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OH: Ohio hunter dies after fall from tree stand

Ohio hunter dies after fall from tree stand
By JOE ARNOLD . For The Advocate .
December 1, 2008

STOUTSVILLE - A 60-year-old hunter died Monday morning after apparently falling from a deer hunting tree stand near the Fairfield County-Pickaway County line.

Dennis Dale Farmer, of Lowber, Pa., was pronounced dead at the scene by firefighters from the Clearcreek Fire Department shortly after the call was received around noon by the Fairfield County Sheriff's Office.

The death was the first hunting-related death Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen said he was aware of in the county. Deer-gun hunting season began Monday in Ohio.

The accident occurred at 10370 Wyandotte Road, Stoutsville. Farmer, who fell an estimated 18 to 20 feet, was hunting on family-owned land, Phalen said.

"We don't know if it was an accidental fall or one as a result of a medical condition," he said. "We've scheduled an autopsy to find that out."

Detectives from the Sheriff's Office, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Clearcreek Fire Department arrived after the initial call was received.

According the ODNR's Web site, one in three hunters will experience a fall from a tree stand in his or her hunting career.

"Tree stand accidents are the leading cause of hunter injuries in Ohio and most of the U.S.," said Ron Rogers, the district law enforcement supervisor. "A lot of them just are not utilizing good, proven tree stand safety techniques."

Rogers, who taught tree stand safety for eight years, said he believes Monday's death was the first this year in central Ohio.

"Most tree stand accidents occur either climbing up and getting into it or getting out or climbing back down tree stands. Others are from not setting them up correctly.

"Our basic hunter's education course teaches how to do that properly and safely."  

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