While using a hunting tree stand can often provide a hunter with a significant advantage when hunting in the field, it is important exercise caution, as many hunting tree stands on the market in recent years have been recalled by manufacturers due to serious safety concerns.
When a hunting tree stand suddenly breaks while a hunter is high up in a tree, it is common for the hunter to sustain serious injuries from the subsequent fall. Spinal cord injuries and broken bones are among the more common injuries, and failing to take notice of manufacturer recalls for hunting tree stands can result in significant bodily harm, prompting the filing of lawsuits against irresponsible retailers of recalled equipment.
The Recall Process
The issuing of a hunting tree stand recall is a deliberate and efficient process, designed to remove dangerous hunting equipment from the market as quickly as possible while providing protection for manufacturers to ensure that their products are not recalled without a legitimate reason.
In most cases, the first step in a hunting tree stand recall is the discovery by a consumer or third party of a potential safety hazard that the manufacturer overlooked. Unfortunately these defects sometimes do not come to light until the hunting equipment is already on the market and a hunter discovers the safety hazard while using the product out in the field. Whether a hunter is actually injured by the device or simply raises some potential safety concerns, the manufacturer is eventually notified of the potential problem.
Once the manufacturer has been alerted of a possible safety hazard associated with a hunting tree stand, they are legally obligated to respond appropriately. Under the federal guidelines detailed in the Consumer Product Safety Act, manufacturers of hunting equipment are required by law to provide the Consumer Product Safety Commission with immediate notification of any products that pose a serious hazard to the public's safety. The safety concerns are then evaluated by the independent agency, and a determination is made as to whether the hunting tree stand poses enough of a safety risk to merit a product recall. If so, the manufacturer and the CPSC issue an official product recall, and the product is removed from the market as quickly as possible.
The Manufacturer’s Role
When it is clear that a particular model of a hunting tree stand is defective, some manufacturers handle the recall of their faulty product more responsibly than others. In the some cases, manufacturers have refused to issue recalls of their tree stands until they were forced to do so by federal agencies. While the majority of hunting equipment manufacturers comply with CPSC regulations, there have been some occasions in which the Department of Justice has successfully proven that a hunting tree stand manufacturer knowingly produced and marketed dangerous equipment for years before notifying the CPSC of the safety hazards that were posed by their products.
When hunting equipment maker Ardisam first learned in 2000 that their hunting tree stand was defective and posed serious risk of injury to their customers, they allegedly decided to sit on this information and did not contact the CPSC until four years later after numerous consumers suffered broken bones and other injuries due to the faulty equipment. Ardisam eventually settled with the federal government to pay a civil penalty that amounted to a little under half a million dollars.
One success story of a hunting equipment manufacturer and the CPSC working together to protect the hunting public came in the form of a voluntary recall that API Outdoors and the CPSC issued in 2002 for a pair of hunting tree stand models that were found to have defective cables. In this case, API Outdoors received notice from two of their customers that the cables on their hunting tree stands had broken and resulted in the hunters falling to the ground, but no one was seriously injured. API Outdoors responded appropriately by contacting the CPSC, and a decision was reached to recall the roughly 9000 tree stands that were on the market with faulty cables. The models included in this recall were the API Buckmaster Grand Slam Climbing Treestand and the API Hi-Point Cable Cat Climbing Treestand. As a result of the recall, no further injuries were reported.
Hunter’s View Ltd
Another notable recall of a hunting tree stand that was manufactured by a trusted name in hunting equipment occurred in the fall of 2001 when Hunter's View Ltd voluntarily recalled approximately 30,000 hunting tree stands. In this particular case, Hunter's View Ltd had to recall nine different models of hunting tree stands due to the discovery of cables that were used on each of the models could break under certain conditions. The tree stand listed in the 2001 recall include the model numbers HVTS-100, HVTS-101,HVTS-102, HVTS-10, HVTS-300, HVTS-302, HVTS-400, HVTS-402, HVTS-500, HVATS-3000 and HVATS-4020. Thanks to the quick action of Hunter's View and the CDSC in voluntarily recalling the tree stands, the products were removed from the market before any hunters were unnecessarily injured.
The best source for staying up to date on the recall of specific models of hunting tree stands is the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The CPSC is an independent agency created by the Consumer Product Safety Act in 1972 to protect the public from unnecessary injuries from defective consumer products. Among other functions, the CPSC handles the safety regulations of the majority of consumer products on the market and issues mandated recalls of dangerous products when necessary. The CPSC also provides a list of all of the models of hunting tree stands that have been recalled over the years with detailed information.