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NYSDEC is reminding hunters to be safe while using tree stands

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(WBNG) -- With so many hunters out this time of year, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation wants to remind you to take extra precautions to be safe.

When it comes to using tree stands, the DEC says every year hunters are seriously injured, paralyzed, and even killed from falling out of them. It is very important that hunters use a safety harness and a climbing belt.

Experts say you should let a family member or friend know that you will be out hunting, and leave a map of your tree stand location. When it comes to using the tree stand, DEC officials say you should never climb in or out with a loaded firearm.

"Stay connected. Before you leave the ground, as well as when you go up into the tree and back down to the ground, stay connected at all times," said Jill Trunko with the DEC. "We always recommend three points of contact when you are using that tree stand."

Experts also suggest reading the tree stand's manufacturer instructions, and checking the stand for any worn parts every season.

Katie Jones

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