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Poseyville Man Dead After Hunting Accident

November 26, 2011

By Ryan, Braschler, TristateHomePage.com

Deer hunting season is in full swing and Southern Indiana may have its first hunting related death. A Poseyville man is dead after police found his body lying at the base of a tree in Daviess County.

Police believe John Mattingly, 53, was deer hunting and fell twelve feet to his death from a tree stand. According to one study, tree stand accidents account for half of all hunting related accidents. We found out how hunters can stay safe when using this type of equipment. Daviess County deputies say John Mattingly went out alone to bow hunt for deer northwest of Washington and did not return. When he didn't answer or return phone calls his family contacted the Sheriff. Daviess County officials believe Mattingly fell to his death from his tree stand. Indiana Conservation Officer Mike Kellner says tree stand accidents are much more common than gun related hunting accidents. He says this can happen to even the most experienced hunters.

Larry Fichter is an avid hunter and manages buck's and Jake's Outfitters. He says the best way to prevent falling is to wear a harness. Harnesses are one way for hunters to attach themselves to the tree so they don't fall all the way to the ground.

Fichter says most falls he's heard of are the result of a hunter falling asleep in their tree stands. Fichter says the harnesses aren't cheap, but they're one piece of equipment that can save a hunters life.

As of now we are awaiting the results of Mattingly's autopsy. The Indiana Conservation Office says Mattingly was wearing a harness, but they are still investigating whether or not it was used correctly.

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