USE A FULL-BODY FALL ARREST HARNESS SYSTEM always wear and properly use a Full Body Fall Arrest Harness System (FBFAHS) that meets stringent, industry standards recognized by TMA. Wear a FBFAHS every time you leave the ground, including while ascending or descending. Single strap belts and chest harnesses are no longer allowed and shall not be used. Failure to use a FBFAHS could result in serious injury or death.
USE YOUR HARNESS PROPERLY always attach your Full Body Fall Arrest Harness System (FBFAHS) in the manner and method described by the manufacturer. The FBFAHS tether should have no slack when sitting. Failure to do so may result in suspension without the ability to recover into your treestand. Be aware of the hazards associated with hanging suspended in a Full Body Fall Arrest Harness System (FBFAHS) and the fact that prolonged suspension in a harness may be fatal.
READ, UNDERSTAND, AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS always read and understand the manufacturer’s WARNINGS and INSTRUCTIONS before using a treestand and Full Body Fall Arrest Harness System (FBFAHS) each season. If you have any questions after reviewing the WARNINGS and INSTRUCTIONS, please contact the manufacturer. Maintain the WARNINGS and INSTRUCTIONS for later review as needed, for instructions on usage to anyone borrowing your stand or harness, or to pass on when selling the these items. Use all safety devices provided with your treestand. NEVER exceed the weight limit specified by the manufacturer.
USE A HAUL LINE always use a haul line to raise your backpack, gear, unloaded firearm or bow to your treestand once you have reached your desired hunting height. Never climb with anything in your hands or on your back. Prior to descending, lower your equipment on the side of the tree opposite of your descent route.
PRACTICE BEFORE HUNTING always practice using your Full Body Fall Arrest Harness System (FBFAHS) in the presence of a responsible adult prior to using it in an elevated hunting environment, and learn what it feels like to hang suspended in the harness at ground level. Practice installing and using your treestand at ground level and with a responsible adult present before you go hunting.
HAVE A PLAN FOR RECOVERY/ESCAPE always have a plan in place for rescue, including the use of cell phones or signal devices that may be easily reached and used while suspended. If rescue personnel cannot be notified, you must have a plan for recovery/escape. If you have to hang suspended for a period of time before help arrives, exercise your legs by pushing against the tree or doing any other form of continuous motion. Failure to recover in a timely manner could result in serious injury or death. If you do not have the ability to recover or escape, hunt from the ground.
REPLACE DAMAGED OR EXPIRED HARNESSES AND STANDS always inspect the treestand and the Full Body Fall Arrest Harness System (FBFAHS) for signs of wear or damage before each use. Contact the manufacturer for replacement parts. Destroy all products that cannot be repaired by the manufacturer and parts that have exceeded the recommended expiration date. Destroy products if the manufacturer no longer exists. The FBFAHS must be discarded and replaced after a fall has occurred.
BE PREPARED AHEAD OF TIME always let others know your exact hunting location, when you plan to return and who is with you before you go hunting. Hunt with a buddy — it’s more enjoyable and you’ll have someone to help if an emergency situation arises.
CARRY EMERGENCY SIGNAL DEVICES always carry emergency signal devices such as a cell phone, two-way radio, whistle, signal flare, PLD (personal locator device) and flashlight on your person at all times and within reach, even while you are suspended in your FBFAHS. Watch for changing weather conditions. In the event of an accident, remain calm and seek help immediately.
SELECT A SAFE TREE always select the proper tree for use with your treestand. Select a live, healthy and straight tree that is within the size limits recommended by the manufacturer. Never select a leaning tree. Never leave a treestand installed for more than two weeks since damage could result from changing weather conditions and/or from other factors not obvious with a visual inspection.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS always know your physical limitations. Don’t take chances. If you start thinking about how high you are, don’t go any higher.
DON’T RUSH — BE SAFE! never hurry! While climbing with a treestand, make slow, even movements of no more than ten to twelve inches at a time. Make sure you have proper contact with the tree and/or treestand every time you move. When using any treestand with a ladder or steps, maintain three points of contact with each step. This means having two hands and one foot (or one hand and two feet) in contact at all times.
ONLY USE CERTIFIED EQUIPMENT never use homemade or permanently elevated stands. NEVER make modifications to a purchased treestand without the manufacturer’s written permission. Only purchase and use treestands and Fall Arrest Harness Systems (FBFAHS) that meet or exceed industry standards recognized by TMA. For a detailed list of products that are certified to industry standards recognized by TMA, contact the TMA office or refer to the TMA web site at www.tmastands.com.