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Word of Warning
Folks, I am 73 and in pretty god shape. A couple hours ago, while moving a ladder stand, I fell about eight-feet. Hit the ground on my feet, tucked and rolled, narrowly missing a sharp "stob". My partner said he figured I was dead. No real damage, sprained left ankle and "something" left wrist and several boo-boos. But now, a couple hours later, I am so stiff I can barely walk. It pays to realize, you aint a kid anymore. I reckon, once again, God was looking out for me and planning on me to sooner or later, do what he wants.
No kidding . Glad it wasn't worse for you. I have fallen a few times over the last decade , stupid mistakes like stepladder sinking in the dirt . Or thinking I can still fly like a young man ... I fall like a rock now and it happens in a way that seems so much faster than it used to. Did someone speed up reality ?
Question of the day : If I told you I was a liar , would you believe me ? Second question : do you remember the first question ? Good good , Now can you recall the conversation we had this morning about your memory ?
Two years ago I bailed off a ladder stand ladder about 8-10 feet up, I landed on my feet, not gracefully, but managed the roll portion. Felt fine. Since then I've had back issues, MRI shows 3 compressed disks. Seems I didn't exactly land soft.
that or Hot tub time machine... ;^)
Thank God am lucky to have never fallen out of a tree stand but have come close more times than I care to think about. I now have a 100% tie off policy and just bought two different new RCH's that I plan on using one for hanging stands and the other when hunting. However I have taken MANY falls at or below 10' and one form about 12-13' and one about 15' and except for some hellacious looking bruises and impressive scrapes and 1 broken rib, I otherwise was unharmed when I could have and should have easily sustained a life changing permanent injury. It was pure luck and divine intervention that my injuries weren't much worse. No I'm not that big of a klutz just really unusual mishaps like ladders breaking, scaffolding not properly set up just to name a few. I no longer will take any chance where I might fall more than my own height. What I find utterly appalling is two of my life long hunting partners full well know of and have even witnessed several of my falls or close calls and STILL don't wear a harness. One claims because he only hunts out of climbers or ladder stands he doesn't need one. The other offers all kind of lame excuses but I suspect he is simply to cheap to buy one. Glad you weren't badly hurt and obviously you have learned your lesson and best wished for a full recovery. But if you hunt from tree stands ESPECIALLY small hang ons and don't wear a safety harness from the moment you leave the ground until you return to same, you are literally begging for tragedy to befall not only you but those that love you and depend on you to earn a living which is damn near impossible to do as a quad or paraplegic.
thanks for posting this and bringing it to the forefront!!
Glad you are sorta OK John... don't mess around with gravity.
What irritates me is the length of time it takes to heal from those "boo boos". I've been going to a gym to get ready for my desert ram hunt. You find out real quick which muscles you don't use much. My chickens 28 years as a HD truck mechanic are coming home to roost. I've mentioned it many times on here of having a lot of surgeries and now my left hip is really bothering me. I'll have to endure it until after my sheep hunt. Use your safety harnesses!
Come to think of it the worst injury I ever sustained from a fall was tearing my right quadricep 90-95% and needed surgery to fix it and was told I would be out of work for 6-8 months. Thank God I heal like my father and was back to work in 17 weeks. How bad was my fall you ask? I fell straight down about 40"s the distance from my butt and sat on my right foot.
Kinda LOL, I had no idea I had this many moving parts. How did I survive 20+ years riding bareback horses and bulls? I have been bucked off, thrown higher than I fell and landed on my back and not been this stove up.
Been thinking about this myself. I just turned 65 and the idea of bouncing is not particularly appealing.
Every year I'm hunting a little lower, using a climber, and now kinda hang in the 10' range. Add to that I had total knee replacement 2 years ago and my ortho's not too keen on my leaving terra-firma.
Soooo...I'm planning on more ghillie suit- ground pounding this year.
Rick orthos are sissys. After two replacements in one knee and two staph infections mine told my I wouldn't be able to get down on my knees to shoot. Much to his displeasure I got down on my knees and got up to show him I could. He said in 25 years he said I was the first he had seen that could do it. One thing after all the knee surgeries is I trip over crap a lot easier when hunting. Things that I would normally catch my balance I now don't. I bought a different rifle with a synthetic stock because I hated scratching my other rifle. I was 12' up on a ladder cleaning out gutters during pouring rain. It was on sloping ground but I thought I had dug the uphill leg in good enough. As soon as I reached the top one leg kicked out. I worked the legs in I thought. As soon as I left go of the gutter the ladder started sliding down the gutter. I knew if I stayed on the ladder I was going to really get thrown down hill so I jumped. The problem was my glasses were so covered with rain I couldn't see where I was falling. I did my best parachute jumper roll and just layer on the ground taking body inventory. I crawled into the garage and opened a car door and laid on the horn for my wife to help me up stairs. After several minutes I gave up and crawled upstairs and into the house. I came down the hall and she asks was that you honking the horn. We live on 5 acres so I responded with who else would be honking a horn, DUH!!!! Oh sorry, are you hurt? No! I'm wet, muddy and on hands and knees looking for a contact!!! You wear glasses. And that's when the fight started. In between knee surgeries I slipped and went down on my leg. It bent too far and broke open the surgery scar. The first thing that gushed out was yellow joint fluid. A guy that was working here at the time thought I had pissed my pants.
