Mar 18, 2013

Number of tree stand injuries of concern to medical profession

EATON—Hunter Education instructors Richard Francis and H.K. Steiner of Eaton, attended the annual Ohio Hunter & Trapper Education Instructors Association (OHTEIA) workshop in Reynoldsburg on Feb. 23.

Division of Wildlife personnel spoke on pending legislation the Ohio General Assembly may consider. Matt Ortman, DOW Outdoor Skills Administrator, reported 1500 Ohio volunteer instructors were active and in 2012, 500 instructors were removed from the certified instructors were removed from the certified instructors roster. In 2012, 125 new instructors were certified. Ortman reported volunteer instructors certified 16, 311 students in hunter education and 766 were certified in trapper education during the fiscal year, July 1, 2012-Feb. 21, 2013. He added, “The instructors are ordinary people doing extra ordinary things.” In 2012 instructors contributed 14,931 hours toward hunter and trapper education. Ohio instructors are not compensated for their instruction and time; nor does the Division of Wildlife charge fees for services provided to hunter and trapper education.

The featured speaker, Dr. Charles Cook, M.D., chief trauma surgeon at the OSU Medical Center gave statistics collected over a period of 16 years in central Ohio. Cook’s major concerns were the number of tree stand incidents, the nature of the injuries, the ages of the victims of tree stand falls, and the type of hunting the injured was participating in during the incident. He urged the instructors to continue to stress tree stand safety and to outline procedures that can be taken to avoid serious injuries, by properly using safety harnesses and safe tree stands. Statistics show that shooting incidents are not the main cause of injuries while hunting and trapping. Tree stand incidents are far more frequent and dangerous.

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