F. Dale Lolley's Sports Column

Don’t sabotage other’s tree stands

Don’t sabotage hunters’ tree stands

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It seems that every year or so I find a message on my answering machine at work or in my email from someone telling me about some kind of mishap they’ve had with a tree stand.

Some of the issues are because of faulty installation, while others are because of the building of a permanent stand in which the trees it was mounted to kept on growing, or the boards it was built with rotted out.

The most disturbing mishaps, however, occur when somebody – presumably another hunter or someone else attempting to teach someone a lesson – consciously rigs the stand to fail.

This is not only wrong, it’s criminally wrong.

A recent 10-year study by the Ohio State University Medical Center showed tree stands are the leading cause of hunting injuries in that state.

According to the study, of 130 hunting-related accidents over a 10-year period at two central Ohio hospitals, half were because of falls, and 92 percent of those falls were from tree stands.

Nearly 60 percent of the injuries were fractures, while nearly 10 percent of those injured in falls suffered some kind of permanent neuological damage.

And we’ve got bozos out there causing this to happen?

In fact, the morons from the Animal Liberation Front have a webpage dedicated to showing loons how to do sick things like this.

And hunters are the ones who are bloodthirsty and cruel?

Why someone would loosen the straps or bolts, or remove fastenings on somebody else’s tree stand, is beyond me.

Just this week, I received a call from a woman whose son was climbing into his stand only to find that it was no longer correctly fastened to the tree. A long fall and broken sternum and back later, and the young man’s hunting season is not only over, he’s in for a long rehab as well.

Again, this is not only wrong, but criminally wrong.

And it’s not the only case of such sabotage that I’ve heard of in recent years.

Hunting 10 to 30 feet off the ground in a tree stand is dangerous enough by itself, let alone when there is sabotage involved.

Here’s hoping those who sabotage another’s tree stand – regardless of what sick and demented reasoning they have come up with for doing so – have their ill will returned to them in spades.

n As of this week, all but four Wildlife Management Units in Pennsylvania are now sold out of doe licenses.

Of the four remaining areas that have licenses remaining, are WMU 2-A and 2-B, which account of all of Washington and Greene counties.

In WMU 2-A, which includes all of Greene and most of Washington counties, just over 13,000 licenses remain.

In WMU 2-B, which includes the northeastern corner of Washington County, just under 25,000 licenses remain.

n According to reports, fishing on the Monongahela River has been very good of late, particularly for those targeting stipers, white bass and hybrids.

All are being caught in good numbers around the downstream sides of the locks and dams.

Private trout stockings in Ten Mile Creek also have left opportunities for late season anglers, as well. Fish are still being caught in the deeper pools in the Clarksville area.

Outdoors Editor F. Dale Lolley can be reached at dlolley@observer-reporter.com.

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