An extremely sore hunter from Tennessee is recovering after a dangerous fall that shattered his leg. Bob Thurman, 47, from Memphis, fell out of a tree and broke his femur in three places when he was mounting his tree stand. He had left his cell phone in his car before hopping on an ATV to head to his tree-of-choice, leaving him unable to immediately call for help.
“I was out there trying to attach a 14-foot ladder stand to a tree by myself, and I knew better than that,” Thurman told Commercial Appeal. “When you’re hanging a ladder stand, you always need two people–one up in the stand and one on the ground making sure it doesn’t fall. I didn’t follow that rule, and it almost killed me.”
Down on the ground that Saturday, November 10, Thurman lay in excruciating pain and chose the only option available to him if he wanted to get out of his predicament alive. He crawled for four hours back to his ATV. Then, it took another two hours for him to climb onto his ATV and drive back to his truck where his cell phone was.
Six excruciating hours later, he finally was able to get help. Checked in at a hospital since that Saturday, he was awaiting transfer to a rehab facility Tuesday evening.
Thurman’s ordeal serves as a lesson to hunters to always take all precautions when hanging tree stands, especially taking care to have someone with you, even if they are not a hunter.
The Tennessee Department of Conservation said tree stand falls are the leading cause of hunting-related accidents in the state. Last hunting season in Tennessee, one hunter died from among eight hunters that fell out of trees. This hunting season alone, numerous hunters have fallen out of their stands with a handful of fatalities across the country.