A team of medical researchers in Pennsylvania carried out a study on tree stand falls. Their study of the database of emergency rooms and trauma centers covered the period 1987-2001. During that time 280 hunters received treatment for tree stand falls. Of the 280 hunters, 6 died after falling from their stands. The main findings from the study were:
- The highest rate of falls were in the 50-59 year age group
- The median height for the falls was 18 feet [falls ranged from 4 feet to 40 feet]
- 63% [176 hunters] had some alcohol in their blood
- 10% [17 hunters] were legally intoxicated
Common injuries from falls included broken bones, spinal cord injuries and brain damage.
A survey in Deer and Deer Hunting magazine on injuries from tree stands found 39.4% reported cuts and bruises, 25.5% reported muscles or ligaments torn or strained, 12.2% reported broken bones, and 3% reported permanent crippling.
A team of researchers conducted a study in West Virginia on the type of injuries resulting from tree stand accidents. The study covered a 6 year period from 1994-1999 and included 90 hunters.
There were 7 deaths. The results were:
- 47% had fractures of the legs or arms, 36% had a spinal fracture, 20% had a head injury, 21% had other minor injuries
- Majority of accidents involved homebuilt as opposed to commercial stands
- Most hunters were not wearing safety straps or harnesses.
A hunter in Granby fell 40 feet out of a tree stand in 2005. His injuries included hip and pelvis separations, leg fractures and an ankle injury. He was very lucky he was not killed.
Not everyone is as lucky as the hunter in Granby. Looking at a few of the deaths over the last year provides an insight into the main cause:
- Alleghany County, North Carolina – December 2005. Hunter  killed when he lowered his gun from a tree stand and it discharged and shot him in the leg
- Delta National Forest Mississippi – December 10, 2005. Hunter  fell 15 feet from his tree stand and struck his head on the base of a tree – not wearing a harness
- Pike County township, Pennsylvania – December 1, 2005. Hunter  found dead next to his tree stand
- Sundquist WMA, Tennessee – November 21, 2005. Hunter  fell 20 feet from his tree stand – not wearing a harness