Any close calls? Did you fall?

Have you ever fallen? Share your story ... it might save someone else's life!
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Any close calls? Did you fall?

Postby shadow » Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:43 pm

Seeing how this is about treestands I am wondering if anyone has ever fallen out of their stand or had a close call?  Had you gotten hurt, and what now do you do differently or would recommend to us.

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RE: Any close calls? Did you fall?

Postby DeerCamp » Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:49 am

i have never fallen out.. and i hope that i never do.. however ill tell ya two storys about 2 people that have. one is a close friend..
so my 2 buds are going out deer hunting they come to an old stand where the boards are nailed to the tree on his property.  my one friend has hunted this stand for years. so he climbs up and gets to the top board when it breaks and he falls 15 feet to the ground. he imiditly has a seziser . at the time they are only 15 and 16 years old with no cell phones in the middle of his property. so my buddy picks him up and trys to take him back to the car. during the process my friend comes to his sense and awakens. he walks back to the car with him as they go to the hospital. it could have been a lot worse than what happend. all that happend was he had a sezer and was unable to hunt for the week. the other case is when im working at home depot lol. i have a guy come up to me that i help and he is waring a shirt that reads " if im laying on the ground put me back in my tree stand." after helping him i asked him about his shirt. he said that he has fallen out of a tree 4 times. i couldnt believe it when he told me it. he said he fell a sleep once, and the other times where just being stupid in the tree. i thought to my self, your lucky to be alive after one and you should have learned you lesson. GET A HUNTERS SAFETY BELT! 
"If I pull the hammer and shoot this young buck, he's dead. But if I pass on him, the next hunter might not shoot so straight."

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RE: Any close calls? Did you fall?

Postby jaildoc » Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:45 am

My first year bowhunting I purchased a climbing tree stand, not mentioning the brand, let's just say it was an "Aging Male". Any how, I used it a few times and was happy with it. One morning I climbed to my desired height and had to move the netted seat to the sitting position, you do this by climbing over it; when I did the shift in weight caused the platform to lose it's purchase and down I went.
I had a strap on and it slid up under my armpits. Once I  dropped I wasn't able to bring down my hands or arms, I was dangling in a hands up position unable to do a thing. I was hunting alone, and no one would look for me till after sundown. After my initial screams of help I collected my thoughts. Luckily I had my bow's tote rope tied to my wrist; I slowly brought the bow up, took an arrow and used the broadhead to cut the strap fully aware that I may break something in the fall. If I didn't  I would lose circulation in my arms for hours, so I felt the fall and possible breaks was a lesser of 2 evils.
After cutting the line what I remember is just being instantaneously sprawled out on the ground and having hit my right elbow pushing it into my shoulder. Luckily I didn't impale myself with my broadhead. I got up and started moving all my limbs to make sure I was okay. I drew my bow to make sure my right arm and shoulder weren't damaged, everything was alright. I sat on a stump, collected my thoughts  and mentally "licked my wounds" for about a half hour. I  then found another tree to climb; just to get back on that horse and hunted the rest of the morning.
That night when I changed I had bruises around my armpits about 7 inches in diameter. I was lucky I didn't snap my back, neck , break limbs or impale myself. BTW I weigh 230 pounds. The irony is that I was thinking about getting a harness system before this happened but thought it was too expensive - WRONG! I never go up without a harness, not a strap but a harness. I owned the Guardian system, and now have the Hunter Safety vest.
(I later returned the stand to Cabelas, they were great, even though it was used they let me exchange it. I now own an API and a Summit and love both of them; they really bite the tree, nice and stable.)

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RE: Any close calls? Did you fall?

Postby Robert Rowland » Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:53 pm

For many years my job put me in a basket on the end of a crane anywhere from ground level to 100ft up. I wore safety harness' all day. When I was in charge of all the crews, I bought new harness' for everyone that are much much more comfortable to wear, and will not cause any problems if you fall. If you want a really nice harness and have no problem spending $200.00 go to a contractors supply house and get the harness called "Exofit" You will need to specify that you want the mid-back D-Ring.
Also get the lanyard with the "fall arrestor" It will absorb the shock of hitting the end of the rope.

