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NC: Hunter dies after falling from tree stand

Hunter dies after falling from tree stand near Crowders Mountain State Park

November 22, 2010

A 51-year-old Ranlo man died in a hunting accident Sunday after he fell approximately 18 feet from a tree stand while hunting white-tailed deer near the Crowders Mountain State Park boundary.

Richard Lamar Broome Jr. of Ranlo was descending from a tree stand when his left leg or left foot became entangled, suspending him in the air for at least a brief period of time, said Chad Arnold, master officer with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Broome was able to make a telephone call to his father around 1 p.m. Sunday and tell him he was OK, but that he had possibly broken his ankle and needed help, Arnold said.

The father made a return call to Broome, but was unable to reach him. The father also called another man who had access to the private land, but Broome was not immediately found.

A search ensued and Broome's left boot and insulated camouflaged pants were found still hanging in the tree. In less than an hour, Broom was found outside his truck 633 feet away from the tree stand. "He crawled some distance to get back to his truck," Arnold said.

Broome did not have any visible injuries although his left foot was covered with a green wool sock and appeared swollen, Arnold said. An autopsy will determine an exact cause of death.

Broome had a rifle with him along with other telltale signs, including a deer call and deer scent, Arnold said. North Carolina law bans hunting with a gun on Sundays.

Gaston County has not had a hunting related death in years. Arnold could not remember the last hunting-related death and he was worked for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission for eight years.

However, the leading cause of hunting deaths in the state and nation involve tree stands, Arnold said. Since 2004, many tree stand manufacturers have included a harness with each stand.

However, most hunters do not wear them.

"It's almost like a machoism," Arnold said. "They feel like it's not something that's going to happen to them and it can happen any time either going up or coming down a tree.

"We just can't drill it into folks' head. It's not if it's going to happen, it's when is it going to happen." Broome's family could not immediately be reached for comment.

Broome was a member of Grace Baptist Church and loved "the Lord, hunting, fishing and his dog Zack," according to his obituary.

He is survived by a daughter, Emily, and parents, Richard and Florence Broome.

The family will receive friends from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday at Grace Baptist Church, followed by a funeral service to celebrate his life.

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