Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting

AL: Auburn hunter falls from tree stand

Published: January 8, 2009

An Auburn man was flown by medical helicopter to a Columbus, Ga., hospital Wednesday night after he fell approximately 20 feet from a tree stand while hunting.
The 27-year-old man was hunting in an area near North Donahue Drive and Crescent Boulevard when the incident happened between 5 and 5:45 p.m., Auburn police Capt. Tom Stofer said.

Auburn Fire Division crews had to walk into a wooded area to reach and assist the man, Auburn fire Chief Lee Lamar said. The man reported having neck and back pain, Lamar said.
Due to the nature of the man’s injuries, he was taken by Omniflight helicopter to The Medical Center in Columbus, Ga., Lamar said.

The state’s hunting education coordinator says tree-stand accidents are number one among hunting accidents in the state.

“The vast majority of hunters that fall from a stand either don’t have a harness on, or they have it on and haven’t attached it to the tree yet,” said Ray Metzler, coordinator with the Wildlife and Fisheries Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

“We tell everyone in our hunter education classes you wear a harness on from the time they leave the ground to the time you come back down,” Metzler said.
Whether the local hunter was wearing a harness and the circumstances of the fall were not available.
Metzler said that he thinks the majority of the tree stand accidents go unreported.

There have been seven tree-stand accident reports so far this year, and all of those have been non-fatal.

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