from C.A.S.H. Committee To Abolish Sport Hunting

Tree stand falls a preventable hunting accident

October 18, 2017

From Bill Powel,

As a Dubois County hunter recovers from a weekend fall from a tree stand, state officials are sharing information about how to avoid the most common of hunting accidents.

Paul Moore, 77, of Holland, fell approximately 15 feet Sunday from a tree stand in Pike County. Indiana Conservation Officers said the fall caused several broken bones and a collapsed lung.

The incident took place on the Sugar Ridge Fish and Wildlife Area property north of Arthur around 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Authorities said a hunting partner heard him fall, went back to his location and administered CPR. First responders were able to get him to an ambulance where he was stabilized and transported to an area he could be transferred to a helicopter and flown to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville.

A spokeswoman at the Vanderburgh County hospital is reporting that Moore is stable. Additional information on his condition was not available.

Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Cpl. Joseph Haywood says most hunting accidents in Indiana involve elevated tree stands.
“This past hunting season,” Haywood said, “a little over 60 percent of our hunting-related accidents involved falls from tree stands. We had 27 total.”
DNR said Moore’s accident was the seventh tree stand fall of this early deer season. Officers say Moore was not wearing any type of safety harness when he fell. He lost his grip as he was climbing into the stand, causing him to fall backward, they reported.

Wearing a proper safety harness is important, officials say. A full-body harness, similar to a rappelling harness, is better than just a belt. Haywood says the full-body harness is by far a hunter’s best choice.

Hunters should wear harnesses when climbing up to their stands and when descending, not just when they’re on their stands.

Officials say it’s important to inspect tree stands before using them to ensure they are in good condition. Commercial stands are recommended because they have to pass safety guidelines, Haywood says.

Many of those tested, manufactured stands are made from metal and come with safety harnesses.

The Treestand Manufacturer’s Association tests stands and puts its stamp of approval on the ones that meet its standards. Hunters can look for that TMA stamp.

The deer archery season that started Oct. 1 runs through Jan. 7. Firearms season is Nov. 18 to Dec. 3. Muzzleloader season runs from Dec. 9 to 24.

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