“One in Three Hunters Will Fall”

…from their Tree Stands according to deer hunting.com.

So what is a tree stand? A tree stand (or deer stand, or more appropriately, deer-hunter-sit) has nothing to do with standing, yet everything to do with sitting on one’s heavily-armed rump. It looks basically like a lawn chair strapped high in a tree, accessible only by a ladder that the hunter (affectionately known as Elmer) brings along for the would-be kill.

Animal advocates (not to be confused with people who want to bring a dead body home to covet), understandably upset by all the carnage out there this time of year, sometimes write things like “I’ve been saying that tree stands could be a focus for some monkeywrenching” “We should lobby for tree stands to be at least 24′ off the ground” or in response to the many, many incidents they hear about of someone falling out of one, “Very encouraging. Where can we donate to a fund for more tree stands?” And “Karma’s a bitch. Well played karma!”

But it seems to me, hunters are scoring plenty of accidents on their own–based on the number of accident reports I’ve come across lately.

And how unnatural for anyone (human or otherwise) to hunt from high up in a tree anyway. No other large animal sits a limb 20-30′ off the ground or tries to kill prey from so far away. Cougars would not want to risk jumping from that height (though they’d survive it a lot better than the average Elmer). An owl might swoop down on a mouse or rabbit, but they don’t go after deer and they definitely don’t drive home in the luxury of a new, heated and leather-seated $35,000.00 pickup after the kill.

I mean, who do hunters think they are anyway? God’s gift to wildlife reduction; or “recreation”? I suppose some think they’re min-gods themselves.

Don’t get me started. Somebody stop me and all that…

While on the subject, here’s an article from the Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting about tree stands:

https://www.all-creatures.org/cash/taah-sh-20101129-7.html

Tree Stand Injuries – interesting statistics

November 29, 2010

This is an interesting article. While hunting orgs minimize the number of accidents that take place every year, every so often an article like this slips through and we get a more accurate estimate of what the true numbers are.

Back in 2009, Ron Kolbeck, a certified HuntSAFE instructor in South Dakota stated that there were 4,114 hunting accidents in the state in 2008. When we posted this info the hunters went nuts, telling us that we were making these stats up.

So here is another article I recently found that also discloses that the number of accidents that take place are far higher than the hunters will admit.

Tree Stand Injuries

Hunting in the U.S.

Hunting is a popular sport in this country. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates 12.5 million Americans 16 and older hunted in 2006. The hunters took 185 million trips and spent $22.9 billion.

More than 85 percent of hunters go after big game, like deer and elk. Roughly 38 percent hunt for smaller game like rabbits and squirrels. Less than 20 percent hunt birds.

Tree Stands for Hunters

A tree stand is an elevated platform placed from 15 feet to 30 feet above the ground and secured to a tree. The platform is typically small, with just enough room to sit or stand. Tree stands can be purchased from a retailer or built by hand. Many permanent tree stands are constructed by hunters rather than purchased.

There are several different kinds. One of the most popular types is the climbing stand. These are designed to be moved as the hunter climbs the tree, then secured when the desired height is reached. A fixed position stand attaches to a tree trunk for an extended period of time (like all of hunting season). A vertical ladder stand has a ladder attached to the platform. The ladder can often be disassembled and reassembled for carrying the stand into and out of the woods. The last type of stands are permanent tree stands. As the name suggests, these are designed to remain permanent and used season after season.

According to the National Bowhunter Education Foundation, more than 90 percent of hunters use some type of tree stand for hunting. Although tree stands were initially most popular with bowhunters, many rifle hunters use them also. Elevation enables the hunter to see game at a greater distance. In addition, the hunter can’t easily be seen or smelled by animals, improving the odds of bagging game. Some tree stands also have canopies that protect the hunter from the cold, wind, rain and sun.

Injuries Associated with Tree Stands

Researchers estimate about 10 percent of hunters who use tree stands are injured while using the platforms. Investigators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, looked at hunting accidents across the U.S. from 2000 to 2007. During that time, there were about 46,860 injuries to hunters associated with tree stands (Note: This averages to be 5,875 tree stand related injuries per year. Add to this all the other accidents that do not have anything to do with tree stands – JM) , mostly from falls. Male hunters were twice as likely to suffer a tree stand injury as females.

