Always wear a safety harness

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I’ve been deer and turkey hunting for nearly 20 yrs. Ive killed a lot of nice bucks and toms in those 20 yrs. Ive also had the opportunity to be on a few hunting shows and numerous pro staffs but on October 8  if this year i made a mistake while hunting that nearly cost me my life! I was deer hunting in central Indiana that morning and after the morning hunt i climbed down in my climbing tree stand leaving my video camera and crossbow in tree so i could hunt there again that evening.

After lunch i decided to drive my ATV a mile and a half to a lock-on tree stand i have on the other side of my farm. Once there i cut some limbs and tied a few of them to my pull rope so i could use them for cover up near stand. Once i climbed up the 21 ft to stand i pulled the branches up so i could tie them on to a limb for more cover. I sat on the stand platform and placed my foot on a 10 inch in diameter limb that was coming off tree from under the stand. When i put a little bit of weight on the limb it broke and i fell straight down landing on my right side, head first, not hitting anything on the way down to break my fall.

Once i realized what had happened i tried to move and when i did i could feel my insides burning, i couldn’t breathe, and i was starting to go in and out of consciousness. I told myself i needed to somehow, get back to my ATV, so i crawled the 50 yds back to my ATV and proceeded to ride out to get help because where i was at my cell phone was no help. Once i got out to the county road i saw the county highway dept stopped near my jeep cutting limbs away from the roadway so the combines can get up and down the road. I rode up to them and they new  i was in trouble so they called 911. Once i was in the ambulance the highway workers went back to my tree-stand where i hunted in the morning and collected my camera, crossbow, and stand and they loaded everything up including my ATV.

Once at the hospital they realized i had shattered my collar bone, punctured and collapsed my lung, broke every rib on my right side front and back, bruised my kidney, and had a concussion. I spent 9 days in the hospital, 5 of them in the intensive care unit! I am  currently recovering at home waiting to see if i need any surgeries. I should have died that day but for some reason god spared me.

You owe it to yourself and most importantly you owe it to your family to always wear a safety harness whether your hunting in a climber or a ladder stand, 10 ft or 30 ft, you should always wear one. I thought i was too good of a hunter to wear one but i was wrong. Don’t put your family and friends through what i put my family and friends through! Its not fair to them or you! Hunting is my passion but it’s not worth killing myself over!

My mission now is to share my story, picture, and testimony with as many people as possible hoping that maybe my story can talk at least one person into buying and wearing a safety harness! Ive never really been a religious person but after receiving my second chance at life and with the help of two of my good friends, i was baptized this past sunday!! Please feel free to share my story and picture with everyone.

Happy and safe hunting!!

by Brian Calvert

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