It is impossible to know exactly how many hunters are injured every year from tree stand accidents because:
- Not all accidents are reported
- Not everyone who falls seeks medical attention
- Not all tree stand accidents are recorded as a category by themselves in hospitals
- Recording varies from State to State
- There is no national collection of data
A 1993 survey conducted by Deer and Deer Hunting magazine found that more than a third [37%] of tree stand hunters will at some time fall from a stand, and that about 3 % will suffer crippling injuries.
Of all the tree stand accidents, 75-80% occurs while climbing up or down.
Most hunters injured were not wearing a safety harness/vest.
Some reports have indicated that as many as 500 hunters are killed every year across North America due to accidents involving tree stands. There are another 5,000 to 7,000 permanently disabled and a further 10,000 to 15,000 hunters sustain less serious injuries.
In 2005/2006 in the Georgia hunting season, 54% of all hunting accidents were tree stand accidents  with 2 fatalities. Both fatalities saw the victim falling from the stand. One hunter fell asleep in his stand and then fell 17 feet breaking his neck. The other fatality involved a hunter who was descending his stand, lost his grip, fell and died of internal injuries.
The severity of injuries tends to increase with the distance the victim falls, however even short falls can cause spinal injuries and paralysis or death.
The main contributors were:
- Improper stand installation and
- Improper use
The majority of falls were due to:
- Structural failure of stands and steps, especially those that are homebuilt and wooden
So how can we avoid injury or death when we are tree stand hunting?
See our section on safety in treestands as well as accidents in treestands.