I was talking with Jay Everett of Hunter Safety System the other day about the number of treestand fatalities that have already taken place for the 2017/2018 hunting season. Jay passed along some information he received from Glen Mayhew, president of the Tree Stand Safety Awareness foundation. Sadly, there has already been 9 treestand fatalities that have made media coverage. It’s a grim reminder that we need to tighten up. We need to preach the use of the Lifeline. It’s not enough to simply wear a harness and anchor in once you climb into the stand. The accidents are happening as hunters are ascending or descending the stand, and when they are working on stands.
One story in particular making the rounds in the media is the fall of Kansas City Royals manager, Ned Yost. Yost, an avid deer hunter, fell from his treestand recently. The accident nearly cost him his life.
“I reached around to hook into the tree, and right as I grabbed my strap to reach up to hook into the tree, it was like a hangman’s gallow, the stand just let go – down I went,” Yost said. “It was a massive fracture of the pelvis, and I’m glad to be alive.”
As the number of treestand fatalities grows, Yost is thankful that he’s not on that side of the statistics. As bad as it was, he counts his blessings that he escaped with only a fractured pelvis and broken ribs.
“There’s no doubt I would have bled out if I didn’t have my cellphone with me,” he said. “There was nobody that was coming. Nobody would have found me. I would have been dead by nightfall.”
After calling his wife and son for help, Yost was airlifted from the scene and taken to a nearby hospital.
“Once I got to the hospital, they got me on the table, and all of a sudden I felt a shot. The doctor had drilled a hole through my leg and through my bone and inserted a rod into it,” Yost said.
“I kept asking, ‘What are you doing?’ The trauma surgeon said, ‘We got to do this to save your life.’ I’m like, ‘Save my life? What are you talking about?’ What I didn’t notice was that they kept giving me units of blood. They gave me seven or eight units of blood. They said, ‘Look, your pelvis is full of blood vessels and arteries, and when you shatter it like you did, you have a lot of bleeding in there. We have to get it stopped.'”
Yost is expected to be wheelchair bound for the next few months as he recovers from his treestand accident.
Again, make sure you’re anchored to the tree from the time your feet leave the ground with the Lifeline system. Treestand accidents would pretty much be a thing of the past if hunters would use the Lifeline. Check them out at www.huntersafetysystem.com.