Nearly 30 manufacturers belong to the Treestand Manufacturer’s Association, which is a standards-based organization that employs two independent companies for product testing.
Ron Waller is the mechanical engineer for Summit Treestands. “Only buy stands that are TMA certified,” Waller warned, noting that stands are load-tested at twice the rated capacity of the product. The association can direct you toward certified products and provide information about recalls. Contact it by calling (601) 584-7983, or check it out online at www.tmastands.com.
Waller acknowledges that anytime a hunter uses a stand, risks and potential hazards will be at hand.
“You’ve got hunters, sometimes wet, cold, with icy boots, going up a tree in the dark or coming down in the dark,” he said. “Gravity works every time, and there are hazards without regard to the stability of the tree-stand product.”
Hunters must minimize the human dangers associated with climbing up or down in a stand and always use safety gear, Waller said, including a full body harness to arrest falls without constricting or crushing vital organs, as many single-belt straps can do.
“No one is selling waist or chest belts anymore,” Waller said. “Those would knock the wind out of you, put pressure on your diaphragm and worse. The waist belt is the worst device to wear, followed by the chest belt.”