The researchers found injury rates to be highest among hunters 15 to 24 and lowest among those 65 and older. Gerald McGwin, M.S., Ph.D., Injury Epidemiologist, says the reasons for the highest rates of injury among younger hunters aren’t clear. However, he believes younger hunters are not aware of, or may not take appropriate safety precautions while using tree stands (like wearing a safety harness). Younger hunters may be more apt to take risks than older, seasoned hunters. Alcohol may also play a role in the risk for tree stand-related injuries. One study found 17 to 18 percent of hunters injured during use of a tree stand had been drinking at some point prior to the accident (NOTE: this means that 999 – 1,056 accidents per year – JM) .

The investigators found the most common consequences of tree stand injuries were fractures (especially of the spine, shoulder and arms), lacerations of the head and neck, and abrasions and bruises of the torso. McGwin says head and spinal injuries can be especially devastating to younger patients because they have to live with potential long-term disabilities. In the most serious cases, hunters may die from tree stand falls – either as a direct result of their trauma or by strangulation/asphyxiation when caught up in an improperly secured harness.

Tree Stand Safety

Many tree stand injuries can be prevented by taking a few extra steps: Check your stand. Experts discourage using home-made tree stands because they may not be properly constructed or unable to hold your weight. Even tree stands that are purchased from reputable dealers need to be inspected every season to ensure they are solid and will hold the weight of your body and equipment.

Use a harness. Researchers estimate more than half of all hunters injured in a tree stand accidents didn’t use, or failed to properly use, a safety harness. A harness is attached to the tree and designed to prevent a fall or catch a hunter who steps over the side of the tree stand. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommends a full body harness. The harness should be inspected before each use and replaced if it shows any signs of wear or weakness. Roughly 50 percent of tree stand injuries occur when going into or leaving a tree stand. So it’s important to put the harness on before climbing the tree and keeping it on until you are safely back on the ground.

Don’t carry equipment while climbing or disembarking. Carrying equipment can affect your balance and cause you to fall. In addition, a gun can be accidentally discharged. Use a separate line to haul equipment up to the tree stand after you are settled in the tree stand. Also, don’t load the weapon until it is safely in the tree stand with you.

Have a plan. Let others know where you will be hunting and how long you expect to be gone. Carry a cell phone in case you have an emergency and need help. Carry emergency equipment in case you fall. While the harness may prevent you from hitting the ground, you can still die if you are suspended upside down for a significant amount of time and are unable to free yourself. Some experts even suggest practicing how to free yourself from the harness so you are better prepared to handle an emergency.

For information and tips on preventing tree stand injuries:
The National Bowhunter Education Foundation, Project STAND
Treestand Manufacturer’s Association
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service .

Return to Hunting Accident Index

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You’re a Mean One, Mr. Fudd

[The following is a marriage between the Looney Tunes’ cartoon character who best depicts the average hunter and Dr. Seuss’ lyrics that so perfectly describe them…]

Elmer Fudd hunter

You’re a mean one, Mr. Fudd.
You really are a heel,
You’re as cuddly as a cactus, you’re as charming as an eel, Mr. Fudd.
You’re a bad banana with a greasy black peel!

You’re a monster, Mr. Fudd.
Your heart’s an empty hole.
Your brain is full of spiders, you have garlic in your soul, Mr. Fudd.
I wouldn’t touch you with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole!

You’re a vile one, Mr. Fudd.
You have termites in your smile.
You have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile,
Mr. Fudd.
Given the choice between the two of you,
I’d take the seasick crocodile.

You’re a foul one, Mr. Fudd.
You’re a nasty wasty skunk.
Your heart is full of unwashed socks;
Your soul is full of gunk,
Mr. Fudd.

The three words that best describe you
Are as follows, and I quote:
Stink!
Stank!
Stunk!

You’re a rotter, Mr. Fudd.
You’re the king of sinful sots.
Your heart’s a dead tomato squashed with moldy purple spots,
Mr. Fudd.

Your soul is an appalling dump heap
Overflowing with the most disgraceful
Assortment of deplorable rubbish imaginable,
Mangled up in tangled up knots.

You nauseate me, Mr. Fudd,
With a noxious super naus.
You’re a crooked jerky jockey and
You drive a crooked horse,
Mr Fudd!

ELmer Fudd hunter

You’re a three-decker sauerkraut
And toadstool sandwich,
With arsenic sauce!

