More Georgians Injured Annually in Tree Stand Accidents than Shootings
GEORGIA – According to an online news story from wsbradio.com, more Georgians are injured every year in tree stand accidents than in incidents with firearms. Hunters should follow safety rules to prevent injuries from tree stand accidents.*
Many hunters in the state of Georgia like tree stands because of the better vantage point and the possibility of removing scents that might scare away game. However, numerous hunters, even very experienced hunters, are injured every hunting season in the state after falling out of tree stands. Thirty-four such accidents occurred in Georgia during the 2016-2017 hunting season. More than half of these – 15 – resulted in broken bones, fractured spines, and collapsed lungs. Since 2010, nine people have died in Georgia from tree stand accidents.
Most of these accidents involve lack of safety gear, including harnesses. Bobby Noland, of Harris County, Georgia, is an avid hunter and often uses a tree stand. Noland recently fell about 30 feet from a tree stand while hunting in Helen, Georgia. He was not using a harness or lifeline and badly crushed his ankles during the fall. He had to crawl a quarter-mile off the mountain to reach help because he had been hunting alone.
After six surgeries, Noland is finally out of a wheelchair and working again. He still hunts and still uses tree stands but now always follows two safety rules, he says.
“One, get you a safety harness and a lifeline, which hooks up at the bottom, and you keep that lifeline all the way up,” Noland said. “And two, don’t go hunting by yourself.”
Industry experts and specialists with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources say hunters should buy tree stands, rather than making them at home, and follow all of the instructions for safety and installation that come with the stands.
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