A Covington, Ind., hunter was seriously injured on Wednesday after falling
from his tree stand in Fountain County, the Indiana Department of Natural
It’s the third such incident in less than a week reported by the DNR.
At 4:18 p.m. Justin Raley, 28, was hunting from an elevated stand around 20
feet off the ground when, according to a witness, Raley stood up in the
stand and “without warning fell to the ground.”
A Conservation Officer later determined that the cables designed to hold up
the bottom section of the stand broke, after rusting through near the
attachment points, the DNR said.
Raley was treated at the scene for internal injuries, difficulty breathing,
and a broken wrist and was subsequently airlifted to Methodist Hospital in
Indianapolis, the DNR said.
“Raley was not wearing a safety harness,” the DNR added. “Investigators
believe that the use of a safety harness could have prevented injury in this
The DNR is reminding hunters that tree stands which were in good condition
last year but not removed from the woods should be thoroughly inspected this
year prior to use. Metal becomes rusted and wooden steps become weathered.
Squirrels are also known to chew the straps used to secure the stand to the
On Tuesday a Demotte hunter apparently fell asleep in his stand in Newton
County, fell, and broke a hip. On Monday a Brookville hunter was also
injured in a fall from his stand in Franklin County.