Remember trying to walk home from school?

https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/8521237-remember-trying-to-walk-home-from-school

by Susie Duncan Sexton

description A Yale professor, who spoke of teaching the -ISMS (racism, ageism, sexism), said that never did he have more dissension or hatefulness issuing from students than when he attempted to teach SPECIESISM.

He believed the collective guilt of having already eaten meat for a lifetime and laughing at animals and never stopping to face the reality of all the abuse other species suffer at the hands of humans is the primary reason humans become so stubbornly heinous. Yet, some of us become compassionate and wish to change. We are the true brave hearts. The others are cowards playing with murderous weapons. Nothing but cowards.

description

And as usual they – those who want to make an ugly point of their God(?)-given “dominion” over, well, everything, it seems – are once again taking their vileness and coarseness and ignorance out on the innocent – even stepping it up. Pretty odd stuff – sociopathic and psychopathic and bizarre. A bully is a bully is a bully.

Those types are as nuts toward humans as they are animals, in spite of any insincere attempts (on their part) at denial of such. Often…usually always…the swaggering grows due to gang-like behavior. Humans trying to impress other humans and to be accepted in some nightmarish club or other. Just unbelievable to observe.

description

But so goes history….ethnic cleansings, world wars, crusades, feeding ____ to lions, gladiator contests, rodeos, bull-fights, turtle tossing, quail shooting, and ………………… and all manner of kinky, mean, smug, creepy, stupid stuff.

Remember trying to walk home from school? And the little cliques that lay in wait? Well, those kids never change. And they seldom seem to pay for their nasty behavior. They manage to raise their little fists and display their Wal-Mart weapons in photo ops because maybe they really always wanted to be movie stars or quarterbacks or cowboys or roller derby dolls or something?

description

And they should have been disciplined by parents (who often maneuvered their way on to school boards) or teachers (who often wish to be popular with the meanest kids so that their work day goes smoother!).

C’mon 99% can relate to the horrors of the public school system then and now. Same old same old. And look where we all are today…putting up with the ugly fireworks I just described and whatever else the entitled want to impose on the rest of us.

______________________

Secrets of an Old Typewriter  Stories from a Smart and Sassy Small Town Girl by Susie Duncan Sexton

More Secrets of an Old Typewriter  Misunderstood Gargoyles and Overrated Angels by Susie Duncan Sexton

Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter and its follow-up Misunderstood Gargoyles and Overrated Angels – print and ebook versions of both are available on Amazon (click the title).

The books are also carried by these fine retailers: Ann Arbor’s Bookbound and Common Language; Columbia City’s North Side Grille and Whitley County Historical Museum; and Fort Wayne’s The Bookmark.

And you can download from iTunes.

Meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page

Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com

Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can’t … Or Won’t

“and the Fear of Thee and the Dread of Thee Shall Be upon Every Living Thing…”

— Genesis 9:2

Yesterday we came across a river otter who crossed the road about 30 yards in front of us and disappeared into our pond. No cars were around so he needn’t have been in a hurry, but still he was very business-like, loping purposefully from one waterway to the next. He didn’t stop and give us any extra time to appreciate his company, and clearly—though we meant him no harm and regarded him with respect—he didn’t seem to appreciate ours.

Similarly, on today’s walk along a road through the neighboring wetlands, a large flock of ducks took flight, putting as much distance between us and them as possible, as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, several pairs of Canada geese kept a wary eye on us as they

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

honked their warning calls and ambled reluctantly behind the cover of some cattails and tall grass. We spoke reassuringly to them, explaining that we didn’t intend to hurt them, but our mere presence was disruptive. Unfortunately wildlife tends to judge all people based on human nature in general.

Although fewer folks nowadays are out to kill everything they see, destructive behavior has been a hallmark of human nature since the genus Homo first set foot on the face of the Earth. Other traits representative of the species seem to be an over-bearing sense of entitlement (as in “it’s all here for us”) and a narcissistic arrogance that empowers them to see themselves as supreme among all other beings, whom they objectify as resources put here for them by some anthropomorphic deity for their benefit to exploit as they see fit.

It’s always disappointing that the wild animals assume the worst because imagesQB1DEJITof your association, no matter how distant, with the average gun-toting Elmer, when all you want to do is be friends.

You Nauseate me Mr. Fudd

The following is a marriage between the Looney Tunes’ cartoon character who best depicts the average hunter and Dr. Seuss’ lyrics that so perfectly describe them.

