Gunshots not biggest danger for hunters

November 28, 2010 8:33:41 AM PST
Hunters are taking to the fields and forests these days, for wild game. Unfortunately, some end up in the hospital with injuries.

A new study shows that despite popular belief, most hunters AREN'T injured by gunshots, but by falls.

Ron Horn loves the great outdoors, but he hasn't been able to get out much lately.

Earlier this fall, while preparing the tree stand he uses for hunting deer, he slipped, and fell 2 stories.

Horn remembers, "They found me about 4 o'clock the next day, so I laid there about 20 hours. And it rained all night, and the temperature dropped."

Ron was flown to the Ohio State University medical center, for treatment of hypothermia, and fractures in his hip, 7 ribs, and 2 vertebrae.

Doctors say that's typical of the hunting injuries that turned up in a recent study.

Dr. Charles Cook, the study leader, says, " 50% of our admissions were suffering from falls, usually from their tree stands and only 30% of our admissions were gunshot wounds."

Dr. Charles Cook says that's counter to the common belief about hunting injuries.

And tree stands, which are built to give hunters a height advantage, are particularly risky.

Dr. Cook says, "Most of these aren't falls from 3 or 4 feet, the falls are anywhere from 10 to 15, sometimes 20 or 30 feet."

And most of the time, hunters aren 't wearing a safety harness.

Ron says luckily, his 10-year-old daughter found him after his accident.

Now he wants to prevent other hunters from ending up in that situation.

Hunt tells other hunters, "It just takes one time. One time of overlooking simple safety rules, that can cost you."

Dr. Cook says another surprise in his study was that alcohol was only a factor in about 2 per cent of the accidents.

But darkness did play a bigger role.


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