Hunter encourages use of harness after tree stand fall

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Tree stand safety is back in the spotlight after another hunter was badly hurt. Officials say it was the ninth tree stand accident in Indiana this year.

Ronald Blasko was hunting in Porter County when he fell more than 14 feet. He wasn't wearing a safety harness.

Eyewitness News reporter Emily Longnecker talked with another hunter who is also recovering from a fall.

Bob Turner says, "I'm counting my blessings."

And that's about all Bob Turner can do these days - with a broken back and right wrist. He suffered those injuries after falling last week out of his tree stand while hunting.

"I heard the stand creek and about that same time, it came out from underneath me and I went down." Turner explained.

Turner was wearing a safety harness but hadn't attached it yet.

"I didn't get a chance to get it hooked up, I mean as soon as I got on there it was that quick, that quick." He added.

Turner's healing will take months.

"At least I have my life. I have my family and they have me still around to provide for 'em you know." He reflects.

His wife, Stephanie, is just thankful her husband is alive.

"When you see him lying there flat on his back and just in so much pain, and nothing anybody can do, you can't. You do your best to try and make 'em comfortable. It's hard."

And its hard for Turner to just sit still. He's got no choice though.

Turner says other hunters do have a choice and he hopes the one they make is to wear a safety harness if they're hunting from above.

"Life is full of choices and it's up to you to make the right one."

A safety harness is not required in Indiana.. if you're hunting from a tree stand.

The Department of Natural Resources has launched a campaign though, urging hunters to wear one anyway.