Deer hunter dies in MN after 20-foot fall from tree stand

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A hunter died north of the Twin Cities on Tuesday after falling 20 feet from his deer stand.

The Isanti County Sheriff's Office announced Thursday that James Swanson, 59, of Stacy, Minnesota, died following the fall in the North Branch Township area, near Cambridge.

Responders arrived at about 5:45 p.m. to find Swanson unconscious on the ground. Despite attempts to save him, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

It is thought that the hunter was climbing down from his deer stand when a wooden step broke free, causing him to fall to the ground.

The Minnesota DNR told BringMeTheNews that it is the first hunting-related fatality in Minnesota this year.

Falls from tree stands are the most common cause of injuries sustained by hunters in Minnesota, according to the DNR, which says one in three people who hunt from elevated stands "will have a fall resulting in serious injury" at some point.

Two shot on opening weekend

The firearms deer hunting season opened in Minnesota this past weekend, during which two hunters were reported to have been accidentally shot.

The Associated Press reports that a 58-year-old Litchfield man was shot in the leg deer hunting in central Minnesota on Sunday, while FOX 9 reports a 36-year-old from Detroit Lakes was accidentally wounded in western Minnesota on Saturday.

Neither of the incidents were fatal.

There was a drop in hunting accidents in Minnesota last year, with DNR statistics showing that 5 "incidents" were reported, of which two proved fatal.

This was a fall from the 17 incidents in 2013, when one person died. The most dangerous hunting year for Minnesota in the past decade was 2010, when 26 incidents were reported and 4 people were killed.

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