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December 1, 2002

Hunter spends three hours upside down

From: South Bend Tribune, IN - 1 Dec 2002


BLUFFTON, Ind. (AP) -- A hunter is expected to fully recover from injuries he suffered while hanging upside down for three hours from a tree stand 15 feet above the ground.

Matthew Foreman, 36, was beginning a two-day hunt in Ouabache State Park when his legs became trapped in the stand Nov. 18.

Foreman, who is deaf and has limited speech, had difficulty yelling for help in the park about 20 miles south of Fort Wayne. When he flipped backward, his cell phone and shotgun both fell to the ground and his efforts to pull himself up by wrapping his belt around the tree stand were unsuccessful.

"It's already difficult for him to be understood because of his voice," Foreman's wife, Stacey, said. "And the more he yelled, by the end of three hours, he said he really had lost his voice and couldn't yell very well."

Eventually, Foreman's hunting partner discovered him and went for help.

"Here was this guy, hanging out of a tree stand with his shirt rolled down by his armpits," conservation officer Scott Charters said. "He was at about a 45-degree angle, hanging onto a wild grapevine that was on an adjoining tree."

Foreman was able to swing his body side to side and grab the vine. After awhile, though, his arms would tire and he would have to let go to rest.

Park personnel used a ladder and rope to help get Foreman upright, and firefighters used ropes and pulleys to hoist him free of the tree stand and lower him to the ground.

Foreman was taken to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne, where he was treated for severe swelling in the calves of both legs that required incisions to relieve pressure.

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