Dedicated to Elmers and Elmerttas everywhere …

imagesD5ZT7PC1

You’re a mean one, Mr. Fudd.
You really are a heel,
You’re as cuddly as a cactus, you’re as charming as an eel, Mr. Fudd.
You’re a bad banana with a greasy black peel!

You’re a monster, Mr. Fudd.
Your heart’s an empty hole.
Your brain is full of spiders, you have garlic in your soul, Mr. Fudd.
I wouldn’t touch you with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole!

You’re a vile one, Mr. Fudd.
You have termites in your smile.
You have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile,
Mr. Fudd.
Given the choice between the two of you,
I’d take the seasick crocodile.

You’re a foul one, Mr. Fudd.
You’re a nasty wasty skunk.
Your heart is full of unwashed socks;
Your soul is full of gunk,
Mr. Fudd.

The three words that best describe you
Are as follows, and I quote:
Stink!
Stank!
Stunk!

You’re a rotter, Mr. Fudd.
You’re the king of sinful sots.
Your heart’s a dead tomato squashed with moldy purple spots,
Mr. Fudd.

Your soul is an appalling dump heap
Overflowing with the most disgraceful
Assortment of deplorable rubbish imaginable,
Mangled up in tangled up knots.

You nauseate me, Mr. Fudd,
With a noxious super naus.
You’re a crooked jerky jockey and
You drive a crooked horse,
Mr Fudd!

imagesQB1DEJITYou’re a three-decker sauerkraut
And toadstool sandwich,
With arsenic sauce!

Sport Hunting Should Go the Way of the Twinkie

In bemoaning the end of the Twinkie era (the company was only able to sell 36 million of the nutrition-less, lard-filled sponge-cakes last year and thus had to declare bankruptcy), the press have been calling Twinkies an American icon; a “family tradition,” even.

But what do Twinkies have to do with sport hunting? Well, both are long-standing traditions that should never have been. Hostess Twinkies (on par with hot dogs and canned spam) are an extremely unhealthy, potentially addictive, pseudo-food gimmick that should never have been invented, while hunting is a murderous act of desperation that should never have been taken lightly enough to have morphed into a sport. Both have seen better days, but while the Twinkie, along with its partners in crime, Ho Hos and Ding Dongs, will soon be ancient history, the US Senate is considering forever enshrining sport hunting with its very own act of Congress, the “Sportsmen’s” Act of 2012.

Those of you fortunate enough to own a first edition copy of Exposing the Big Game are in possession of a collector’s item. Subsequent printings will have the word “Twinkie” removed, since future generations will have no idea what they were.

The following paragraph from the book mentions the iconic junk food in association with an exceptionally despicable form of hunting–bear baiting…

Sometimes Elmer sets out a pile of “bait,” using whatever he happens to have on hand. Today it’s Twinkies and hot dogs (no surprise there). Then he waits in a lawn chair safely perched on a tree stand (a platform secured high in a tree, reminiscent of his childhood tree-house) for an unsuspecting ursine to discover his offering. To pass the time, Elmer reads a frightening bear-scare story in the latest issue of his favorite sportsmen’s magazine. After a while, a beastly bruin catches wind of his Twinkies. Now it’s time for action! With the scary bear’s attention focused on the goodies, the plucky huntsman makes his kill.

Unfortunately, now anti-hunters won’t be able to use the “Twinkie Defense” if they go ballistic to protect an animal from hunters like Elmer.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2012. All Rights Reserved

Live With It, Elmers!

Sorry Elmers, it’s time to snuff out one of the most overused and overstated rationalizations for your beloved sport.

Hunters would have you ingest the preposterous pabulum that hunting helps animals; that hunters are their philanthropic fairy godparents (well-armed well-wishers, if you will) performing the gallant duty of keeping animal populations in check; that animals won’t go on living unless they kindheartedly kill them (this of course is all the more outrageous in light of how many species have been wiped off the face of the earth, or perilously close to it, exclusively by hunting).

But deer, along with most other animal species—besides Homo sapiens, have built-in mechanisms that cause their reproduction rate to slow down when their population is high or food is scarce.  Though state “game” departments are usually loath to share any information that might work against one of their arguments for selling hunting licenses, even they know that in reality the wildlife can ultimately take care of their own. According to the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, “A mule deer herd that is at or above the carrying capacity of its habitat may produce fewer fawns than one that is below carrying capacity.”

