An Iowa man died while hunting Thursday after his tree stand broke down.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources announced the death Saturday, KCCI reported.
Someone reported Raymond Byers, 76, missing after he failed to return home from hunting on his own property. Byers was hunting during the early muzzleloader season, which started on Oct. 17, according to Cox.
“The Keokuk County Sheriff’s Office and the local fire and rescue teams found Byers deceased,” the Iowa DNR said in a statement. “Investigators believe Beyers fell from a tree stand he was using to hunt.”
The Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner in Ankeny will perform an autopsy on Byers, KWWL reported. The DNR is still looking into the circumstances of his death.
According to the DNR, tree stand accidents remain one of the top causes of hunting injuries. One in three hunters who use an elevated stand will fall and suffer a serious injury.
There are multiple types of tree stands. For example, fixed position stands are supposed to be secured in place on a tree. Vertical ladder stands consist of a ladder underneath a shooting platform. Permanent stands are meant to be left in place, but their reliability may decline over time. Climbing stands are the most common kind of stand; the climber moves up the tree trunk with the hunter to the target elevation.
Officials released a list of safety guidelines for hunters who use tree stands during hunting season. They include:
- Always wear a full body harness or some other fall restraint gear.
- Keep three points of contact when moving into and out of an elevated stand.
- Remember to use a haul line to pull up or drop equipment to and from the elevated stand.
- Before setup and use, check straps, buckles and climbing steps for wear and tear.
- Do not leave stands up year-round.