Hunting accident takes life of Seaman man

An Adams County man was killed accidentally on Sunday, Oct. 18 in a hunting accident on the Adams/Highland County border.

The body of Gregory Lynn Burns, 60, of Seaman was discovered late Sunday evening by a family member. Burns had gone hunting, but had not told his family. When he failed to return home they became concerned and began to search for him. He was found by a family member who called 911.

The Highland County Sheriff’s office responded to the 911 call at 8:06 p.m.. Deputy Johnathan Malone arrived at the scene on Shaw Baker Road in Concord Township. Burns was found approximately 1/4 mile from the road in a wooded area.

According to Deputy Malone who conducted an investigation at the scene, Burns had fallen about thirty feet when a cable holding his tree stand snapped. He was unresponsive, having suffered a severe skull fracture. The Mowrystown Life Squad took him to the Adams County Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 9 p.m.

It’s not that deer hunting is unsafe, per se, but most bow hunters — and an increasing number of gun hunters — now hunt from elevated platforms and tree stands according to Howard Meyerson from the Grand Rapids Press.

In his article titled, Tree Stand Accident Numbers Don’t Add Up Meyerson reported that the Ohio State University Medical Center published a 10-year study last year showing “tree stands are the leading cause of hunting injuries in Ohio.”

Researchers were looking to “debunk the popular stereotypes that most hunting injuries are gunshot wounds,” the Medical Center announced when it released its study.

The study examined 130 hunting accident cases at two central Ohio hospitals. Half were because of falls and 92 percent of those falls were from tree stands. Only 29 percent were injuries from gunshot wounds.

Of those who fell, 59 percent suffered fractures: 47 percent had either lower or upper extremity fractures: ankles, legs, shoulders, arms and wrists. Another 18 percent had closed-head injuries and 8.2 percent “suffered permanent neurological damage.”

“Most of the hunters were not wearing safety harnesses,” said Dr. Charles Cook, the lead author of the study and a trauma surgeon at Ohio State University Medical Center.

Seaman resident Greg Burns passed away in a hunting accident on Oct. 18. resident Greg Burns passed away in a hunting accident on Oct. 18. Submitted photo
Fatal fall from tree stand responsible

By Patricia Beech

Reach Patricia Beech at 937-544-2391 or at