Chesterton Tribune



Another deer hunter hurt in fall from tree stand

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A Covington, Ind., hunter was seriously injured on Wednesday after falling from his tree stand in Fountain County, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said.

It’s the third such incident in less than a week reported by the DNR.

At 4:18 p.m. Justin Raley, 28, was hunting from an elevated stand around 20 feet off the ground when, according to a witness, Raley stood up in the stand and “without warning fell to the ground.”

A Conservation Officer later determined that the cables designed to hold up the bottom section of the stand broke, after rusting through near the attachment points, the DNR said.

Raley was treated at the scene for internal injuries, difficulty breathing, and a broken wrist and was subsequently airlifted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, the DNR said.

“Raley was not wearing a safety harness,” the DNR added. “Investigators believe that the use of a safety harness could have prevented injury in this case.”

The DNR is reminding hunters that tree stands which were in good condition last year but not removed from the woods should be thoroughly inspected this year prior to use. Metal becomes rusted and wooden steps become weathered. Squirrels are also known to chew the straps used to secure the stand to the tree.

On Tuesday a Demotte hunter apparently fell asleep in his stand in Newton County, fell, and broke a hip. On Monday a Brookville hunter was also injured in a fall from his stand in Franklin County.


Posted 10/3/2013