Deer Hunter Rescued After Hanging Upside-Down in 18-Foot Tree Stand for Hours

by Craig Garrett
Hunter Looking at Deer in Distance - stock photo

Texas law enforcement officers and first responders worked together to rescue a deer hunter stuck upside-down in a climbing tree stand. The hapless hunter was hanging 18-feet in the air, according to the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office. “They saved my life,” the unnamed hunter told local outlet KFDM.

Sheriff Bryan Weatherford announced that the hunter was rescued Monday afternoon in the Spurger area. He urges caution to other hunters, as bow hunting season for deer is currently underway. Gun hunting will begin this coming weekend. The hunter called the Tyler County Sheriff’s office at around 4:25 p.m on Monday, telling them that he had fallen out of his deer climbing stand and was now stuck upside down 18 feet in the air. Deputy Cory LeBlanc suggested that the best way to get down would be to call 911 so they could come and help him.

“He was trying to reach his hunting partner but couldn’t,” recalled Deputy LeBlanc. “He was able to call 911 and we made contact with him. His friend helped us reach the exact location. We had the Spurger Volunteer Fire Department, DPS, Texas Parks and Wildlife on the way, all trying to help.” Deputy LeBlanc says the poor outdoorsman was in grave danger.

“He was high off the ground, with his right foot wedged in the framework of his climbing stand,” explained LeBlanc. “We maneuvered the Spurger VFD brush truck beneath him. The fire department and DPS Trooper Hunter Holloway got in the back of the truck to support his weight. He had another climbing stand attached. I climbed that one and freed his foot. They supported him and lowered him to the brush truck.”

The deer hunter was well enough to joke after the ordeal

Despite the ordeal, the hunter was left unharmed. “We met the ambulance at a county road, but he didn’t need treatment,” Explained LeBlanc. “It’s a good thing his foot was wedged in between the framework of the climbing stand. It’s my first time dealing with this type of thing, but it happens. My advice to hunters is that this is a prime example of the need to use a safety harness. He’s lucky his phone didn’t hit the ground. He’d been hanging long enough that his fluids and blood were rushing to his head. He’d been hanging an hour and a half. We got him down around 5:30 p.m.”

The hunter, who wanted to remain unnamed, spoke to KDFM about the ordeal. “Use a harness,” he insisted. “It was in my truck. I’ve done this all my life, fishing and hunting. I just got complacent,” he added. He’s also very grateful for his good fortune. “I was 18 feet up and my ankle was the only thing that was holding me up,” he explained. “I held my phone in my mouth. If I dropped [the phone], I’ll die.”

When he was safely on the ground, he playfully teased the deputy and first responders about having to cut off his boot to rescue him. “I told him he could get another pair at Walmart,” quipped Deputy LeBlanc.