A 49-year-old Columbia man fell out of a tree stand and died while deer hunting over the weekend in Williamson County.
The Williamson County Sheriff's Office said Kerry Seiber's wife became concerned when her husband didn't return home Saturday night.
Seiber's son was able to ping his dad's cell phone and found the general area where it was located off Sulphur Springs Road near the Williamson-Maury county line.
Seiber's body was found below the homemade tree stand that sits 23 feet in the air. His gun was found hanging on a hook in the stand.
A safety harness was not present and officials said Seiber's death appears to be a tragic accident.
Surprisingly, tree stands cause the majority of serious injuries or deaths relating to hunting, according to Doug Markham with the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency.
“Most people probably think that hunters get hurt or killed most by accidental shootings, but it's actually the tree stands that hunters use as a perch that cause the majority of serious injuries or deaths,” Markham explained. “Hunters like to be above deer because they want a sight advantage, but also because they want to avoid being smelled by deer as much as possible. What happens is they sometimes don't follow safety procedures for climbing up in a tree stand and fall from their perch.”
He continued, “It may not sound like it's far to fall, but 10 or 20 feet above the ground is a long way to come tumbling down on yourself.”
Markham says hunters should always check the strength of the tree where the stand is located in addition to the stand itself, and make sure to use a safety harness in case all else fails.
The conventional gun season, the most popular big game hunt of the year, begins Saturday.