Hunting Injuries Not Always Caused by Fire but by Falling

If you hear 'hunter safety one of the first things that comes to mind is weapons, but guns aren't always the problem.

Accidental discharge is the most common beginner mistake, but a new survey shows injuries aren't always due to accidental fire.

Marvin Henry used to be an avid hunter.

"I killed one in 76, 92, 94, 99, and 2007," said Henry.

He has each one hanging, his biggest catch a 12-pointer, but for the past 25 years he's taught hunter education courses in Archer County.

"If you're not using a gun it should be unloaded, if you store it at home it should be unloaded, and if there's small children around the ammunition it should be some place away," said Henry.

Most of what he teaches is about using a gun properly, but a new survey shows nowadays it's not always the gun causing the problems.

Conducted in Ohio the study says half of all hunting related accidents are from falling, 92-percent are from tumbling down a tree stand.

"It's 15 feet to the seat or 20, you can buy them any height you want, most of the ones I've seen aren't really strong metal," he said.

Depending on the fall you can brake bones, ribs, and even cause spinal cord injuries that could paralyze you, the best way to protect yourself it to wear a safety harness.

"It's just a deal that fits around you and it's tied to the tree and if you do fall you're not falling
to the ground, you may be suspended but you won't fall and hurt yourself."

Henry says tree stands aren't as common in Texoma because of the types of trees that grow here, but when you do use them he says always strap yourself in.

Anyone born after September of 1971 is also required to take a Texas hunter education course.