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Monroe County man dies in fall from tree stand

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A hunter in Monroe County died over the weekend after falling from a tree stand, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

A hunter in the Morgan-Monroe State Forest found 57-year-old Kevin Leech, of Heltonville, on the ground Saturday near the intersection of Bruce Lane and State Road 45. That’s about three miles east of Unionville and 12 miles northeast of Bloomington.

State conservation officers say Leech was hunting from a climbing tree stand when, for some reason, the stand malfunctioned and Leech fell.

Leech, who was not wearing a full-body safety harness, was pronounced dead at the scene. An exact cause of death is pending an autopsy.

The most common injuries during deer hunting seasons are accidents involving tree stands and elevated platforms, according to Indiana DNR.

Elevated platform hunting tips include:

  • Wear a full-body harness
  • Use a tree stand’s safety rope
  • Never try to put up or remove a tree stand by yourself
  • Always inspect a tree stand before climbing up into it

Visit the Indiana DNR website to learn more about hunting and outdoor safety.