12/1/14 @ 11:24 AM
Where I hunt in Northern Minnesota, we have to get our portables out of the woods after deer season, a proposition which can be a real pain in the behind. I spent the day after Thanksgiving doing just that. I finds me asking myself why we have to do this. Makes no sense to me whatsoever. I hunt on UPM Blandin forest land, and they have quite a few rules to abide by, no permanent stands, no occupying permanent stands, etc. Anybody else pull theirs?
12/1/14 @ 8:07 PM
12/1/14 @ 6:38 PM
I decided to pop up an extra stand while bow hunting in Hayward in early November. I grabbed one out the storage shed and strapped it to a tree next to the cabin about 2 feet off the ground and stepped on. My two feet hit the ground abruptly, then my ass. The heavy nylon strap which appeared visibly in good shape must have had dry rot and tore in two so quick it was shocking. I shudder to think what would have happened if I had not had the foresight to do a quick test first. I'll never leave a stand out longer than necessary and will never climb in one that I have not personally tested first. I have also incorporated a safety harness and climbing belt into my stand setting and sitting protocol. Like I asked I the 20 year old at camp who didn't have a saftey belt, "how big is the buck worth dying for?"
12/1/14 @ 3:03 PM
I hunt mostly private land and pull all my stands immediately after the season every year, not for any regulatory issue but for safety reasons. When trees expand during the growing season, the expansion puts a huge amount of pressure on straps and Metal parts of the stand, and the exposure to sunlight for long periods of time can create a situation where mechanical failure can be unpredictable. I keep them indoors, dry and out of the sun, and inspect everything when I take it down and again before I put it back up. Also, it seems that some people never return to remove their portables the following season, as evidenced by tree stand remnants, steps, and whole stands left for many years in commonly hunted public areas. This can be fatal to trees and can cause damage to logging equipment. If you don't care enough about the tree to pull your stands, you should at least care enough about your own safety.