Hunter dies after tree stand collapses


A hunter from Connecticut was found dead in the woods in Richmondville after an extensive search Friday night.
On Friday at about 4:40pm, Schoharie County 911 dispatchers received a call from the Richmondville Fire Chief reporting that a 59-year-old male hunter from Connecticut was missing in a heavily wooded area near Weller Road in the Town of Richmondville. It was unknown when the hunter had left his summer home to go deer hunting.
Sheriff’s deputies and the Richmondville Fire Department responded to the scene and interviewed a family member who stated that the subject’s four-wheeler and bow were missing from the home.
Due to the large area in which the male subject could possibly be, Fire Chief Dennis Cole requested that the Schoharie County Search and Rescue Team be dispatched to the scene.
When it became apparent that more assets and personnel would be needed, deputies requested a State Police helicopter to conduct an aerial search, according to police.
Due to the approaching darkness more personnel and equipment were requested from State Forest Rangers, State Conservation Officers, along with New York State Fire Search and Rescue and K-9 units and the Richmondville Volunteer Ambulance.
Searchers began checking the extremely steep and wooded area on foot.
At about 8:55pm the four-wheeler was located parked on a trail, police said. At 9:05pm the male subject was located deceased.
Further investigation revealed that the deceased was approximately 20 feet above ground in his tree stand. The stand gave way causing him to fall to the ground.
Schoharie County Coroner Donna McGovern ruled the death accidental due to blunt force trauma.
Coroner McGovern was at the scene and ordered the body be taken to Ellis Hospital for an autopsy, police said.
The name of the victim was not released at this time pending notification to family members, police added.