Tree Stand accidents have been the #1 cause of serious injury and death to deer hunters. Recent studies show that half of all hunters do not consistently practice tree stand safety, and when they do, most hunters are not using best practices. Furthermore, over 30 percent never practice tree stand safety at all.
Each year, on average, more than 20 of our fellow hunters lose their lives due to tree stand falls. Dozens more see their lives changed forever due to permanent disability. These accidents are not only tragic events for the victim, their family and friends, but they also negatively impact our sport. We can change this! When you look closer at these accidents, you’ll quickly find that nearly all of them could have been prevented if two basic rules of tree stand safety had been followed: 1. Wear a full-body harness. 2. Stay connected to the tree. We’ve got work to do!
Safety is traditionally not thought of as ‘Cool’. The mission of the TSSA is to change all that by raising awareness of tree stand safety so that hunters will deem it ‘Uncool’ to be ‘unsafe.’ This mission requires three main ingredients:
1 - A United Front – TSSA will work to gain broad-based industry support from both private and public sectors that have an interest in the outdoors.
2. Volume – We must broadcast our message – focusing on all hunting outlets. August is the peak time of the year when hunters across the U.S. really begin to get serious about making preparation for the upcoming hunting season, TSSA will call out August as Tree Stand Safety Awareness Month. TSSA Month will culminate in a coordinated effort by manufacturers, retailers, media, hunter educators, DNR Departments and the hunting public to promote a consistent message of tree-stand safety.
3. ‘Cool’ Branding – We must make the message and the brand trendy and ‘Cool’ by addressing not only the look of the brand, but also the presentation of the message and the presenter of the message (High profile partners and ambassadors).
Our message is simple:
1. Wear a full-body harness.
2. Stay connected from the time your feet leave the ground.
3. See that your buddies do the same!
TSSA is a not-for-profit entity whose directors are a cross section of the hunting industry representing manufacturers, state DNR, retailers and media. Our funding is derived from sponsorships, sales of brand wear, donations and fundraisers.
With everyone’s help, we will be able to see the impact of TSSA within five years. The statistics will let us know if we made a difference. Bear in mind, those statistics aren’t just numbers; they are people -- real people -- our friends, our neighbors and our family.