Hunters Should Aim for Safety

On behalf of Robinette Legal Group, PLLC

In early October, it was widely reported that a Pennsylvania man died while deer hunting after his tree stand collapsed, causing him to become suspended by his safety rope.

His death came just days after another a fatality in Maryland when a man fell 25 feet from a tree stand while hunting white-tailed deer. An unattached safety harness was found next to his body.

Both tragedies serve as calls to deer hunters to pay close attention to their tree stands, steps and safety gear. More than half of all hunting accidents nationally are tree stand-related.

Facts and figures compiled by treestandinfo.com are sobering:

  • According to a survey by Deer and Deer Hunting magazine, a third of all hunters who use deer stands will fall from a stand; about three percent of them will suffer severe injuries.
  • Approximately three-quarters of tree stand accidents occur while climbing up or down from the stand.
  • The main causes of tree stand accidents are structural failures of either the stands or steps.
  • A 14-year study of tree stand injuries sustained by 280 hunters in Pennsylvania showed 10 percent of injured hunters were legally intoxicated.

A West Virginia study of tree stand injuries determined which injuries were most common in tree stand falls (because many injured hunters sustain multiple injuries, the figures exceed 100 percent):

  • 47 percent had fractures of their arms or legs
  • 36 percent sustain spinal cord injuries
  • 20 percent sustained head or brain injuries
  • 21 percent had other injuries, categorized as minor

Please remember that your fall restraint system is crucial to staying safe while hunting from a tree stand. The best restraint system includes a full-body harness. You should know and follow the restraint manufacturer's directions for use. You should check your deer stand for wear and tear and that all fastenings are secured.

If you or another member of your hunting party was injured while using a safety restraint or after a deer stand collapses, contact an experienced personal injury attorney for advice about your options.