When climbing a treestand, a hunter should never carry hunting equipment such as firearms and other gear. The extra weight could cause a loss of balance and even result in a fall from the tree. Instead of carrying gear unsafely, retrieve all equipment using a haul line such as a strong rope, strap or commercially made line. Always adhere to the following safety tips when getting yourself and your gear into your treestand:
Remember! If you fall, don't panic. Stay calm and think out the situation. Practice your 3 R’s: Rescue, Relief and Recover.
Before climbing into the treestand, unload your firearm and leave the action open.
If retrieving a firearm with a haul line, the muzzle of your firearm should always point toward the ground. If retrieving a bow or crossbow, keep all arrows or bolts in a quiver.
Secure hunting equipment to the haul line. If retrieving a firearm, do not tie the haul line around the trigger or trigger guard! Tuck — do not tie — the other end of the haul line into your pocket or belt.
Climb into the treestand, securing your FAS/FBH to the tree before beginning to retrieve the haul line.
Once you've raised your firearm up to your treestand, check for obstructions in the barrel and action.
Take your time. Do not hurry.