Of more than 11 million whitetail hunters in the U.S., a good portion of those hunters head for their favorite tree stand when bow and gun seasons start in autumn. Did you know that several thousand of these hunters make a fatal mistake each and every year?
Sadly, that’s true. Preliminary research indicates that every year about 2,200 treestand hunters in the U.S. are injured seriously enough to require hospitalization.
Did you also know that 86 percent of treestand falls happen during the transition phase of the hunter’s climb to and from the stand? Accordingly, only 14 percent of hunters fall once they are seated in the treestand.
Here are some more sobering facts about tree stand safety:
• Of treestand falls that occur, 82 percent of the victims were wearing harnesses at the time of their fall; they simply were not connected.
• Tragically, we are also still seeing 20 to 25 deaths per year from treestand falls. This figure has remained relatively the same over the past 20 years despite the fact that more folks are wearing harnesses than ever. This goes back to the 86 percent figure cited above. The harness does you no good if you’re not connected.
My friends at Hunter Safety System are dedicated to educating hunters of the risks of going hunting without using proper gear. It’s a message that needs constant reminders, because it only takes on lapse in judgment to permanently alter your life — and the lives of your loved ones.
“Too many fathers, brothers, sons and daughters are needlessly hitting the ground each year and suffering serious injury, disability and even death,” said Jay Everett, marketing manager for HSS. “We can impact that trend significantly through education.”
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