I have balance issues and can trip over a tooth pick. I quit hunting out of tree stands and don't do steep hills going down or going up. It doesn't take much of a fall to get hurt. Be careful out there.
DL , I shouldn't be laughing but I am .
Ill see your ladder story and anti up mine.
I Had to finish siding the upper portion of the barn, for the hunting season was fast approaching... 3/4 exterior ply . I Had the stinking thing almost up and was making ready to nail it in. The ladder slipped out and I crashed . It was only about 8 feet but you know what the combined physics are ... The plywood (almost a full sheet) crashes straight down in front of my face/head and I begin to understand the trauma of the guillotine. Thinking that I escaped the worst, I too did inventory of my body, from most to least important parts (we all have a list and only truly take account of it in such a situation ) Mostly good I thought , until I looked at my hammer claw sticking through my hand. But it didn't hit my trigger finger so the season was not spoiled ...
Still it is not as bad as having a rope break with a screwdriver in hand ... Yup , right in the eye. Nope , didn't blind me . Just missed the more important part of the eye ... Again who knew the greater importance of one part over the other , until that moment . What a relief to see it still in my head .
Ill stop there cause the other stories just don't have as much to laugh about...
Ah , Men.
I'm with you John, hell I can fall on level ground. I proved it twice last year. This year my only stupidity test came while dismounting my one ton truck after hooking up my gooseneck trailer. I've done it many times, but this time when I stepped off on my bumper hitch ball my foot went straight to the ground. That left my other foot on the bed of the truck about waist high. Now that ain't natural for a 70 year old. It scraped hide off my foot through my shoe ! Wrenched my knee so damn bad I thought I was gonna puke. After a couple of minutes just hanging on to the trailer I gimped into the house, and fortunately my son was home to fetch a pair of ice packs which went on immediately. I kept them on and off until bedtime and that helped a bunch, but my wife had to put my left sock on for a week and a half because I couldn't stand the pain. Thank God and Big Pharma for Aleve !
It's no wonder we die before women. Don the first time I did this I got dry heaves from the pain. Doc told me if it happened two more times I'd have to have a thicker liner out in. He also said I had 5-10 seconds to pop it back in before the muscles started to spasm, then I wouldn't be able to. Second time I was deer hunting in eastern Oregon. My brother was with me fortunately. I was gutting a deer out when it popped out again. I yelled for my brother to grab my leg and pull as hard as he could as I gabbed onto some sage plants. It popped back in and I felt fine. Went back to gutting my deer out. As a kid I remember jumping off the roof ever time I had to get up there to retrieve something.
DL, the only thing that's worse than getting old is.....not getting old !
"Kinda LOL, I had no idea I had this many moving parts. How did I survive 20+ years riding bareback horses and bulls? I have been bucked off, thrown higher than I fell and landed on my back and not been this stove up."
I thought of that John when you said how you hit the ground and rolled. That's a skill one develops when you make enough "emergency departures" from a horse or other 4 legged creatures, of which you've had plenty, a number of which I saw happen!
I'm 8 years your junior, but I ache just WATCHING someone hit the ground hard now!
lol at drycreek! Sad but spot on!
Ok direct question?
Why in the hell were you not wearing a fall restraint system?
You could have used a sit and climb to go up and hung a safety road ever before you put that ladder stand up!
Or climbed under the stand and hung a safety rope just underneath it.
Tomorrow think smarter my friend!
A lot of us on Bowsite want you to stay around for a while!!!!
You would be surprised how the medical community views falls....anything over 8' they consider you have "internal injuries". I have had carpenters fall and when you call 911 if the fall was over 15'....regardless if the guy is not visibly hurt....they call a Lifeflight Helicopter. But people in a 55 mph head on crash they drive them to the hospital unless it`s really needed....figure that one out. Falls can tear arteries and organs so it is a good idea to ALWAYS get checked out.
"Ok direct question? Why in the hell were you not wearing a fall restraint system?"
First of all, I was. It was unhooked because this was a ladder stand we were taking down and it was still ratcheted to the tree, at mid-point and I had a helper holding it was well. I have to unhook it to climb down. The dangerous part was over. This was just a goofy deal. I always wear a harness and safety off when climbing. I will bet, there is not one person on this forum, who hunts from elevated stands, including you, who have not done exactly as I did. Yes, I could have done some of things you suggested. Most would have been impossible, some I don't have the equipment to do. I also feel quite certain, I would do it exactly the same way today...or in a couple days, when I have one more ladder stand to move. No matter what you do, at some point, you have to have everything come down. I have not as yet, figured out how to do that without taking down whatever system you are using. Keep in mind, you can't use a climbing belt with a ladder stand.
