TRAGEDY . . . WHY HIM?


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S&Wfan
December 23, 2006, 02:55 PM
There are some guys in your hunting club that are truly special. You each probably have one or two in your club too.

Sometimes Jerry wouldn't hunt the evening during the rut . . . just to prepare everyone a real, honest-to-goodness gourmet meal. He always was cooking for everyone and refused money for the grub.

Jerry was the friendly peacemaker, and a man of uncommon intellegence and wisdom. A great listener and conversationalist. The first to help anyone, whether they asked or not.

At 53, he was trim and fit and at the peak of his career as a comptroller of a major corporation, so others benefitted from his talents and gifts.

Our President lost his old cherished .30-.30 Winchester to a thief last year. This year Jerry told me, I'm going to give him my Winchester. It has given me so much joy, but I think it will give him more. Later, the President was stunned with such a gift!


WHY HIM???

Last Tuesday I drove the 25 miles from home to the camp to swap my car for my Jimmy and trailer in order to pick up a new set of bedding for the house. So, Wednesday after work I returned the truck/trailer to the club.

It was after dark a little when I arrived. Just the Club President (who lives across the dirt road from the camp) and Jerry were pegged out on the board. We require each stand be numbered and marked so we know where people are.

Soon the President came over from his house. Jerry is still out in the woods and I'm starting to get worried. We talked about the fact that is wasn't that late yet, but Jerry usually didn't come back in that late. However, sometimes guys forget to take their numbered disc off the peg out board and we were pretty sure this had happened anyway.

The President said that if Jerry wasn't back within the next few minutes he'd go check on him. I was needing to get back to town so I said "great," and then I left.

THE CALL CAME . . .

About an hour after getting home the call came.

After eating supper, the President noticed Jerry was still showing being pegged out on the far side of the club's 1,500 acres. He'd helped Jerry put up that stand a month ago so he knew just where to go.

Jerry fell asleep and fell forward out of the metal ladder stand, smashing bones in his face, and tearing a 6" gash in his face. It gets worse . . .

He fell on his gun, hitting him in the chest and breaking 4 ribs on one side and 3 on the other . . . puncturing both lungs. Sadly . . .

He also broke his back and is paralized from the waist down at this time. We are all praying that he can recover! He's in a regional spinal hospital, with his first surgery scheduled for Tuesday.

WHY HIM?

If these things can happen to the smartest and best of people, it can happen to anyone.

Folks, please pray for Jerry and his wonderful family during this rough time.

Also, it is a wakeup call for me. I, too, do not were a safety harness . . . depending on myself to remain alert like Jerry did. Never again though!

THIS IS THE SADDEST OF CHRISTMAS SEASONS NOW . . .

We are all so heartbroken.

T.

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MrDig
December 23, 2006, 03:29 PM
My thoughts and prayers are yours as well as your freind Jerry.

one-shot-one
December 23, 2006, 03:29 PM
prayers sent.

'Card
December 23, 2006, 03:42 PM
:(

grizz
December 23, 2006, 05:07 PM
My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

22-rimfire
December 23, 2006, 05:08 PM
I hope they can fix him up. Sad. Falling asleep is one of the reasons I simply don't like stands unless they are box stands or the stands are big. No body likes wearing the safety harness.

redneck2
December 23, 2006, 05:12 PM
WHY HIM???

One of my best friends went to sleep in his tree stand about 3 weeks ago. Fell 32 feet, but fortunately fell in a soft, almost muddy area. Cracked some ribs, ruptured spleen. Internal bleeding. Three days in the hospital.

Smart people do foolish things. Not wearing a harness is one. Being a nice person doesn't make you immune to danger. Now, just think if he'd been hunting alone and no one found him for a day or two.

I read that one in five people that hunt from tree stands end up falling out sooner or later.

Hope it all works out.

griz
December 23, 2006, 05:44 PM
My thoughts are with him right now. We just lost a hunter that was much like that, camp cook, good friend, etc. Just doesn't seem fair sometimes.

Pumpkinheaver
December 23, 2006, 07:52 PM
Sorry for your friend and for you. Maybe his injuries are someones way of telling you guys to wear your saftey harness at all times!!

CSA 357
December 23, 2006, 09:22 PM
I hate to hear that , I have got to where i dont use climbing stands any more im 265# and just dont trust them! i hope your freind will get better , its a shame things like this happen he is in my prayers , *csa*

ACORN
December 23, 2006, 09:45 PM
Sorry for your friend. Prayers going out from Pa.