The fact is, hunting encourages ungulates to reproduce more, thus seemingly warranting the alleged need for population controls via, you guessed it, more hunting.

Hunting industry propagandists have a lot of people convinced that culling is a necessary evil for controlling animal overpopulation. Lethal removal is their one-size-fits-all solution, no matter the circumstance. But there are always alternatives to that fatal fallback position. When we finally get past the viewpoint of animals as objects, or “property of the state,” and start to see them instead as individuals, the justifications for culling begin to wear thin.

Many places that provide habitat for healthy populations of deer could also support the natural predators who evolved alongside them. All that’s required of humans is to get out of the way and let nature take its course, or, in some cases, repair the damage they’ve done by reintroducing wolves or other native carnivores who were fool-heartedly eradicated. Yet, in the western US and Alaska, as well as in Canada, natural predators are still being killed to allow deer, moose or elk hunters a better chance at success. While some people complain that these browsers and grazers have gotten too tame, hunters in states like Idaho and Montana are whining that wolves make the elk too wild and thus harder for them to hunt.

I tend to be even more cynical about areas where humans have claimed every square inch for themselves and aren’t willing to share with native grazers. When I hear grumbling about deer, elk or geese pooping on a golf course, I have a hard time relating to people’s grievances. It’s the height of speciesism to expect that these animals should face lethal culling for successfully adapting to an unnaturally overcrowded human world.

Ours is the invasive species, overpopulating and destroying habitats wherever we go. We wouldn’t want some other being jumping to a knee-jerk “cull them all” reaction every time humans reached their carrying capacity in a given area.

Sooner or later Mother Nature will tire of humans’ destructive dominance and come up with a way to bring life back into balance. I can just hear her telling off the hunters: “Other animals have a right to be here too—just live with it, Elmers!”

______________________________________________________________

Portions of this post were excerpted from the book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport 

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

August Not all Fun in the Sun for Everyone

Natalie Babbitt, author of Tuck Everlasting,wrote: “The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless and hot.”

Well, motionless perhaps, unless you’re a Washington State black bear trying to find food for the coming winter, while at the same time keeping your eyes peeled for bloodthirsty hunters.

That’s right, although it’s berry season for the bears, it’s “bear season” for hunters—as of August 1st—here in the Evergreen State. Now any Elmer who wants to can kill not one, but two bears each through November 15th! Any bear who values his or her hide will have no real peace until the snow flies and they’re safely tucked away in their hibernation den. Until then, they must assume there could be a camouflage-clad coward, with a high powered rifle or compound bow aimed at them, perched in every tree they pass under.

Each year 30,000 black bears are killed by hunters in the U.S. alone. Each one of them was a more remarkable, more worthy being than the cretins who would kill them for sport. If bears had Facebook pages, I’d add them all to my “Friends” list. To those who hunt bears: The enemies of my friends are my enemies. Since Facebook doesn’t have an “Enemies” list, the least I can do is unfriend you whenever you expose yourself as a hunter.

Wildlife Photography Copyright Jim Robertson

Answer to an Elmer “Enjoying a bear hunt in Alaska”

The following is a letter in response to an article in the “sports” section of the Albany, NY Times Union:

Dear Editor,

A friend of mine sent me the article, “Enjoying a bear hunt in Alaska,” by your Outdoors writer, Rob Streeter (June 15, 2012). With friends like that, who needs enemies? I don’t normally have acid reflux, but reading how casually Mr. Streeter prattled about his desire to impale a black bear with an arrow made me burp up enough burning bile to fill a golf cart battery.

Bears are not play toys put here for our sporting pleasure; they are intelligent, autonomous, highly evolved sentient beings. But each year, ursiphobic “Elmers,” as I un-lovingly refer to bear hunters in my book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport, are responsible for the deaths of 30,000 black bears in the US alone.

I’ll never understand how a New Yorker can feel justified in flying clear to Alaska to savagely snuff out an innocent bear peacefully grazing on spring grass.

Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, saw the brutality of hunting as a detriment to civilized society:

“Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is—whether its victim is human or animal—we cannot expect things to be much better in this world. We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity.”

On the rare instance that bears resort to violence, at least they don’t take moronic delight in it.

Wildlife Photography Copyright Jim Robertson