Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?

Hunter dies after falling from tree stand

October 19, 2011

Fropm WBTV.com

ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) – The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is investigating a hunting incident over the weekend in Honea Path, SC where a hunter fell 18 feet from a tree stand and died.

Maurice Barnett has been a hunter for more than 20 years and also sells hunting equipment at Sportsman Inc. in Rock Hill, but three years ago when climbing his tree stand a strap broke, and he fell more than ten feet.

"I got knocked out I don't know how long I was knocked out or anything but I didn't break any bones and I was sore for a few days," said Barnett.

Barnett was lucky because in 2010 the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources says they had a total of 30 hunting accidents, 11 of which were people falling from tree stands, 1 of those people died.

Barnett says there are a few simple things a hunter can do to be safe when out in the woods.

The absolute first thing a hunter should do before even entering the woods is call someone and let them know where you plan on hunting.

"Text somebody to let them know when you're there text them when you're leaving," said Barnett.

Also when you go hunting you're probably going to be wearing some camouflage so try to wear something orange so other hunters can see you and if you do fall from a stand those searching for you can find you quickly.

SC DNR says most all tree stand incidents happen when climbing in or out of the stand.

"You should always inspect your equipment each and every time you use it I don't care if you used it yesterday it don't take but a minute to inspect it," said Barnett.

Barnett says he's sold more hunting safety equipment this year than he's ever sold in 15 years in the industry.

Then the number one complaint customers sometimes say to Barnett about safety harnesses is the price, his answer to those people is simple.

"If you ever actually had to use that safety harness, that would be the best money you've ever spent in your life," said Barnett.

To promote safe hunting, South Carolina DNR is partnering with Hunter Safety Systems to give away one Free tree stand safety harness in each Hunter Education course in November and December.

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