A Claremore hunter broke both his legs after falling nearly 20 feet out of his deer stand and is now recovering.
He said it was terrifying, painful, and totally preventable. Colby Clark's advice for hunters is to wear their harnesses. He said he's been hunting since he was 8-years-old and knows what he's doing but he missed a step getting out of his deer stand and now he won't be able to walk for a whole year.
Colby Clark was in his element at the end of deer gun season, 18 feet up in his tree stand, and had just shot a deer.
"I had been up there for four and a half hours by the time I fell," Clark said.
Clark has grown up hunting. After he saw the deer go down, he rushed to get down, and that's when he missed a step on his ladder.
"Being in the hurry, getting out of the stand, I misgauged where the step was and went 20 feet down the quick way," he said.
Colby hit the ground and his cousin just happened to be there. Colby broke bones in both legs and has been in a wheelchair since late November. He can't believe how fast this freak accident changed everything.
"Hunted this stand for the past four years," he said.
Several doctors told Colby he's lucky to have survived a fall from that high and many people wouldn't have. Colby said he wasn't wearing a harness and never has.
"I've never worn a harness before but after today, I will be," he said.
Now, he wants to urge every hunter to be sure to wear theirs, because things can change in an instant.
"It's a lot easier to take that extra 5 minutes to put the harness on than it is to go through over a year of not being able to walk," he said.
Saturday is the last day of archery season and Colby hopes hunters will learn a lesson from him.
He said he is expected to be in a wheelchair for a few more months and hopes to be walking again by next deer season.