Recreational Deer Hunting Tree Stand Injuries in the USA: A Brief Review


  • Phil Bishop University of Alabama
  • Nathan Frischmann Stephen F. Austin State University
  • Eric Jones Stephen F. Austin State University


hunter education, spinal cord injuries, suspension trauma, recreational injuries, hunting risks, deer hunting


Almost 11 million people are estimated to be recreational deer hunters in the USA. This review summarizes current knowledge regarding tree stand injuries associated with deer hunting, a popular outdoor recreational activity in the USA. Injuries from falling from tree stands now represent a greater threat to hunters than firearms injuries. Reported injury rates, when sufficient information was provided, varied from 0.002 to 0.053. One of the most commonly reported injuries was to the spinal cord. Contributing accident factors were: mechanical failures, use of intoxicants, failure to use a fall arrest device, falling asleep, and carelessness. Ascending and descending from the stand were found to be particularly hazardous. Better record keeping and improved outdoor education might improve the safety of this outdoor activity.



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