10/25/11 Indiana Conservation Officers investigated a hunting incident that left a Marshall County deer hunter suffering from pelvic and spinal injuries. On October 15th, Jeremy Bules of Bourbon, Indiana was hanging a tree-stand in a woods he intended to deer hunt. Unknown to him that final step into the tree-stand would have serious consequences. After falling sixteen feet to the ground, Jeremy Bules was fortunate to have his cell phone available to call for medical assistance. Bourbon EMS and Bourbon Fire were able to reach Jeremy Bules in the wooded location with the assistance of Jeremy’s father. Jeremy was airlifted to Memorial Hospital in South Bend by Samaritan helicopter.
Falling from an elevated tree-stand is the most common type of hunting incident and can be avoided by taking the appropriate safety measures. Conservation Officers recommend a fall restraint system such as a safety vest or full body harness be attached to the tree when hunting from a tree-stand. The fall restraint system should be used when ascending or descending the tree also. Safety equipment and tree-stands should be inspected for damage and excessive wear every time a hunter takes to the field. Never underestimate the effect weather has on the materials you are counting on to keep you safe, and keep the time you expose your equipment to the weather at a minimum. Be sure to tell someone where you will be in case the unfortunate happens, and let them know when they should expect your return.