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RE: Any close calls? Did you fall?

Postby shaman » Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:06 am

Funny you ask this question.  I just submitted my first story to D&DH magazine based on my 20+ years as a treestand survivor.

I can't claim any falls, but I have had a few very rapid descents.  I always had a safety belt on, so things never got all that bad, but they could have.

The worst was 1988. I had a kit-built climbing stand that was just a platform. You were supposed to go up and down either by bear hugging the tree or using your safety belt to pull yourself up.  I was  twenty  feet up a maple in Switzerland County, Indiana on a frosty October morning when the steel band that went around the tree snapped while my boots were still bungeed on.  The bark was slippery and I rode it all the way to the ground.

About two years later, I had a second one of these kit-built jobs. I was up in Michigan on a WMA. I had added a hand-climber/seat to the kit.  I was sitting on the seat when the platform decided to fall about four feet further down the tree.  I spent the next hour coaxing it back up using my haul rope.  After that trip, the kit-built climbers were sent to the attic.  I never again went up a tree with a climber that did not have the top half attached to the bottom half with a rope.

My first climber that anyone here would recognize was an Amacker.  Back in 1987 they got 300 lb Ben Rogers Lee to endorse  a stand. Since I was a walking landform myself, I decided what was good for Ben was good for me.  They have changed their design many times over since, so please don't take this as a slap against Amacker.  However, I was forever having trouble with the bottom half or the top half slipping.  Usually it was only a few inches, but it always led to a jolt. It was also twice the weight of my kit-built climbers.

It did not help any that I frequently fell asleep on my stand.  Since I wore a safety harness at all times, it wasn't that big a deal. However, you just have not lived until you get jerked awake by your safety harness coming taut over your chest and you wake up and see nothing but air under your feet.  Couple that with the occasional spontaneous letting-go of the stand, and you can see why I thought deer hunting was so exciting in those days.
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RE: Any close calls? Did you fall?

Postby FlDeerman » Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:31 pm

I was hunting out of my Old Man stand(not the stands fault)I learned real quick never shoot a 12ga standing up side ways out of a climbing stand.That time the strap saved my butt.My cousin asked"Did you hit the deer"I told him I was to busy hanging on to everything to care about the deer.All he said was "bow hunters"!!I bow hunted the first ten years I hunted,guns kick a lot harder than bows.LOL OK I felt really stupid after.If you live you learn.

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RE: Any close calls? Did you fall?

Postby shadow » Sun Jul 13, 2008 4:42 pm

I used to use the old style waist strap, now nothing but the HSS vest.                                                       Also...
Has anyone seen Lee from Gettin' close with Lee and Tiffany in a treestand? I don't know if its just me and if i'm missing something but he seems to be the only hunter from any hunting show that does not seem to wear a harness.

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RE: Any close calls? Did you fall?

Postby RNC » Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:07 am

A number of years ago I was climbing down after an evening hunt and the first step I got on had a weld break and dumbed me out before I even knew what happend. I was sore and bruised for a bit but got lucky and didn't break anything. I then went to climbing sticks and now I use a climber and a full body harness.

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RE: Any close calls? Did you fall?

Postby oldrookie » Tue Aug 05, 2008 7:30 am

Yep I have had a moronic moment. Last year I was climbing a tree with my vipor and did not attach the bottom to the top. Just as I got to where I wanted, I was trying to get my toes out from under the hooks and the bottom slid down the tree about 5 feet. Fortunately with the vipor I could sit backwards on the front rail until I could figure out what to do.
2nd moronic moment....I decided I would lower the safety vest strap as low as I could reach then dip myself down between the rails and retrieve the bottom of the climber with my feet. Dumb move. It worked but I dang near hung myself with the safety strap!
Lesson learned....always connect bottom to the top of climber! Be safe fellers.

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RE: Any close calls? Did you fall?

Postby fasteddie » Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:33 pm

Havn't fallen nor had any close calls . I have a HSS and don't go in a stand without it .
I recall the old waist straps and heard some horror stories about them . They seemed like more dangerous than falling and hitting the ground .
The HSS is a bit hefty but it's a great safety device .


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