Skip to main content

Sliding Down Tree Was Just Bone-headed

We all forget the old days before tree stands

Sliding Down Tree Was Just Bone-headed
Deer stand safety was not so much a thing of the past.

A friend asked me the other day “why does it seem like there are so many deer hunters getting seriously hurt or killed from falling out of a treestand?”

Since the archery deer season opened, there have been a number of accidents, including the man who fell out of his stand after lighting a heater and setting his clothes aflame.

Reports of incidents begin to climb as the states open their seasons.

My friend’s point was there didn’t seem to be as many accidents back in the old days as there are now. He’s probably right. But we all forget the old days.


My first climbing treestand was a Baker. At least I called it that. It was actually a home-made version of the original climbing stand, which was nothing more than angle iron and a piece of plywood.


I felt invincible with my Baker in my hands, like there was no tree I couldn’t climb. It opened up the hunting game for me and a lot of others. I can still remember having the tell-tale scratches on my forearms when inevitably my home-made Baker would slip out off my feet and I would I have to do a fireman’s slide down the tree.

Thinking about it, I should be dead. But that was back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when you could almost gather all the bowhunters in any given state into a small church house.

Today, bowhunting is hugely popular. And the number of guys scratching their way up a tree has grown a hundred fold if not more. More folks just mean the odds are better for an accident.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Tree stands are a far sight better than what they used to be. You would be hard-pressed to even find an old Baker still in use. And the Treestand Manufacturer’s Association has created standards that we could only dream of 25 years ago. (If your stand isn’t NMA approved, get rid of it).


The most important easy-on, easy-off piece of equipment known to a deer hunter is a safety harness. We didn’t have those 20 years ago, although some of us tied a rope around our waist. Now every treestand worth owning comes with a harness. And the Cadillac of all that is the Hunter Safety System vest, which takes all the hassle and adds all the safety.

As an old bowhunter, I like telling stories of sliding down trees. At one time it was a rite of passage. Today, that has entered the realm of bone-head ignorance.

I’d rather live to hunt another day, preferably without a limp.


Go to 2013 Deer Camp

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Action and Power Ratings- How to Choose the Right Bass Rod

Action and Power Ratings- How to Choose the Right Bass Rod

Most fishing rods feature both an action and a power rating, but what do those ratings mean and how do you use them to select the right rod for different scenarios? In this video, outdoor writer and tackle specialist Shane Beilue breaks down the difference between a rod blank’s action and power and discusses what the various ratings of each mean.

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction.

Catch More Bass on a Jerkbait in the Cooler Months

Catch More Bass on a Jerkbait in the Cooler Months

This one simple trick will trigger more bass strikes on a jerkbait during the fall months.

Hunting Elk with the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter in 6.5 PRC

Hunting Elk with the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter in 6.5 PRC

Michael Cassidy and Paul Pluff talk about their elk hunt in New Mexico using the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

With the Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system, anglers have ultimate kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and the ability to move their boat in any direction desiredAmazing Kayak Power and Control: Hobie's MirageDrive 360 Propulsion System Other Fishing

Amazing Kayak Power and Control: Hobie's MirageDrive 360 Propulsion System

OSG Editorial Staff - November 01, 2020

With the Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system, anglers have ultimate kayak control...

While catfish are still catfish, the difference between day and night tactics and strategies can be profound, even when fishing the same lake or river.How to Catch Catfish Day and Night Fishing How-To

How to Catch Catfish Day and Night

Terry Madewell

While catfish are still catfish, the difference between day and night tactics and strategies...

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews of smelly ingredients often used to catch catfish. How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait Catfish

How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...

It may be 125 years old, but the .30-30 Winchester retains its status thanks to modern loads.Turning .30-30; It's Better Than Ever Ammo

Turning .30-30; It's Better Than Ever

Richard Mann - October 27, 2020

It may be 125 years old, but the .30-30 Winchester retains its status thanks to modern loads.

See More Trending Articles

More Whitetail

Don't let deer hunting's prime time pass you by. Head to one (or all) of these hot spots for a shot at your biggest buck ever.Rut Road Trip for Big Whitetails in the Midwest Hunting

Rut Road Trip for Big Whitetails in the Midwest

Mark Kayser - November 13, 2020

Don't let deer hunting's prime time pass you by. Head to one (or all) of these hot spots for a...

A mock whitetail scrape is easier—and cheaper—than you might think.6 Keys to Making a Mock Scrape Whitetail

6 Keys to Making a Mock Scrape

Dustin Prievo - October 26, 2020

A mock whitetail scrape is easier—and cheaper—than you might think.

When it's cold and miserable, and the rut is pretty much done, it's still one of the best times of the deer season for a trophy.Late-Innings Whitetails: How to Rally for a Southern Giant Whitetail

Late-Innings Whitetails: How to Rally for a Southern Giant

Doug Howlett - November 24, 2020

When it's cold and miserable, and the rut is pretty much done, it's still one of the best...

Sometimes, 'big buck derangement syndrome' makes a passion an obsession.Crazy Talk: Big Bucks Can Lead to Questionable Choices Whitetail

Crazy Talk: Big Bucks Can Lead to Questionable Choices

Jeff Johnston - November 03, 2020

Sometimes, 'big buck derangement syndrome' makes a passion an obsession.

See More Whitetail

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now