When Should a Hunter Wear a Fall-Arrest System?

When should a hunter wear a fall-arrest system? All hunters should ALWAYS wear a Fall-Arrest System and follow the instructions for how to use it. Be aware that single-strap belts and chest harnesses are no longer recommended and shouldn’t be used. If you don’t use a FAS, you could get hurt or even die.

What Is A Fall Arrest System?

There is a big need for a safety system in places where there is a possibility of employees falling, and that system is the fall arrest system. The system consists of the worker wearing a harness, the lanyard being attached to the harness, and the lanyard being attached to an anchor point. The mechanism is meant to catch the worker before they strike the ground, preventing injury.

An individual’s body can be secured and supported by a harness called a body harness. An anchor is connected to the body harness by a single loop of webbing or many loops. A person can be tethered to a solid object by use of an anchor. An anchor may be anything that can support your weight, whether a solid structure like a post, tree, or beam, or anything as simple as a branch or pebble.

When a person is attached to a lifeline, they are dangled from a greater height. The individual and the anchor have a same lifeline. The lifeline must have a breaking strength of at least 300 pounds and a working load of at most 750 pounds.

Keep in mind: If you haven’t been doing so before, make sure to regularly inspect the anchor and lifeline. The anchor or lifeline must be replaced if it has been damaged. In order to ensure that personal fall arrest systems are used properly, training is required.

What Else Should You Have in Your FBH/FAS Setup?

In addition to this system, you need also have a fall arrest system, often known as a full body harness (FBH).

Equipments Explanation
Climbing belt The lineman’s belt, or tree wrap, is a safety device used to gain stability while working at heights. Always keep it high over your head, with the tree tether either dangling freely or wrapped around your arm or neck.
Stability beams After it’s been rigged up, this rope gives you a second point of contact with the tree. They may be inconvenient at first, but the extra safety they provide is well worth the effort.
Prusik knot This simple knot is a climber’s greatest friend. The Prusik knot is useful because it is a secure knot that can be tightened in the event of a fall and loosened as you ascend.
Carabiner The neighborhood superstore won’t carry it, so don’t bother. Visit a climbing shop and purchase a harness with a fall rating suitable for your height and weight. These are for clipping the tree tether onto the lineman’s belt.
Descent Assistant Device In conjunction with the FAS and the tree, these little spools of line can descend the hunter to the ground. They’re complicated and only good for one usage, but they’re worth it if you need them.

How Does a FAS Work?

The purpose of fall arrest systems is to make climbing and hunting from heights safer. Similar to mountaineering harnesses in design, these ones have been adapted for use in hunting. The harness wraps over the wearer’s shoulders and hips, holding them in place securely.

Someone gets into the harness, pulls the top half over their head like a coat, and fastens the two sides together in the front. A lineman’s belt is attached to the tether in the tree, shortening the potential fall distance for the hunter.

The suspension relief strap attaches to the harness (often at the tail) and allows the user to put a foot through a loop to stand up if they happen to fall. If a hunter is hanging for an extended period of time while waiting for rescue, this can reduce the risk of compartment syndrome. The hunter may use distance aid gadgets to descend gently to the earth.

Guidelines for the Safe Use of Fall Arrest Systems

A fall-arrest system (FAS) that is built to code should be used. Using a chest harness or a belt with only one strap can be fatal. Before heading out on a hunt, make sure you’ve familiarized yourself with your FAS’s operating manual and safety precautions. Please observe these precautions when using a FAS.

  • Before going hunting from a tree stand, it’s a good idea to work out the kinks in your FAS and suspension release strap on the ground with an adult present.

  • You should always wear your FAS full-body harness, and secure it to the tree at ground level to protect yourself from falls.

  • Wrap the FAS belt around the tree, and then fasten one end to the FAS full-body harness.

  • When setting up or taking down your hang-on tree stand, use the FAS lineman’s style belt in conjunction with your full-body harness. When using a hang-on stand, the belt is an integral part of the full-body harness.

  • Use the FAS tree strap and rope to secure your full-body harness to a tree while in a ladder stand or any other type of tree stand. Ensure that the tree strap is above your head when standing by fastening it at eye level.

  • Once you’ve attached the tether, make sure there’s no slack in it when you’re sat in your stand by adjusting the length of the tree strap and the tether. If you happen to have a tumble, you shouldn’t let yourself go too far below the point where you can climb back up to the deck.

  • Hunters who do not wear and utilize their FAS properly should not go up in the air to pursue the game.


Some related questions are given below:

1 - What is the purpose of a relief strap?

All of these designs work toward the same goal: reducing stress on the body’s most vulnerable spots when the victim is floating in the air after a fall has been stopped. Each safety harness has a suspension trauma release strap, often by looping a piece of webbing around the harness strap at the waist.

2 - How often does a hunter need to use a full body harness?

In accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines, all hunters should always use a Fall-Arrest System (FAS)/Full Body Harness whether climbing or descending. Single-strap belts and chest harnesses are not acceptable safety equipment and should be avoided. Accidental injury or death may occur if a FAS is not used.

3 - Can you hunt in black clothes?

Black (or white) attire is generally discouraged for hunting, however there are exceptions to this rule. When hunting in the snow, it makes sense to wear white clothing, but when hunting in ground blinds or shooting houses, it makes just as much sense to wear black.

4 - Should you wear a harness in a tree stand?

When working from a tree stand, the most important piece of safety gear is a harness. Choose one that works for you and that you will wear hunting.

5 - What advantages does a hunter gain from wearing a full-body harness?

A tether and harness, if used correctly, can prevent falls of up to 18 inches. Attach the FBH’s tether to the tree a few feet above your head before settling into your position. A common mistake made by hunters is not placing the strap high enough in the tree.


A fall-arrest system (FAS) that is built to code should be used. Using a chest harness or a belt with only one strap can be fatal. Before heading out on a hunt, make sure you’ve familiarized yourself with your FAS operating manual and safety precautions. Climbing up or down from a tree stand is the leading cause of death for hunters.

In any situation where you lift one or both feet off the ground, you must wear a properly settled fall arrest system (FAS) that includes a full-body harness. This includes using climbing aids to get into a tree, erecting a tree stand, and hunting from a tree stand.

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