DES MOINES – A Slater man suffered a broken ankle after falling while setting up a tree stand Friday afternoon in Stephens State Forest near Lucas.
Derek A. Kahler, 42, was putting up the tree stand and accidentally cut through the strap holding the stand in place while he was cutting branches shortly before 3 p.m. He fell 16-feet and had not yet attached his safety harness.
Kahler was transported by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines where he was being treated for the non-life threatening injury.
Setting up tree stands can be a potentially dangerous situation for hunters, said Allen Crouse, a recreational safety officer for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
“It is important that hunters are wearing proper restraints even when they are setting up their tree stands,” said Crouse.
Crouse said hunters need to check the straps being used to secure tree stands to make sure they are strong enough to hold the hunter and stand in place. He said hunters should also double check straps for any damage that may cause them to break, particularly if the straps have been left outside and could have been weakened by being exposed to the elements over time.