Tri States Public Radio Staff
Most Deaths Involve Tree Stands
Thu March 14, 2013
Falls Deadlier than Guns in Hunting Accidents
In Iowa and Illinois last year 5 people died in hunting incidents. Though the majority of deaths did not involve firearms.
Last year there were fifteen hunting incidents involving fire-arms in Illinois with one death. In Iowa there and thirteen fire-arm related accidents with no deaths.
There were two deaths in each state involving falls from tree stands.
Jeff Hopkins is a safety educator with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
He said most tree stand injuries and deaths are preventable if hunters properly use fall-arrest systems, commonly known as "deer harnesses.".
He said people need to realize that guns are not the only dangerous parts of hunting.
"But that mindset of when you actually take a firearm or you climb a tree, which one do you feel is more unsafe or you are going to be more careful and more alert with?" Hopkins asked, "when you have the firearm in your hand."
Hopkins advises that with turkey hunting season coming up, hunters enroll in a hunter safety course.
The Iowa DNR is also recommends hunter safety courses. Enrollment for courses in both states is now open.