SoCalShooter
December 23, 2006, 10:04 PM
You club and his family have my thoughts and best wishes.

SHOOT1SAM
December 24, 2006, 12:45 PM
My prayers too, for Jerry & his family.

Sam

H&Hhunter
December 24, 2006, 01:10 PM
I am sorry to hear of this tragedy.

Greybeard
December 24, 2006, 01:47 PM
Very sorry to hear this, especially this time of year. Special prayers for all involved.

bowfin
December 26, 2006, 05:01 PM
I have said prayers also, please give us updates as time permits.

kudu
December 26, 2006, 05:30 PM
Prayers sent, :(

JD0608
December 26, 2006, 05:48 PM
THIS SITUATION MAKES YOU THINK.. I TOO HAVE FELL ASLEEP IN MY STAND A COUPLE TIMES. THANKS TO YOUR STORY I`LL BE GETTING A SAFTEY BELT.
1`LL BE PRAYING FOR YOUR FRIEND..

Spot77
December 26, 2006, 05:54 PM
Your club deserves praise for using markers to keep track of people. There is no doubt that this saved the fella's life.

peace
December 26, 2006, 06:33 PM
Father God, we can only wonder why bad things happen to good people, but we do know that Jesus your son was sinless yet died a cursed death, that through Him we may be found sinless, and we thank you, and in light of the power of His resurrection we pray the mighty hand of God on Jerry, that a whirlwind of healing will take place, and the power and anointing of Jesus Christ will flow through his body at an atomic and molecular level for we know it is Christ that holds all things together. So Father hear our pleas for Jerry and restore Him in Jesus mighty Name we pray. Amen.

In His Love and Service,
peace

S&Wfan
December 27, 2006, 02:02 AM
Yes,

I am VERY glad our club uses a check-in/out board. It definately saved Jerry's life!

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS SYSTEM TO OTHER CLUBS:

Our board is under a covered area we made just for this, and includes:

1. A map of the entire club
2. A roster of club members and their assigned club number
3. A nail next to each member's number on which hang three metal washers with the member's number on it (one for the member and two for guests)

Each stand in the woods must be marked on the map with a nail upon which to hang the washers, and each nail must also have the member's number next to it.

Anyone can hunt any stand, and the washers let everyone know who is in the woods and where they are located.

IT SAVED A LIFE . . . CONSIDER THIS FOR YOUR CLUB!

http://216.77.188.54/coDataImages/p/Groups/246/246167/folders/233364/2070059BOARD.JPG

T.

ps: I'm currently plotting each stand on the club with my GPS and will be making a log book of each stand location's GPS coordinates. This will give a more accurate map, and allow emergency personnel to find an injured hunter much faster in case no one is around to guide them to a stand!

ripcurlksm
December 27, 2006, 04:04 AM
I dont hunt but this is very sad news. :(

LAK
December 27, 2006, 07:53 AM
My sympathy with your friend. By coincidence, last night I was just looking through a catalog last night and came across these tree stands (never used one) and was thinking - a safety belt, a nylon sling and two carabiners.

A wrist strap (weak hand) and piece of paracord tied off to the rear sling swivel is probably a good idea too; drop a rifle from ten, fifteen or more feet and it might well land square on the buttplate.

------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

Harve Curry
December 27, 2006, 08:02 AM
Very Sorry to hear about Jerry. I'll keep him in mind and wish the best for him.
I'll also look into easier ways of using harness and saftey.

TX35
December 27, 2006, 09:03 AM
Tell your friend Jerry, that there are lots of prayers from Texas coming his way!!

Gunslingergirl
December 27, 2006, 09:31 AM
First of all,my sympathy and thoughts are with your friend. That's rough.

Second, I think that the tracking board is the best idea, and I hope other clubs take it up. Knowing where everyone is certainly helped keep your friend from suffering more than he did.

Being safe is always very important.

ojibweindian
December 27, 2006, 10:15 AM
S&WFan

How is your friend?

MDHunter
December 27, 2006, 01:01 PM
go out to your friend and his family.

And to the rest of us - let this serve as a wake-up call. The large majority of hunting accidents involve hunters falling out of stands. With the variety of good safety systems on the market today, there's no excuse for any of us not to use one. Trading a slight inconvenience, to prevent a potential horrific accident, is a no-brainer.

I never step into my climber without my Hunter Safety System vest in place. Now that my hunting buddy has children, he got one for his Xmas gift from me, with stern instructions never to get into his stand without it.

There are people out there that love and care about all of us - if we won't do it for ourselves, do it for them?

