Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > 2005

Deer Hunter Dies After Falling From Tree

Washington Post 11/28/05 B3 Metro in Brief

A Frederick man died after he fell from a tree stand and became entangled in his safety harness on the opening day of firearms deer hunting season, the Maryland Natural Resources Police said yesterday.

Rescuers found Andre Strickland, 53, about midnight Saturday in Seneca Creek State Park off River Road in Montgomery County. Strickland was descending from the tree when he got caught in the harness, police said. The state medical examiner's office classified the death as an accidental hanging.

A friend who had last seen Strickland entering the woods at 4:30 a.m. Saturday became worried after he was unable to reach Strickland on his cell phone for several hours. Montgomery police aided in the search, which involved several dozen law enforcement officers and search and rescue dogs.

Statistics kept by Natural Resources Police show that falls from tree stands are the leading cause of hunting injuries but that they are rarely fatal.

Two other men suffered minor injuries in tree-stand accidents Saturday. Neither was wearing a safety harness.

Much as those charged with highway safety urge automobile passengers to wear their seat belts, Natural Resources officials urge hunters to wear safety harnesses. The fact that a harness was involved in Strickland's death should not dissuade people from heeding that advice, Sgt. Ken Turner said.

"This was a fluke," he said. "It was a very tragic accident because this gentleman did everything he was supposed to do."


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