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Avoidable Treestand Accidents are On the Rise

Bow hunter demonstrating good safety technique using a haul line to bring up his bow into a ladder s

Falling from a treestand is the most common hunting accident and easily avoidable. 

Since the deer archery season opened on Oct. 1, eight hunters have fallen from elevated treestands in Indiana, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Resources. State officials say this is one of the most common hunting accidents. This holds true in nearly every other state as well.

The most recent treestand fall victim is Dave Archer of Rosedale, Ind. On Sunday, Nov. 9, Archer fell about 20 feet from his hunting stand. He was able to use a cell phone to call for help and Vigo County rescuers transported him to an Indianapolis hospital where he was in critical condition. Conservation Officer Max Winchell said Archer fell asleep, leading to the accident. Winchell reiterated;

This is a common accident … accidents involving treestands are the number one hunting accident.

Out of 180 hunting accidents that were reported in Indiana in the past five years, approximately 100 were treestand falls, according to agency spokesman Phil Bloom. Many of those that fell were not wearing any form of fall prevention device which could have prevented serious injury, Bloom said.

The Treestand Manufacturer’s Association publishes a list of treestand safety guidelines that includes always wearing a full body harness meeting TMA standards, having a rescue plan including a cell phone and signal device and knowing the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation, use and maintenance. Get a treestand harness from Sportsman’s Guide.

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Sportsman’s Guide

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources further recommends using a harness system that the hunter can attach to immediately on the ground before beginning their climb and prevents falling from a slip or after falling asleep. Get a full treestand from Sportsman’s Guide.

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Sportsman’s Guide

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Avoidable Treestand Accidents are On the Rise