OPC holds Oct. 16 clinic on tree stand safety

Minnesota’s firearm season for deer hunting begins Nov. 9, and the Bemidji State’s Outdoor Program Center wants to provide hunters with a way for hunters to help prevent serious accidents related to falls from tree stands.

The clinic begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, in the Gillett Recreation-Fitness Center lobby and is free to attend. The OPC will have rigging kits – which include a Swiss seat, locking carabiner, prussic and 9.5mm anchor line – available at the clinic for $35.

Tree stand accidents are the leading cause of injury to hunters, accounting for more than 90 percent of hunting-related emergency room visits. Statistics show that one in three people who hunt from an elevated stand will have a fall resulting in serious injury.

The safety clinic, taught by center director Mark Morrissey, will show hunters how a few simple rock-climbing skills and basic equipment can be used to build a lightweight, strong and versatile system that will help prevent injuries at an affordable cost far below the $100 commonly charged for similar commercial systems.

The clinic will include a complete walkthrough of the equipment and will involve setting up outdoors with an on-site tree stand for hands-on practice.

Mark Morrissey, Outdoor Program Center director; (218) 755-3900