It is archery season for deer hunters in Ohio.
Etna Township resident Dave Wilson says he's been hunting for almost 40 years, loving the opportunity it offers to enjoy the outdoors.
"Dad would take me squirrel hunting when I was a kid,” said Wilson. "It's amazing some of the stuff you see."
Wilson says his best views come after a climb of about 25 feet into his treestand.
But last November, Wilson plummeted from a treestand that gave away after he was in it about three and a half hours.
"Next thing I knew, I was on the ground in a ton of pain,” he explained.
Wilson was flown by medical helicopter to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center with fractures to his elbow, collar bone and one of his vertebrae.
"The back was the big, big pain. I was laid up for a good six weeks,” said Wilson
Emergency room doctors say tree stand falls are all too common in Ohio. In fact, the Division of Wildlife says about one in three hunters will experience a tree stand fall.
"No hunter wants to go through that, especially if it's at the start of hunting season and they didn't get their deer that they wanted,” said Dr. Dave Kaseg, OSU Wexner Medical Center.
Wilson knows that feeling all too well. He says he wants other hunters to avoid his mistake by making sure they have the right gear and that it's free from wear or damage.
"I think it's when you become complacent that that's when you're most vulnerable,” said Wilson.
That's something Wilson says he'll never be again. He recommends hunting with a buddy, carrying a cell phone and letting friends know your specific hunting location.
The Division of Wildlife also recommends using tree stand equipment certified by the Treestand Manufacturers Association.
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