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Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > 2007

WI - WI Hunter breaks leg and shoulder in hunting accident

Hunting safety cannot be over-emphasized

By Amie Jo Schaenzer
The Reporter ajschaenzer@fdlreporter.com

Each year, medical personnel have come to expect seeing a patient who's been injured after falling from a tree during hunting season.

"We see these types of injuries every fall," said spokesman Brian Dorrington of Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital in Milwaukee.

"This year is no exception, and the need for practicing hunting safety cannot be over-emphasized," Dorrington said in a news release.

About two weeks into the fall bow-hunting season, the first such accident was reported in Fond du Lac County.

Steven Warner, 41, of Lamartine, broke his leg and shoulder Tuesday after he slipped while climbing down from his tree stand and fell 12 feet to the ground, said Chief Deputy Mark Strand of the Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Department.

Warner was bow hunting in an area on Hageman Road in the town of Lamartine when the accident occurred shortly before 6 p.m., Strand said.

"He was out there by himself," he said.

After falling, he called his brother on a cell phone, Strand said. The brother then reported the hunting accident to police, he said.

An all-terrain vehicle took Warner from the woods to an ambulance. Warner was driven a short distance to a landing zone where the Flight for Life helicopter was waiting for him, said Sgt. Jeff Bonack of the Sheriff's Department.

Warner was taken by Flight for Life to Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital where he was listed in satisfactory condition Wednesday afternoon, a hospital spokesman said.
"It seems like every year we see these kind of accidents," Strand said.

Dorrington provided the following hunting safety tips in the news release:

Always hunt in groups or make sure someone knows where you are and when you are supposed to return.

Carry a walkie-talkie or cell phone to let people know if you are in trouble.

Use a harness system when climbing into tree stands to prevent falls.
Froedtert Memorial Lutheran and the Medical College of Wisconsin recommend wearing a full body harness, since the body will be facing straight up in the event of a fall.

Check and recheck equipment to ensure that it is in working order. In particular, check both permanent and portable tree stands every year before hunting. Look for loose nuts and bolts and dead tree limbs.

Don't go too high. Usually 15 to 20 feet is high enough off the ground to give you a hunting advantage. The likelihood of a serious injury escalates in falls from elevated stands.

Never carry equipment while climbing. Use a haul line to raise or lower gear.

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