Two Injured in Separate Tree Stand Falls

Two people were injured in separate tree stand falls in the area recently.

The Iowa DNR says the first accident happened in Linn County last Sunday, October 29th when 51-year old Jeff Pavlek of Palo climbed out of his tree stand and fell backwards about 20 feet below, landing on his back. A friend found Pavek nearly two hours later lying face down on the ground and called 911. He suffered serious neck and back injuries and was transported to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Pavek told the DNR his fastener had come undone.

The second accident happened in Clayton County near Garber last Saturday morning. The DNR says 45-year old Philip Rolfe of Dubuque was injured when he fell about 20 feet from a tree stand while bow hunting. Rolfe suffered injuries to his jaw and lower body. He was taken to a nearby hospital and later transported to U of I Hospitals and Clinics. An investigation shows Rolfe had climbed to the top of his hang on a platform stand when the anchor strap failed, causing him to fall. He was not wearing a safety strap.

The DNR reminds hunters to always use a full body harness and maintain three points of contact at all times when climbing in and out of tree stands. It’s recommended hunters also use a haul line when getting equipment in and out of the tree stand.