Michael

S&Wfan
December 27, 2006, 10:31 PM
Hi,

Thanks for asking about my friend, and for all the prayers!

He's in great spirits and his wife and him feel the good Lord must have some purpose in all of this. HOWEVER . . .

He is scheduled for his first surgery tomorrow morning, and the surgeons are cautiously optimistic at the Shepherd Spinal Clinic in Atlanta.

They say they are going to do everything they can, but he's got a long way to go and there are no guarantees or accurate accessments of how he's going to end up yet.

FOLKS . . . SAY A PRAYER FOR JERRY TOMORROW . . . and I'll let him know my cyber-buddies are pulling for him all over the country!

Thanks!

Tom


PS: Today I went shopping for a safety harness. At 55 years old, I've never worn one . . . but this was a real wake-up call for me!

30 cal slob
December 29, 2006, 06:23 PM
i am so glad that at least you remembered where his stand was located and that you were able to get to him - to at least save his life.

i also learned the hard way that a SAFETY HARNESS is VITAL even if you are only five feet off the ground - I fell only seven feet onto some hard ground and broke both arms.

t&p coming your way ...

ambush
December 29, 2006, 07:03 PM
Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery for Jerry. All here, do yourselves a hugh favor. Buy a snap on harness. The vest kind that snaps in front and comes up between your legs from behind and snaps closed. They are very simple and virtually tangle free. They don't cost too much. Make sure its large enough to go over your outer cold weather gear. It takes 15 seconds to attach to the tree. S&W fan, keep us posted about Jerry.

griz
January 1, 2007, 08:52 PM
How is he doing?

eden892
January 1, 2007, 10:06 PM
My thoughts and prayers are with your friend now and as he goes through surgery and recovers.

zinj
January 1, 2007, 10:52 PM
Ack wrong thread! Please delete!

I hope your friend gets better S&W Fan.

Jimmy Newman
January 2, 2007, 12:19 AM
There's a fellow at a hunting club I belong to who fell out of a tree stand a number of years ago and broke his back. He managed to crawl out of the woods to his truck, where his father found him a number of hours later. He did make a full recovery, and is back up in the tree stands, but I'm pretty sure he uses a safety harness now!

You have my prayers for your friend's recovery as well.

Cuda
January 2, 2007, 01:41 AM
My thoughts and prayers are on the way..


C

S&Wfan
January 3, 2007, 01:32 AM
Thanks to everyone for writing!

Jerry is STILL in a whole lot of pain fromt the seven fractured ribs, two punctured lungs, broken facial bones and multiple fractures in his vertibrae. That's the bad news.

The good news?

1. His spirits, as well as his wonderful wife's spirits remain very high!

2. His first round of surgeries has allowed him to be fitted with a back brace, which allows him to now be able to sit up (with help of course)

3. As of today, they moved him out of ICU and into a private room and he was able to be bathed and shaved!


COMING UP SOON . . .

We are all hoping his paralysis is not permanent and that he can eventually have a full recovery. We'll know the prognosis very soon . . .

He will be meeting soon with a doctor who will review research and treatment plans, and learn the extent of his injuries.

PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR JERRY, AND FOR HIS FULL RESTORATION TO HEALTH!!!

T.

RemingtonFreak870
January 3, 2007, 10:35 AM
Hopefully so, very sad, as someone who never used a stand I will remember this story if I ever do. Spinal injuries are terrible, but many times people heal.

firesafety3
January 9, 2007, 11:27 AM
I am praying for your friend as well.

I am the Safety Manager of an industrial construction company and we preach and practice 100% tie-off. When Fall rolls around, we cover some offsite safety topics in our safety meetings: gun safety, eye/ear protection, tie-off in tree/ladder stands, etc.

I was watching a hunting program recently and saw that a few hunting show hosts had come together to film a commercial on tying off in a stand. They made the simple statement that most hunters know someone who has fallen from a stand. I find that statement to be true.

Making no assumptions, but if it were me laying in that bed suffering that trauma with a long road of therapy and rehabilitation ahead, I would want you to keep a video journal of the recovery. Present it to major hunting media (magazines included) for professional editing and distribution to show the consequences of such an incident.

Drunk driving campaigns use this head-on, shock value to drive the point home. My opinion is this sort of PSA (Public Service Announcement) would be very beneficial to all deer hunters, young and old.

Maybe this is one of the "good things" that can come from this tragic incident.

Our hobbies can have real consequences that change our lives forever. Be safe out there.

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