After watching a video of a hunter in a tree stand being rescued, it had me thinking of the potential harm they put the victim in.

I have done tree work for the past nine years and have seen plenty of nasty injuries including one death from a throw bag. The thought of launching a throw bag past a person in a tree is just bad practice. Im all for throwing to branches under the victim, but the potential harm that can be caused by hitting the victim is unacceptable. Now add the forces of launching one from a sling shot and you have turned it to a deadly blunt force. Keep in mind also that once the bag has launched it will have the potential to deflect off objects and go towards the victim. Even the most sesoned user of a throw ball has had one get away from them here and there. Now put that in perspective to someone that may do it here and there mostly in drills and in perfect conditions. Would you want that flying up at you?

I know there is no real standard of practice when it comes to throw bags and rescues, but this could be a good starting point to have SOGs thought up. When I show people how to throw a bag into a tree I always start with them doing it on their own ( no sling shot ). A person when using proper technique can throw a bag accurately within 60 to 70 feet. A sling shot is more for the 80- 120 feet range with more of a wider field of accuracy ( bigger chance of a bad shot). The best practice I have found is to throw to a branch two lower then where the victim is and start from there. There will be a better span of control this way and less fuss with getting a point above that will be perfect and isolated. Also when done in this way the rescue climber will be able to hand pick a anchor placement close up instead of looking up at it saying " it looks good ". Isolation of the line is a whole other skill in its self that should be learned also in a case like this.

Thoughts?