Why You Should Wear A Bowhunting Safety Harness

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bowhunting safety harness
It’s highly recommended to test out your safety harness before wearing it afield.  This hunter fell off a treestand no more than 5 feet off the ground and now trusts his safety harness.

Gorilla Treestands

Gorilla Treestands has gotten into the tree stand safety game and developed one of the finest safety harnesses on the market today with the G30 Exo-Tech Safety Harness. The G30 Exo-Tech sports an adjustable form fitting design and goes on quickly and easily all in a matter of seconds. The Exo-Tech is lightweight and the mesh back plate is breathable so it keeps you cool during those warm early season hunts. The back plate is also padded for maximum comfort on all day hunts. However, the most appealing feature of the Exo-Tech is the 30” long tether that provides flexible range of motion in the tree stand drawing your bow or getting into position for the shot. The unique material of the tether also works as a shock absorber and reduces shock when falling by more than 50% when compared to other safety harnesses on the market.

Gorilla Treestands also manufactures the Deluxe Full Body Harness, a vest style safety harness that provides necessary safety at an affordable price. This all season vest features a blaze orange pull-out and the vest comes in Mossy Oak Treestand.

Trophy Line USA

Trophy Line USA develops one of the most innovative and multiuse safety harnesses on the market today. The Gadget Extreme Safety Harness features a gadget reactor with a clip built into the shoulder to make your gear easily accessible and ready for use while at the same time keeping them safely out of the way while shooting. It also comes equipped with 2 gadget gear bands. These gear bands sport a rubberized grip and quietly stretch around and hold calls, cell phones, wind checkers and other small items in place. Nevertheless, the most useful features of the Gadget Extreme are the 9 gadget pockets, each with an intended use. Two fleece hand warmer pockets to keep your hands warm. Two standard pockets for multi-purpose use. Two deep ergonomically designed pockets for cross access eliminating movement in the stand. Two inner roomy pockets provide easy, quiet access to the full length of the vest and 1 deep pocket on the back that can be used for storage.

Practicing With Your Safety Harness

Once you have determined which safety harness is best for you, it’s recommended to practice and become familiar with your safety harness. This means making sure you are familiar with its straps, hooks and other features, so much so that you feel comfortable using them in hunting situations. It may sound silly, but should you forget to tighten your leg straps and unfortunately fall, you can only blame yourself. To achieve 100% trust and confidence in your harness, many hunters recommend actually falling from a tree stand while wearing their harness. This certainly doesn’t mean scaling 25 feet up in the air and blindly jumping out of your tree stand. Simply place one your tree stands in your backyard 5-6 feet off the ground. Make sure your tether is securely strapped to the tree and ease off the platform. Make sure you have a friend or family member there to help you in case there’s an accident. Putting your safety harness to the test is the absolute best way to determine if your safety harness is safe enough to hunt with. Your life depends on it.

Actually falling from a tree stand will help you know how to react if you fall in a real hunting situation. Many of today’s safety harness include suspension release devices to relieve the pressure on your chest and legs, however, some do not. You can still die after a fall from your tree stand despite your safety harness preventing the fall. This is called suspension trauma and is result of blood pooling up in your legs due to a lack of circulation. It is for this reason that you have a backup plan should you fall. For one, when hanging your tree stand position it in a way that you can reach it should you fall to pull yourself back up on the plat form. You can also position your climbing sticks or ladder similarly as well. However, what about when you fall on the other side of your ladder and can’t reach the platform? For one, you can position the tether on the side of your ladder or tree steps. Another way to ensure you don’t fall to far below the platform of your treestand is to attach your tether to the tree strap as high as possible above your head. This will reduce the arrest force felt when you fall and will allow you to climb back into your stand easier should you fall.

Treestand Safety Tips

While a quality safety harness and certainly save your life, it is just one small step in the big picture of hunting and tree stand safety. Before hunting out of a tree stand, be sure you are awake and alert. Take your time when climbing a tree stand, it’s not going anywhere. This means making sure of your footing, always maintain three points of contact and using your lineman’s strap for added safety and security.

There are also a couple tools you should always carry with you in regards to tree stand safety. Most hunters carry these anyway, but always carry a cell phone or radio when hunting alone. That way if you fall and are able, you can place a call for immediate help. The other is a distress whistle. In the case that you can’t reach your cell phone or don’t have any cell phone service, blow vigorously into the whistle to signal help. A small tree step is also useful to screw in should you not be able to reach your platform or ladder steps. These are good ways to reassure you of your footing and relieve pressure and allow you to formulate a game plan.

Conclusion

Safety harnesses have come a long way in comfort, support and overall safety over the last couple years. Each model has their own special features, but at the end of the day they are all designed to do one thing, save your life. However, as effective as a safety harness is, it is completely useless if you don’t wear it! Remember, always wear a safety harness, let others know of your hunting location, hunt hard but more importantly hunt safe.

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