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

NY: Hard lesson: Upstate NY hunter falls, breaks back after treestand collapses

October 25, 2017

From David Figura,

Wade King considers himself one lucky deer hunter. One who learned a very important safety lesson - the hard way.

Monday afternoon, King, 21, of Brookfield, N.Y., fell some 16 feet when he sat up to adjust the seat on his treestand and the strap holding the stand to the tree broke. King and the stand went tumbling to the ground, and the hunter hit his back on a rotten log. Although he owns a safety harness, he said he just got lazy and didn't bother bringing it.

"Thank God that log was rotten," the Madison County resident said, adding that it softened the blow a little. Still, King entered up fracturing his back (T-11) and chipping two of his teeth.

King was hunting on his parents' property in Brookfield when the accident occurred. When he hit the ground, King's girlfriend, Natalie Gould, came rushing to help. She was hunting nearby on the ground. King had her call 911.

King said that for about five minutes he couldn't move and got scared.

"I finally was able to raise my legs. It was then that I realized I wasn't paralyzed and started to cry," he said.

Volunteers from the Brookfield Fire Department soon arrived, stabilized his neck, put him on a backboard and transported him out of the woods using two ATVs. He was then transported by Bridgewater Ambulance to St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Utica. He walked out of the hospital just before noon today wearing a back brace.

He said he's through with bowhunting for this year. "I can't pull the string back." He said he might still get out again for the firearms season.

"But not from a treestand," he quickly added.

His message to others who hunt from stands: "To the manly man who has kids at home and doesn't need no harness, wear the damn thing. I wish I did," he said.

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