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Doctor encourages safety first when hunting

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – An emergency medical physician is urging hunters to prepare for next week’s gun deer season to think safety first and to prepare before going out.

Wisconsin will kick off its annual gun deer season Saturday, November 20th. While always exciting, for some, the start of the hunt means an increased risk of injury or even death.

That is why Dr. Eric Gruber with Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse is urging hunters to prepare and think safety while out this year.

Heart attacks, slips and falls and tree stand mishaps are typically the most common sources of injuries for most hunters.

Of those, tree stand injuries are the most common and are preventable.

“Most tree stand related injuries are when you’re either getting in or getting out of the tree stand because people slip or fall or they get excited and almost anything can happen up there,” Gruber said.

By using caution, preparing the stand before the hunt and making use of safety equipment, hunters can prevent many injuries, Gruber said.


Hunters who are using the same stand as a year ago should inspect the equipment to make sure it’s still safe and serviceable.

Those who are installing new stands should be sure they are put together properly and are securely affixed to the tree.

Most off, however, Gruber said, it is important to use that safety equipment.

Be sure you’re wearing that harness and be cognizant, take your time, be careful when you’re getting in and getting out and certainly wear your harness when you’re in the stand.”

The doctor reminds hunters who are not active the rest of the year to keep themselves under control and do not exert themselves and risk having a heart attack.

He also said it’s good to hunt with others and if hunting alone, tell someone where you will be and when you will be back so they can check on you if you’re late.

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