Hunter, 80, seriously hurt after falling while trying to climb into tree stand

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("Hunting" by m01229, CC BY 2.0)

An 80-year-old deer hunter was seriously hurt when he fell 20 feet, last week, as he was trying to climb into his deer stand. Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources Conservation officers say the accident could have been prevented, had Kenneth Nord been wearing a full body safety harness. They stress that in their hunter safety courses.

“Every hunting season that seems to be our number one incident, where someone fell out of their tree stand,” said Tim Beck, in charge of Hunter Education for DNR, on Indiana Outdoors radio.

He said the state’s hunter education courses stress safety, with tree stand safety being a priority.

“Just about every time it could have been prevented by some basic safety equipment.”

Beck and other conservation officers say the harness has saved lives, and should be basic equipment.

“If they are gonna go hunting, make sure they’re telling somebody. If they’re using an elevated platform, make sure they’re using a safety harness. Make sure they’re staying connected, not only when they’re going up the tree, but when they’re coming down,” he said.

If you take the in-person version of the hunter safety course, you have the opportunity to put your hands on one of those harnesses before you go out into the field and get in a tree stand.

“We do spend a lot of time on that and we do have the equipment at the classes and we show it. You can walk up and feel it. If you’ve got a question you can ask about it,” said Beck.

He said the courses are good for anyone who is getting started hunting, or as a refresher for people who are experienced.

“One of the biggest things we promote is safety and the key to safety is education,” he said. “We instruct on all the different firearms and archery equipment that’s out there. we talk a little bit about preparing for the hunt. We talk about first aid.”

Beck said the course is able to prepare you for hunting not just in Indiana, but anywhere. He said the DNR had reciprocity with other states, and the curriculum covers universal concepts.

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