LA CROSSE, Wis. — Tree stand injuries are common throughout the hunting season. In fact, a study by the International Hunter Education Association found that one in every three hunters who hunts from a tree stand will fall at some point in their hunting career. Eric Grube, D.O., Emergency Medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Health System — and avid hunter — says with archery and crossbow deer hunting in full swing and gun season approaching, it’s time to re-establish safety practices to prevent accidents from occurring.
“These injuries can easily be avoided if hunters use caution and common sense,” Dr. Grube acknowledges. “Multiple injuries and even death can result from falling asleep, slipping while climbing in or out of the stand and having faulty equipment.”
Dr. Grube emphasizes the use of the safety harness. “It’s a necessary yet simple, preventative measure all hunters can and should use. When using a safety harness, make sure it's fully secured,” he says. He also suggests if you have an older style waist harness, consider purchasing a chest or five-point harness as these provide better support through the upper body and reduce chance of internal organ injuries.