Officials urge deer-stand safety; paralyzed Ind. man chooses death after fall

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Officials in Wisconsin and Minnesota are urging deer hunters to take special care to avoid tree-stand falls as Minnesota's firearms season starts Saturday and Wisconsin's gets under way Nov. 23.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says one of every three hunters who use tree stands falls at some point during their hunting career, typically while they are climbing up or coming down the tree.

One study, by the International Hunter Education Association, reported 300 to 500 hunters die annually in tree stand accidents and another 6,000 suffer injuries, the Associated Press reported.

The good news: Falls are easily preventable, the Wisconsin DNR says.

The Minnesota DNR has a webpage dedicated to tree-stand safety tips and guidelines.

The case of an Indiana hunter who fell from a tree stand last weekend has been getting national attention.

Timothy E. Bowers, 32, a newlywed whose wife was pregnant, was paralyzed after the 16-foot fall. Facing a poor quality of life, he chose to be removed from life support and died, CNN reported.

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