As the winter season approaches, so does various hunting seasons, one of which has already begun in Illinois. Hunting seasons are designated times where it is legal to hunt particular kinds of animals, the most popular animal to hunt being deer. In Illinois, the deer hunting seasons include archery from October 1st through January 19th, muzzleloader season is December 5th through 8th as well as December 13th through 15th, firearms season is November 22nd through the 24th and then again from December 5th through 8th, and the youth firearms hunt is October 12th through 14th. The Illinois wild turkey hunting season for fall firearms is October 19th through 27th and the archery season is October 1st through January 19th. These seasons typically take place when the animal population being hunted is at its highest and not during the peak breeding season. While the fun of hunting season brings excitement to hunters, the season also presents potential hazards.
One of these dangers includes injuries related to tree stands, which are usually situated about 20 to 30 feet in the air. Tree stands are the number one cause of serious injury and death to deer hunters and statistics reveal that more than one-third of hunters who use tree stands will be involved in a fall sometime during their hunting careers. These injuries can include broken bones, arm and hip fractures, and injuries to the head, neck, and spine. Particularly hazardous to hunters is the wearing of jewelry or accessories, such as rings or watches, while hunting and using a tree stand. If a hunter were to slip while wearing these accessories, the objects can catch on parts of the stand or tree branches, which can cause serious damage to the affected limb. Due to this, hunters are urged to ensure tree stand safety by wearing a full-body harness and leaving jewelry and accessories at home. Additionally, some safety tips related to tree stands include:
- Select a proper tree that is alive and healthy without any noticeable rot or damage, before hanging a fixed-position stand or climbing stand.
- Never hunt from a tree stand without a secure and high-quality safety harness.
- Monitor and inspect safety harnesses and tree stands before and during the hunting season to check for wear and tear or possible damage.
- Inspect ladders, steps, and tree stand attachments to make sure they are tightly secured.
- Never climb up a tree stand with anything in your hands or attached to your back.
- Use the haul line to pull-up gear, bows, or unloaded firearms.
- Let family and friends know the exact location of your tree stand that you are currently hunting in.
- Be aware of slippery and hazardous climbing conditions and take the appropriate precautions.
Remembering these safety tips related to tree stands can help ensure that you have a safe hunting season free from injury. However, you are still susceptible to injuries during hunting season even when exercising safe hunting practices from a faulty tree stand or equipment. If you or a loved one have suffered from an injury due to the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to compensation. By contacting one of our attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. you can discuss your legal options and receive a free consultation.