Some years ago I drove over to the Woodbury Wildlife Area to do a little bow hunting. I was sitting in my tree stand that morning when I heard a hundred yards or so away, the sound of a crash, breaking branches, a sodden thud, and some of the most colorful language I've heard in years. Ten minutes or so later I saw a man limp past supported by his partner, still cursing. He'd obviously fallen out of his tree stand.
Both archery hunters and gun hunters who use tree stands, are definitely more prone to accidents than ground hunters. Those who use bows or crossbows have weaponry that is (literally) razor sharp and potential for injury greater, but gun hunters with their pumpkin balls or Sabot slugs can have serious injuries, too. In fact, in a reader survey by Deer and Deer Hunting Magazine, 37 percent of respondents reported having been injured while climbing a tree to hang a tree stand. And there's little doubt that a goodly percentage of the rest had fallen out of a tree stand and been injured or at least badly bruised. Worse of all, two Ohio tree stand hunters have already died this year after falling out of their high perches.