Fifty-four year old Nicholas Asmondy Sr. has died after falling 20ft out of a tree stand.
The accident happened in Western Lincoln County near Tomahawk. The coroner says they're still not sure what caused the man to fall, but preliminary reports suggest the man may have gone into cardiac arrest.
The accident is a terrible reminder to other hunters about the safety risks associated with tree stands. Even for seasoned hunters, the DNR advises that if you use a tree stand, there is a one in three chance you will experience some type of fall. In fact, more people get injured falling out of tree stands than by getting shot. That's why it's so important to make sure you take the proper precautions when choosing and installing your tree stand.
Paul Proulx has been hunting for over 50 years and he's been a Hunter Safety Instructor for over 30 of those years. He personally does not believe in using tree stands because of the safety risks involved. But he says the choice is ultimately up to the hunter. All he asks is if you use them to do it safely.
"Make sure it's secured to the tree properly. When you go up in a tree make sure you have protection around you, a railing of some kind to protect you so if you do have some kind of incident you won't fall out of the stand," Proulx advises.
The size of the tree and location are also important. Make sure the tree is big enough to secure your stand and make sure you have a good solid base for your ladder. A good rule of thumb for testing your tree stand is to stand on the bottom rung and wiggle it. If it moves, the stand is not secure.
This is the second tree stand accident in just a few weeks and the DNR warns it's not that uncommon. The DNR offers a 15 minute tree stand safety course on their website. Just go to www.dnr.wi.gov and search tree stand safety.