Using A Full Body Harness

Wade N. from Pennsylvania writes to ask if wearing a full body harness while hunting from a treestand makes that much difference compared to wearing a safety belt.

Dr. Dave Samuel
Dr. Dave Samuel

I have become a major believer in wearing a full body harness. For many years I wore a safety belt, but two years ago a good friend convinced me to change. It takes a few seconds longer to put on a full body harness, but once you get used to it, you will never go back!

The main problem with a safety belt is that when you fall, the belt often pulls from your waist up to your chest and you suffocate. It happens to guys every year. They are found dead hanging from their safety belt. In fact, it happened to a bowhunter in Pennsylvania this year.

The harness costs a bit more, but think about what it means to your family if you die or are seriously injured while hunting from a treestand. It can happen to you. Another factor in the popularity of harnesses is because the hunting population is aging. I know from personal experience that as you age, you aren’t as agile as when you were young.

The added safety of a full body harness can add years to your hunting life. I cannot emphasize enough how important I think it is that all treestand hunters wear a full body harness.

Do you wear a full body harness? Let us know why you do or don’t. Don’t forget to visit Sportsman’s Guide for the latest selection of hunting gear.

Dr. Dave writes a weekly column for Dr. Dave studied deer for 30 years as a wildlife management professor at West Virginia University. In addition he has been a bowhunter for over 40 years, with deer being his main prey. He’s also an outdoor writer and has been with “Bowhunter” magazine for 31 years.

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One Response to “Using A Full Body Harness”

  1. Gary G. Martin

    In your article about wearing a full body harness, you must include information about death from Suspension Trauma. You need to include information about having a Suspension Trauma Relief System built into your full body harness. You need to include information about self rescue and how to use a controlled descent system. You need to explain about having a rescue plan in advance.