Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Deer Stand Fatalities in Kentucky: Two Cases of Reverse Suspension and Blunt Force Trauma

Shields, Lisa B. E. MD; Stewart, Donna MD

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: March 2011 - Volume 32 - Issue 1 - p 39-43
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3181eafe05
Case Reports

Hunting many types of wild game is an avidly pursued outdoor activity that attracts all ages and both genders at various times of the year. Deer hunting is a popular sport in many regions of North America. A variety of weapons are used in the hunting, trapping, and killing of game. As a variety of different modalities are used, myriad types of injuries unique to the type of hunting can occur. Most deer hunting-related fatalities identified at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Kentucky are accidental firearm injuries. Less commonly encountered are fatalities resulting from elevation of the hunter in a tree stand, often associated with poor design or construction of the perch. We present 2 tree stand-related deaths. One victim died of positional asphyxia due to reverse suspension from a hunting tree stand. The second victim died of multiple blunt force injuries sustained in a 20-foot fall from a tree stand. We summarize the features of morbidity and mortality related to deer hunting based on investigations by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

From the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner; and Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY.

Manuscript received October 13, 2009; accepted November 22, 2009.

Reprints: Donna Stewart, MD, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Urban Government Center, 810 Barret Ave, Louisville, KY 40204. E-mail:

Presented at the 37th Annual NAME Meeting, September 19-24, 2003, SanJose, CA.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.