Iowa hunter dies after tree stand collapses

OLLIE, Iowa — An Iowa man died Thursday after a tree stand collapsed while he was hunting, authorities said.

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According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Raymond Byers, 76, was reported missing when authorities said he did not return home after hunting on his property, KCCI reported.

Byers was hunting during early muzzleloader season, which began Oct. 17. The Keokuk County Sheriff’s Office and the fire and rescue teams found Byers deceased, the DNR said in a statement. Investigators believe Byers fell from a treestand he was using to hunt, KGAN reported.

An autopsy will be performed at the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner in Ankeny, the television station reported.

The DNR released safety tips for hunters using tree stands, KCCI reported.

“Always properly wear a full-body harness/fall restraint device,” the agency said. "Maintain three points of contact when you are climbing in and out of an elevated stand. Always use a haul line to raise up and lower equipment to and from the elevated stand. Stands should not be left up year-round, and prior to season you always want to check straps, buckles, climbing steps, etc. for wear and tear prior to set up and use.”

For more about tree stand safety, click here.