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TN: Memphis hunter crawls six hours to safety after tree-stand fall

November 13, 2012

By Bryan Brasher, CommercialAppeal.com

After a terrifying 14-foot fall from a tree stand and an excruciating four-hour crawl back to the all-terrain vehicle he used to enter the woods, Memphis resident Bob Thurman won't be hunting as he'd planned on Saturday's opening day of the modern firearms deer season in Tennessee.
 
Instead, he'll be in a hospital bed with a broken left femur, urging others to always practice safety precautions while hunting from elevated tree stands.
 
Thurman, 47, suffered the fall Friday afternoon as he tried to attach a ladder stand to a tree on a friend's hunting property off Jernigan Road in Fayette County. He was still hospitalized at The Med awaiting transfer to a rehab facility Tuesday evening.
 
"I was out there trying to attach a 14-foot ladder stand to a tree by myself, and I knew better than that," Thurman said. "When you're hanging a ladder stand, you always need two people — one up in the stand and one on the ground making sure it doesn't fall. I didn't follow that rule, and it almost killed me."
 
Tree-stand falls are the leading cause of hunting-related accidents in Tennessee. There were eight tree-stand accidents during the 2011-12 hunting season — an increase from five accidents the previous season — including one fatality.

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