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Majority of deer hunting accidents involve tree stand, here is how you can stay safe outdoors

Several people have died in accidents involving tree stands this year.

TWIGGS COUNTY, Ga. — The Georgia Department of Natural Resources says weekend deer hunting can get dangerous.

Last year, DNR covered 36 hunting accidents, 20 of them involved a tree stand.

In October, a hunter died in a tree stand accident in Putnam county.

Game Warden Jason Bennett wants to make safety harnesses mandatory for folks who sit in a tree stand.

Right now that is not on the books.

"But the ones that hit close to home are the ones not wearing a safety harness and they're laying on the ground that's really eye opening seeing that something I hope nobody has to experience," he said.

But keep in mind a fall can happen in seconds.

"A high percentage of people don't wear safety harnesses when they're in their stand. We try to get the point across to them that it's super important we've already had several fatalities this year in tree stands," he said.

Bennett says if you buy a tree stand it should come with a harness but spend the extra $20 and buy one that fits your body type and comes with some padding.

And beware, it's not the sitting that's dangerous, it's getting in and out.

"So, you need to have some sort of lifeline that goes from the base of the tree to the top of the tree where you're going to be sitting and you need to be connected to it the entire time not just when you're at the top of the tree." Bennett said.

DNR says if you do fall and you're suspended in mid air and it's going to take some time to get to you. 

Push off the tree and keep using your legs to continue blood flow.

Also you have to pack common sense.

Let folks know where you are when you'll be back, choose a solid tree for your stand and finally, if your stand sits out all year long give it a good once over before getting in.

"Straps dry rot they, they break all the time. That's one of the main causes of accidents is the stand failing," Bennett said.

So, go and get a deer but make sure you minimize the danger.

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