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Tree stand accidents prompt call for hunter safety

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- With one death already reported, West Virginia wildlife officials are urging hunters to use a harness and other safety measures when they hunt from a tree stand. Lt. Tim Coleman of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources says nine tree stand incidents in the state have resulted in life-threatening injuries. The worst year for tree stand falls was last year, when 14 injuries were recorded. None involved fatal injuries.
 Coleman is the state hunter education coordinator. He encourages hunters to fully understand the safety features of tree stands, to shop for the most comfortable one and to practice using an elevated hunting platform at ground-level before hoisting it up a tree for a day's hunting.Coleman also advises hunters to pick a perch on a tree that is straight.
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