Don't be a Fall Statistic

I am not afraid of heights; in fact I have climbed many trees in my days. It isn't about the height of the tree as much as it is about the tree stand. Something about them makes me uneasy, and while I know my husband has hung every stand with extra care, I still feel like at any moment I might drop.

I discovered my distrust at about 5:30 AM while attempting to climb into my first ever tree stand. Keep in mind my husband set this stand for us. The man is well over a foot taller than me, and while he was very considerate in putting the pegs closer together than what he needed, it was still quite the stretch for a peg that I couldn't see to start with. In retrospect, we both agree I should have tested this climb in broad daylight with more coffee in my system. Bless my husband for his patience that morning.

 

Safely in her stand, Elishia is tethered in and ready for action! Safely in her stand, Elishia is tethered in and ready for action!

 

This "fear" has become better over time and as I climb into more and more stands I have gained more and more trust for my surroundings. This trust only comes from the fact that if all else fails, I have my Tree Spider.

It seems to be a long standing debate as to whether safety gear is needed while hunting. If you ask anyone of the golden generation, they will either tell you of that one time they almost fell and can't believe the ever hunted without a harness, or something along the lines of; "I have been hunting for years and all of the sudden someone wants to tell me how to sit in a tree correctly". Then there is the common argument from all ages claiming that the safety harness is uncomfortable or restricting, and my personal favorite "I haven't fallen yet!".

It's hard for me not to roll my eyes when I hear these responses; most of them void. All of them excuses. I may not choose my Tree Spider for my everyday wardrobe, but I am yet to sit in the stand uncomfortably while wearing it. Any restrictions it my cause are typically thing I shouldn't be doing in the first place. And in response to the fact that you haven't fallen yet, others have. I am choosing not to be a statistic; I challenge you to do the same.

We have a responsibility as hunters; Respect the land, the animal, and the tradition. Dare I add to the list "stay alive". To me, my safety harness is no different than the safety on my crossbow; Red means dead. And for those few moments when a mistake does happen I am sure glad there is a white option.

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