The Roving Fisherman
From the archives…
This “Roving Fisherman” column was originally published in the October 20, 1999 edition of Arkansas Weekly.
Safe hunting from tree stands, simple precautions can help hunters avoid tree stand falls.
The deer bow hunting season runs 5 months. October 1st through February 28. Most hunters hunt from tree stands.
The tree stands that hunters-bow hunters especially use to increase their chances of bagging a buck could instead bring a trip to the emergency room, if hunters are careless or the stands are improperly installed, and Arkansas hunters safety officials said...research shows.
Research states that one out of three hunters will fall from a tree stand sometime during his or her hunting career, Joe Higgins, hunter education coordinator for the Game and Fish Commission. Two-thirds of the hunters who fall from tree stands do so while they are climbing into or out of a tree stand so it is particularly to use cautions during those times.
Higgins recommends hunters always maintain three points of contact-two hands and one foot on the ladder when climbing into or out of a stand. “Often people start climbing up the ladder, and at one point, they only have one hand and one foot connecting--that isn’t good,” Huggins said. Three points of contact give you greater stability and balance.
Falls also occur for other reasons, including weakness in the stands structure, incorrect installation of tree stand, failure to use a safety harness, and hunters dozing off while on the stand. He said tree stands also figure in other accidents, such as when hunters shoot themselves with their guns while climbing the tree or when bow hunters fall on their arrows.
Higgins suggested hunters using tree stands follow these precautions to avoid accidents. Check permanent tree stands every year before hunting in them, and replace any worn or weak lumber before it breaks.
I mentioned earlier in the year about a good friend of mine that was almost killed when the rotten lumber in his stand broke and he fell to the ground on his head.
Read, understand, and follow the factory recommended practices and procedures when installing commercial stands.
Inspect portable stands for loose nuts and bolts each time the stand is used. Use either a safety belt or harness.
Know what you should do if you slip while using a safety device. Use a haul line to raise and lower equipment. Keep firearms unloaded and arrows in a covered quiver.
Select a tree--one large enough to support your weight--before the season. Some mishaps occur as hunters are hurrying to set-up their stands on opening morning.
Make sure someone else knows the location of your tree stand and know when you will be hunting there, stay awake.
Recipe Of The Week
Duffie’s Deer Camp Chicken Fried Steak
hot cooking oil
Pound steak for tenderness. Dredge with flour. Add pepper and salt to taste, personally I prefer garlic salt and cajun spice. Fry in cooking oil until done, make gravy with a roux made from flour and grease drippings. Add water and pour over the steak and simmer until steak is tender. Biscuits would be good for sopping with this recipe.