Lt. Bradley Morse
CO Ronald Arsenault
November 16, 2022

New Durham, NH – On Tuesday, November 15, 2022 shortly before 11:30 a.m., New Hampshire Fish and Game was notified of a hunter who had sustained a serious injury falling from a tree stand. Conservation Officers responded along with New Durham Police, Fire, and Alton Fire. The hunter was located with GPS coordinates from 911. The hunter was approximately ½ mile from the nearest class VI road with a serious but non-life-threating injury to his right ankle. The hunter was identified as Joseph J. Bethoney, 56, of Medfield, MA.

Bethoney explained that he was moving tree stands from one location to another and while climbing one of the tree stands to secure the ladder, it started to fall backwards. He jumped off about eight feet from the ground, sustaining an injury to his right ankle. Bethoney felt that his ankle was broken and called 911 for assistance. A New Durham firefighter and a Conservation Officer were able to carry Bethoney ½ mile back to the awaiting OHRV. The OHRV transported Bethoney approximately 2 miles down a class VI road to an awaiting ambulance. The ambulance transported Bethoney to Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro for evaluation and treatment.

This is a good reminder to use safety straps and harnesses while climbing in and out of tree stands and make sure they are secure before climbing up.