I was getting settled in my Summit in an oversized shag-bark hickory tree for an evening hint. Climbing a shag bark hickory with any cable style climber is quite a chore, but this was THE spot. I was climbing with my chest harness attached but because the tree was so large I barely had about an 1-2” of spare belt laced through the chest buckle. I reached my hunting height of about 20’ and was try to turn my summit for a better vantage point on the trail. As I did that somehow the cable on the climber plopped out of the channel. That jolt sent me scrambling and I reached for the tether between me and the tree…as I did that the small 1-2” of spare strap popped through the buckle and I was on my way down.
I always try to climb trees with other saplings nearby, primarily for cover when I get to my hunting height. Realizing this was it, I literally jumped like Tarzan from my platform and grabbed onto one of the saplings. It started to bend under my weight and slowed the fall considerably until it finally broke dripping me about 12-15 feet to the ground.
I shatter my heel and ankle in my right leg. Underwent surgery two weeks after the fall as and had a series of screws and plates installed…5-months of therapy and a second surgery in May to remove the metal screws in favor of screws made of bone because my body wasn’t accepting the metal screws…let moving and getting infected.
My happened to be with me that night which is usually a rarity when I am hunting local. I called him once I composed myself and he helped me out of the woods and to the hospital that night. No doubt, prey scary for him getting that call…
All-in-all I was VERY lucky…had I fallen freely from the original height things would have likely been much different. If I had my feet under the bungee strap in the stirrups things would have likely been much different.
The day after the fall…
Two of the many images after the initial surgery….