Using a haul line
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:
- 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.
Remember! If you fall, don't panic. Stay calm and think out the situation. Practice your 3 R’s: Rescue, Relief and Recover.