At least eight Indiana hunters have fallen from elevated stands since the archery deer hunting season opened Oct. 1, in what state wildlife officials say is typically the most common hunting accident.
One such accident happened Sunday in western Indiana’s Vigo County. Dave Archer, 60, of Rosedale fell about 20 feet from his hunting stand, state conservation Officer Max Winchell said. Archer was able to use a cellphone to call for help and was taken to an Indianapolis hospital in critical condition, the Tribune-Star reported.
Winchell said Archer fell asleep, leading to the fall.
“This is a common accident,” Winchell said. “Accidents involving tree stands are the No. 1 hunting accident.”
About 100 tree-stand falls have been reported to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources over the past five years, out of some 180 hunting accidents, agency spokesman Phil Bloom said.
Most of those who fell from tree stands were not wearing any form of fall prevention device, which could have prevented serious injury, Bloom said. The agency recommends hunters wear a full-body harness, which is attached to the tree as soon as they being to climb and prevents them from falling from a slip or after falling asleep.
Indiana’s firearm deer hunting season starts Saturday and ends Nov. 30, while the archery season continues until Jan. 4. Muzzleloader season runs from Dec. 6 until Dec. 21.
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