Alton, IL

Most Hunting Injuries From Tree Stand Falls

Story by WBGZ Radio

The second portion of Illinois’ seven-day firearm deer-hunting season starts Nov. 30, and state officials are reminding hunters of ways to keep safe.

A news release from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said there were 29 hunting injuries in the state last year. The release said 23 of those incidents involved hunters falling from tree stands. Ed Cross, director of communications for the department, said hunters should always check the condition of their stand before using it.

“If you’re going to be 15 to 20 feet in the air, the last thing you want is a tree stand that isn’t installed properly,” Cross said. “You want to make sure bolts aren’t rusty and falling apart and you want to make sure your straps are intact and aren’t falling apart.”

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The release reminded hunters to use a fall arrest system safety harness and said more than 80 percent of reported tree-stand accidents nationally involved hunters who did not use the system. Hunters should treat every firearm as if it were loaded, always point firearms in safe directions, be mindful of where they are targeting and keep their fingers off the trigger guard or trigger until ready to shoot.

“When you’re out hunting, be sure of the target you are shooting at,” Cross said. “Make sure there are no other hunters, no homes, no buildings, and there are no other vehicles or animals beyond the target.” Cross also said hunters should make sure to check their firearms after a long day of hunting. “So when you go out to the field and you load up for a hunt, when you get done at the end of the day, make sure you unload it,” Cross said. “Make sure you check it thoroughly before putting it away.”

 (Copyright WBGZ Radio /


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