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Treestand Safety Tips

Hunting Regulations Icon Massachusetts Hunting & Fishing


Treestand Safety Tips


Treestands are popular with both hunters and wildlife photographers. Unfortunately, every year reports of people falling from tree stands are regularly reported—these falls often result in serious injuries and potential death. Most accidents occur when the user is climbing up to or descending from the treestand. Take a free online safety course offered in partnership with at With a little common sense and an awareness of potential hazards, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Safe Treestand Users ALWAYS:

  • Wear & Properly Use a Certified Full-Body Fall Arrest Harness System & Certified Treestands
  • Read, Understand & Follow Equipment Manufacturer’s Instructions
  • Practice Using Their FBFAH System With Another Responsible Person
  • Use Haul Lines to Raise & Lower an Unloaded Gun, Backpack, Bow, & Other Gear
  • Select a Safe Tree To Set Up
  • Use Certified Equipment & Replace Damaged or Expired Harnesses & Stands
  • Are Safe & Never Hurry, Keeping Proper Contact With the Tree or Treestand When Moving
  • Have a Plan For Recovery Or Escape If Suspended in the Tree
  • Let Others Know Their Exact Hunting Location, Who is With Them & Time of Return
  • Know Their Limits & Carry Emergency Signaling Devices



Wildlife lands, open to hunting, fishing, and trapping, can be viewed using the MassWildlife Lands Viewer, This new tool shows land owned jointly by the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) throughout the Commonwealth. Maps can be customized and printed using the Viewer. Users can search for land by town or by property name.

These lands are protected primarily to provide habitat for wildlife and to give people a place to relax and explore the great outdoors. For the most part, wildlife lands are open to hunting, fishing, trapping, birdwatching, and other wildlife related recreation. Users will find unmarked paths or woods roads with simple, unpaved parking lots. Many of these properties are actively managed through mowing, cutting, prescribed burns, or other activities that benefit wildlife.

Regulations govern the activities allowed on these lands and focus on passive recreation (see page 23). Motorized vehicles, for instance, are not permitted on state wildlife lands. Note that these maps are provided for recreational use and show approximate rather than legal descriptions of property boundaries.