its tangle free design allows the hunter to put it on quickly and quietly, even in the dark. With an included lineman’s rope, the Safeguard Safety Harness is available in black, Realtree AP and Lost Camo by Mathews.
Muddy Outdoors also produces a Safeline safety harness system that keeps you attached to the tree at all times. The first time you hand the tree stand, tie the Safeline System rope above your stand around the tree just like you would your tree stand and from that point on, whenever you climb up to get to get in the tree stand or get down out of the stand, you will always be hooked to the tree. The Safeline system is 30 feet long and features with a prussic knot and carabiner to keep you safe at all times.