I certainly hope it plays out well and you are back to normal very soon!
Good luck, Robb
What do you guys do when you clean the gutters from a ladder? Can't tie off in that case. I take all reasonable precaution when elevated, working or hunting, but in everything we do there is always a risk of injury. Be careful out there.
I strictly groundhunt, but took a fall in the 60's off an eight foot stage while playing a concert. Had a Les Paul hanging on my neck and broke the headstock off the neck. I had two other Pauls with me but that 57 was my favorite. Had a single P90 pickup and sounded sweet.
BC-precisely my point. I been climbing trees to hunt and to trim and top and all that stuff most of my life. I take precautions and more so now that I am somewhat senior. I have a specially designed climbing belt/harness/safety harness. I wear it at all times when hunting and off the ground. But sometimes, you do something you have been doing your entire adult life and something goes awry. You learn and move on. I'm still hobbling around a bit today, but no big deal. Got a small measure of sympathy from the wife-woman...real small.
BC, the gutter thing.
I use a ladder stabilizer and extend the ladder over the gutter where the padded brace can rest on the roof. Makes a very stable setup, room to work , a place to put a long push stick ( used for cleaning long runs ) and it keeps the gutter from being damaged too.
Yep, its the everyday "easy part" that often gets us hurt. I say to myself "I am on a ladder" to keep my mind aware. One hand to the ship and one to the job ... Or send up a younger fella with more to loose .
Scary reading this thread. I was at a friends house yesterday and he was pulling a tree stand from the rafters when he all of a sudden fell. Ladder came down and hit me across the wrist and cut my hand. I was sure he was going to need an ambulance but got up and brushed it off. No idea how he did not injure himself except for a few bruises. Could have been a lot worse there was crap lying all over the garage he could have fallen on.
I don't even use ladders anymore, but the last few times we set some up, my buddy, who is over ten years younger than me, used his climber to put the ratchet straps on so nobody was up there with just the brace and the cross straps connected. I realize that won't work on all trees, but it will on a slick tree. Easy to get the platform level on a heavy two man ladder stand too.
Good tip Drycreek ,
There is a ladder stand that has a clamping jaw mechanism . I invented it and like always, someone else marketed it first. Same for the hatch in the ladder stand , which is a safe design because the ladder is getting attached to the tree as you ascend . I have a few other designs that also fix this risky maneuver but it would probably cost too much to be worth it.
If its a good idea , a million other hunters are thinking the same thing.
Just saw this . Glad you are ok John . Last couple years I have gone to more ladder stands " to be safer " as I have gotten older . It did not take me long to realize there is a point in putting them up and taking them down when they are not safe at all .
If...big if, you think to do it, there is a way to avoid this problem. Use a rope long enough to go around the tree and hold in each hand as to climb up or down. That way, you are actually pulling the ladder against the tree instead of pulling it away. I did this when we put the stand back up. I no longer have a climber. Where I am hunting, trees it would work on are limited and never where I want one. I use a combination of ladders stands and hanging stands and climbing sticks. I have nine stands out now, 5-hanging and four ladders. I like the somewhat safer "feeling" of the ladders but like the versatility of the hanging stands. Couple years ago, I fell coming down my patio steps-about three feet. Broke a hip. But see, if I had a hand rail, if I had not had my hands full, if i had used the hand rail and heck, if I had just stayed inside...that would not have happened. And if a frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his butt, every time he jumped. But who wants a frog that won't jump?
I am 65, and this year the whole thing is starting to sink in. There seems to be a quickly mounting positive momentum to use quality safety gear, check and repair stands, and be overall more careful than ever before. I just spent the weekend trying to get stands checked and in place. I am not sure that I want to keep climbing trees many years longer,although I am pleased to say I didn't have any mishaps and I am barely sore as I was in past years.
Regardless, this is a dangerous time for bowhunters. It is surprising how many of us have admittedly turned to ladder stands. Safety and aging, I think
Sorry that happened! As a young teenager with plenty of spit and vinegar I recall swinging on a homemade swing set that my dad had made us. It was 12 feet high. We would swing as high and as fast as we could then time the jump to see who could go the farthest. Make a line to measure with and do it again...for hours.
Yes, at 62 I deeply regret that now.
Two words, medical marijuana lol
Can't wait to get older ... sounds like fun ... but it is not. We do not even know what is our own expiration date in a world full of barcodes and "best by".
I am going on 68, I hate ladder stands, and more accidents on them, than any..... I like my climber, but its too heavy to be mobile with,,,,, have lw and xop and now m7 hang on and sticks...........
Only time I had a mishap, was one of those ez screw in steps gave out,,,,,
I never leave the ground without being hooked up,,,,, years of SOP, now have the tree spider