Video: Fall From a Tree Stand – One Man’s Story

In spite on continual warnings and easily available safety equipment, some Tennessee deer hunters will likely fall from a treestand this hunting season. Watch Tim Crawford's compelling story and perhaps you'll be inspired to keep yourself safe. (Photo courtesy Summit Treestands)

The 2018 deer archery-only hunting season opens statewide in Tennessee on Saturday, Sept. 22. That is the day we are likely to start seeing news releases about hunters injured, or even killed, following a fall from a tree stand.

Hunters all the way back to prehistoric times, have always known that hunting from an elevated position gives the hunter an advantage. Anytime a hunter is in an elevated position, he or she can become “un-elevated” in an instant due to a simple slip or equipment malfunction. Last hunting season there were at least three tree stand accidents in Tennessee, one of them fatal.

This in spite of constant warnings and easily available safety harness systems. Recently Summit Treestands released a video highlighting one man’s story. Like most hunters Tim Crawford was excited that October morning as he climbed into his stand. His passion pushed him higher, but without a safety harness. Then as Tim lay paralyzed on the forest floor, he had plenty of time to reflect on life, family and safety. Here’s Tim’s story.

“At Summit, safety has always been our number-one priority,” said Martin Hill, director of marketing at PRADCO Outdoor Brands, Summit’s parent company. “With hunting seasons opening across the country, we wanted to take this opportunity to tell Tim’s powerful story with the hope that it might resonate with hunters as they climb back into their stands this month.”

The archery season dates in all five of Tennessee’s deer hunting units are the same – Sept. 22 – Oct. 26 and Oct. 29 – Nov. 2.

Tennessee is divided into five deer units for better management, A, B, C, D, and L. The antlerless deer bag limits are four in Units A-D management areas and three per day in Unit L areas. The antlered deer bag limit is a total of two for the entire deer season.

Archery hunters should read a 2018-19 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide. The guide lists the counties and bag limits for each of the different deer management units. The guides are available where hunting and fishing licenses are sold and on the TWRA website and the TWRA app.

Hunters are reminded that they must possess the appropriate licenses and permits. Any hunter born on or after Jan. 1, 1969 is required to carry proof of satisfactory completion of a hunter education class or be in possession of the Apprentice Hunting License (along with other required licenses), while hunting any species in Tennessee.

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Richard Simms is a professional journalist and fishing guide in Chattanooga. (See He is also a former wildlife officer for TWRA, a book author and a self-proclaimed "River Rat" with a sincere desire for spreading the message about our bountiful natural resources and the people charged with using, or protecting them.


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