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Fatal Treestand Accidents

Falls from treestands, usually by hunters not wearing a high quality safety harness is a major cause of serious hunting accidents and hunting fatalities. A large portion of those deaths or serious falls occurred while ascending or descending the tree. Often by hunters who normally where a harness but either don't bother to wear the harness or do not wear it because they don't know how to easily go up or down while safely attached to the tree or some other safety device.  

Causes of these sometimes deadly falls vary from loss of balance, to treestand failure, improper use of treestands or related safety devices and more.

  1. Virginia - 1999, 3 hunters killed in treestand accidents
  2. Mundy Township, Michigan - November 2002, Bill Goins, 32, killed in while ascending or descending his treestand.
  3. Ohio - 2002 at least two treestand related deaths.
  4. Florida - 2002 hunter killed while pulling loaded gun up to treestand.
  5. North Carolina - October 2003, hunter killed in fall from home made treestand. Later died from his injuries. Not wearing harness.
  6. Indiana - Sonny Michael, 45, fell after a 13-foot-high deer stand collapsed Nov 2003
  7. North Carolina - December 2003, victim fell from homemade treestand no rails. Not wearing harness.
  8. Pennsylvania - Wayne Baum, 76, fell when trying to get into treestand
  9.   August 25, 2004
  10. Bladen County, North Carolina - October 2004, Matthew C. Saunders, Sr., 50, fell from treestand, found at base of his tree by hunting partner.
  11. Lawrence County, Mississippi - October 2004, Rudy Walker, 43, of Monticello, died  after falling 16 feet from a tree while hunting. Walker was not wearing a harness.
  12. Jasper County, Mississippi - October 2004, Christopher Spradley, 22, died of injuries from a fall 25 feet from a tree while hunting. Spradley was not wearing a harness.
  13. Jackson County, Alabama - December 2004, Benjamin Lee Boyanton, 34 of Huntsville, was found at the foot of a tree.
  14. South Carolina - Gerald Holthaus, 62, shot himself in the leg while trying to climb down from a deer stand and bled to death
  15. Sundquist WMA, Tennessee - November 21, 2005. Jeff Shultz, 44 fell approximately 20 feet from his stand. Not wearing a Harness
  16. Seneca Creek State Park, Maryland - November 26 2005, Andre Strickland, 53. Strickland was descending from a tree when he fell and became entangled in his safety harness, police said. Cause of death as accidental hanging.
  17. Pike County township, Pennsylvania - December 1, 2005. Amier Perez, 63, was found next to his tree stand on state gamelands between Shohola Falls and Well Road.
  18. Alleghany County , North Carolina - December 2005. Robert Lee Caudill, 47, was killed when he lowered his gun from his treestand and it discharged and shot him in the leg.
  19. Delta National Forest Mississippi - December 10, 2005 John G. Sheridan, 21 fell 15 feet from his treestand and struck his head on the base of a tree. Not wearing a Harness
  20. Volusia County, Florida - Charles Maclean III died when he fell about 20 feet from his tree stand.
  21. Patoka Lake Reservoir, Indiana - Brian D. Beckman, 46, found hanging upside down with foot wedged in treestand.
  22. Presque Isle County, Michigan - Douglas Mitchell Krawczak, 25, was found dead Wednesday at the base of a tree Nov. 2006
  23. Kent County, Michigan - Warren Lee Snoeyink, 41, was killed when he fell about 25 feet from a tree. He was not wearing a harness.
  24. Monroe Township, Ohio - Albert Klotz, 67, fell from a tree stand and died.
  25. Woodruff, Wisconsin - Kenneth Kloes, 44, died of head injuries when he fell about 25 feet from a tree stand. Nov 2005
  26. Rock County, Wisconsin - Man, 35, hunting from a tree stand in  when the stand, which was in poor condition, began to tilt. The man's shotgun went off and struck him in the upper right thigh, resulting in his death. 2004
  27. Madison County, Iowa - Scott Ferris, 41, likely suffocated when his treestand fell from beneath him, and he was left hanging with a chest type strap harness.
  28. Lafayette County, Arkansas - Ray E. Ulmer, 44, died after falling out of and hanging upside down for his treestand.  November 12, 2007
  29. Indiana - Allen Loftis, 48, of South Haven, died in a 20' fall from his treestand.


Maryland has had 111 tree-stand accidents reported to the state between 1990 and 1998, five were fatal.
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