Full body harness mandated on Alabama WMAs

Feel-good laws intended to save us are nice, but shouldn't be mandated

The Headline:  Full body harness required on Alabama WMAs

The Summary: The Outdoor Wire reports that hunters, by a new law, must wear full-body-style safety harnesses while hunting out of elevated treestands on state game management areas in Alabama.

Jeff’s Take: While I’m certainly for the use of safety harnesses while hunting from treestands (just last week I chastised a friend for not using one), the libertarian in me does not believe it should be law. Full-body harnesses are expensive and there are  alternatives; I regularly use a waist-and-legs-encompassing rock climbers’ harness because it’s lighter and less restrictive than the full-body type. Sometimes, when I’m only three feet off the ground in one of my natural “2x4-in-the-crook-of-a-tree” stands, I deem (all by myself) that I don’t need a full-body harness. Sure, I could wind up dangling up-side down in some of my 30-foot-high “life or death” stands with my rock climber's rig, but sometimes I like to hang upside down, like when I rock climb, skydive or do a backflip for the heck of it. If I wanted absolutely no danger in my life, I’d eat rice cakes and stay at home.

And where does it end? With a government-mandated pillow at the bottom of the cellar stairs? I have little sympathy if you fall out of a treestand and die because you weren’t wearing a safety device, but I have even less for a state that believes it must look after its subjects as if we don’t know what’s best for ourselves.

Recommended Gear: Hunters Safety Systems Full Body Harness

Alternate Headline:  Alabama Nanny Knows What’s Best For Us


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