Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting

PA: Tree stand accidents

September 26, 2010

Make treestand safety a priority Wearing a harness, and using the right kind, critical for hunters

Conway, who is an Information and Education Supervisor with the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Northeast Region Office, saw it firsthand during the early muzzleloader season last year, when he investigated an accident that occurred after a hunter in Wayne County was climbing out of his treestand with the cap in place on his percussion muzzleloader and the hammer cocked.

To make matters worse, the hunter didn't use a rope to lower his gun while he climbed down from his stand.

"He was carrying it in one hand and the gun slipped out, hit a rung of his ladder and fired a 50-caliber round up his leg and through his stomach," Conway said. "He was lucky that no vitals were hit, but he was doing everything wrong."


"There was an incident in Clinton County where an individual slipped and fell out of his stand. He was using a single harness around his chest, and he hung there until he suffocated," Conway said. "A full body harness is definitely the most important piece of equipment that an archery hunter can buy.".

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