Hunter Falls From Tree Stand, Spurring Caution From Officials

A tree stand accident in the 10000 block of 7th Road near Plymouth is currently under investigation by Indiana Conservation Officers, and officials say this emphasizes the need for caution when setting up a tree stand.

Forty-five-year-old Stephen E. Guzak was reportedly attempting to hang his tree stand in preparation of the upcoming deer season, but as he was doing so, he fell from the tree to the ground 20 feet below. Guzak was not wearing any of the recommended protective gear, such as a climbing harness or safety line. As a result, he suffered a broken hip, possibly-broken ribs and arm, and a dislocated shoulder.

He was airlifted to Memorial Hospital in South Bend, where he was listed in stable condition.

Officials urge caution when setting up a tree stand, especially if it’s being done alone. They say anyone hanging a tree stand should use proper safety gear and have someone with to assist, and they urge hunters to leave a hunting plan with a responsible person.

Guzak was alone while setting up his tree stand, and after he fell, he was fortunate to have a working cell phone with which to call 911.