‘On the Trail’ – Being safe in your tree stand

Posted at 4:04 PM, Oct 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-09 18:17:58-04

WEST MICHIGAN – Setting up a tree stand doesn’t come without some risks, so FOX 17 goes ‘On the Trail’ with the best at Al & Bob’s Sports for an inside scoop on getting up the tree safely.

Merle Shoemaker with Al & Bob’s said preparing the tree comes first. You’ll need a saw for cutting branches to make room for you and your gear, but don’t cut every branch off the tree because you’ll want some cover. The whole process takes about 20 minutes.

Before you go up, safety is #1. Merle understands most tree accidents happen when going in and out of the tree stand. Make sure you don’t take any shortcuts when it comes to clipping into your lifeline or using your harness.  It’s also important to have a physical, making sure you are fit before going hunting. Metro Health is holding screenings on October 24. For more information, click here.

Once you’ve made it to the top and have all of your equipment secured to the tree, you can hook your bow up to a rope on the ground and haul it up. Use some kind of a branch or hook to hang the bow on the tree while using the same pulley system hoisting the rest of your gear up and strap it to the tree as well.

Turkey, small game, and deer season are all open to bow hunters. But leave your rifles and shotguns at home until November 15th.

As for the Big Buck Photo Contest, you can go to or the Al & Bob’s Facebook page and submit a photo of your big buck for a chance to win a weekly prize or grand prize at the end of the deer season.  Don’t forget to use #bigbuckphotocontest when submitting your photo!

Also, take photos from your deer stand, safely, and send them our way on Instagram or Twitter using #fox17hunting.  Last week's winners were Joe Kovacs and Greg Hylarides.