Balance: the Key to Treestand Safety
Article written by Dr. Brooks Tiller of www.HealthyHunter.tv
When we leave the rat race behind us and venture into the wild, we face dangers alone. We are often the only one around for miles and have no one else to rely upon. And our inner primal man loves it!
The thrill of the hunt. The peacefulness of nature. Our primitive calling being released.
Of all the dangerous situations, positions, and creatures that we may encounter; the most dangerous is US! Yes, we are our biggest danger. We often see a decline in our physical fitness due to a lack of activity in our modern society. Our balance has also fallen victim to our modern way of life.
Many studies have been conducted on the prevalence of deer hunters falling from stands. Some hypothesize that as many as 1/3 of deer hunters will fall from a stand during their hunting life. And since the “average hunter” that falls is a 42-year-old male, I’d be willing to bet the farm that most falls aren’t reported. Most studies have focused the research on incidents reported to larger trauma hospitals during the winter months. So many of these studies don’t show minor injuries that don’t require hospitalization or even those falls that may occur while hunters are preparing for the season.
- 1/3 of hunters will fall
- 52% had spinal fracture
- 72% of those with spine injury had long term neurologic effects
- 1 out of 4 had brain injury
- 37% sustained a cervical spine injury
- 60% required surgery
- 41% suffered an extremity fracture
- Average of 10 days in the hospital
So if 1/3 fall during their lifetime, do you want to gamble with these stats? The best way to prevent falls is to wear a safety harness because the majority of reported falls were not wearing a harness. And those that reported wearing a harness had a far less risk of suffering from a brain injury or having long term debilitating effects.
The second best way to prevent falls is to improve our balance and fitness levels. While this is a process that will take longer than putting on our harness, it will decrease our falls in and out of the wilderness.
So make sure to wear your harness this fall. Not only when hunting but also when putting out stands as you prepare for the coming season. Always wear your harness when climbing into a tree. It only one small slip this fall to ruin your whole season. Wear your harness and stay safe.
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