Local Experts Weigh In On Deer Stand Dangers

Reported by: Alisha Searl
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Updated: 11/15/2013 6:31 pm
Some hunters get so excited about bagging that 8-point buck that they forget about a few things that are needed to keep them safe.

Ray King, District Director of Environmental Health in Whitfield County, says, "I've had many friends that have been injured that I know of."

King is not just talking about injured egos, he's talking about broken bones and hypothermia.

He says more than a third of all deer stand hunters will fall from a stand some time in their lives.

King adds, "Of those, half will break a bone."

About three percent of those who fall will suffer permanent injuries like paralysis.

My father is actually a part of that statistic.

He fell 20 feet out of a deer stand and broke his 6th and 7th vertebrae.

He was paralyzed from the neck down.

Jason Osgatharp, the Environmental Health Manager in Murray County, says, "You may be at the top of the stand and a piece of that wood could break off.  It could cause you a possible fatal fall."

That's why these experts with the North Georgia Health District say use a metal stand instead of a wood stand.

Even pressure treated wood can rot over time.

Osgatharp adds, "The nails will actually rot to where they can't support the wood anymore."

These experienced hunters also say metal stands can rust, so check them over every year.

Osgatharp adds, "A lot of deer hunters like to get 25-30 feet in the air and a lot of times it's just not necessary." 

Five to ten feet off the ground is good enough, he says.

Osgatharp adds, "Pick a white oak or pine, that way it can bite in and give you a lot of grip."

Wearing blaze orange can also ensure that you'll be around to enjoy yet another hunting season.

Experts also say you should look for equipment that is cerified by the Treestand Manufacturers Association.

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