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Hunter rescued after awkward deer ‘head stand’

It’s not a photo any hunter wants on social media. A hunter in Michigan is a little embarrassed after being stuck hanging upside down from a tree stand – 40 feet in the air – for nearly three hours in chilly temperatures.

The lone outdoorsman was scaling a tree in Pinckney Recreation Area around 7 a.m. Monday when he slipped from his self-climbing tree stand and his feet got caught in the rigging, MLive reported.

The hunter had not yet hitched his safety harness to the massive tree when he tumbled, so his “stuck” feet were the only way his body remained latched to the stand, Chelsea Area Fire Authority Captain Scott Basar told the outlet.

Fortunately, the unnamed man was able to call 911 from his cell phone.

Responders from the Chelsea Area Fire Department and Washtenaw County Technical Rescue Team arrived around 7:25 a.m., and found the man roughly a half-mile into the woods.

“Now I’m looking, there’s no anchors, how do I get to this guy? Thinking about how we’re going to do this without getting him hurt. He’s pinned between the two tree stands so any adjustment there and he could have fallen out,” Steve Wallgren of the Technical Rescue Team told WNEM of the mission.

The rescuer added that he kept the man calm by discussing local community news.

“Talking about Chelsea football. They’ll be at Ford Field on Friday. Go Dogs,” Wallgren recalled.

Thanks to the efforts of about 30 responders, the man was successfully freed from the stand at around 9:41 a.m., WILX reported.

The hunter was transported to the University of Michigan Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries and is expected to make a full recovery, according to the outlet.


“Luckily everything worked out great. He’s a tough guy, didn’t get no complaints out of him dangling from a tree like that,” Wallgren said.


The Michigan hunter’s mishap follows a similar incident from earlier this year, during which a 70-year-old Oregon hunter was stuck upside-down in his tree stand, over 20 feet in the air, for two days.