Background: People who hunt deer from elevated tree stands may improve the chances of a successful hunt but also risk serious injury from a fall to the ground. Purpose: The objective of the current investigation is to estimate the rates of injuries from falls from tree stands using a population-based study design. Methods: Annual and age-specific rates were calculated using injury data collected from 1987 to 2006 from all accredited Pennsylvania trauma centers and hunting license sales and game-take mail surveys from the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Results: From 1987 through 2006, 2.73 people (n=499) per 100,000 licensed deer hunters were injured from falls from tree stands; seven people died. Rates increased from 0.59 in 1987 to 7.08 in 2006 (p<0.001). Rates increased with age (p<0.001) and were highest among hunters aged 40-49 years. The case-fatality rate was 1.4%. Conclusions: Falls from tree stands associated with deer hunting are an increasing and important cause of injuries, especially for older hunters. Surveillance for tree stand-related injuries should be enhanced and preventive initiatives developed and tested.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health