When I heard over the weekend that Lorin Larsen of Madison had died from injuries sustained in a bow hunting accident it took my breath away.  I've never met Lorin.  I have no idea what kind of a guy he was.  I do however know bow hunting and bow hunters.

We get up early to get to the stand as early as 45 minutes or more "before legal".  Let me explain.  Big game laws say you can hunt 1/2 hour before legal local sunrise.  That means many times you're either getting up in your stand in the dark, or getting down from that stand after dark.

Many bow hunters like to get up high too.  20 to 25 feet isn't uncommon.  Factor in a steep incline and you might be a long way up when your in the stand.

Getting up and in...and out and down are where the majority of tree stand accidents happen.  It's the time when you as a hunter are most vulnerable.  Though I don't have the particulars, it's reasonable to assume that his accident was either getting up...getting down or if didn't have a safety harness on up in the stand and fell asleep or lost his balance.

I love to bow hunt.  I'm sure Lorin did too.  And I'm sorry to hear that his love of the outdoors cost him his life. Since I love to bow hunt and many of my listeners in Kickin' Country do too, let's make something positive happen with this tragic loss.

Let's all make a fresh commitment to safety while hunting.  #1  Wear a safety harness.  They might not always save your bacon, but wear one.  All the time.

Let's always let a hunting buddy (not your wife or girlfriend) know where and when your hunting.  That includes stand location!  Call them the night before.  Leave them an email or text but let someone know where you're hunting and when.  No exceptions.

Be careful and use help when you can in putting up or taking down stands.  It's tricky and things happen.    I also like to say, keep 3 on the tree when going up or down.   Move one hand at a time and one foot at a time when going up or going down.  Keep those steps close enough you can reach them.  It can get downright acrobatic getting up and down...buy some extra steps to make it as easy as you can.

Get a good head lamp to wear.  Getting up or down in the dark holding a flashlight is an invitation for disaster.

Get a good tow string to bring your bow and other equipment up to the stand.

Best advice?  When your up...Tie on.  I've had huge deer walk because I was on the wrong side of a tree and bound up by a safety harness.  It doesn't matter. WEAR ONE all the time!   No deer on the planet is worth not wearing a safety harness.  Use one coming down too.

Did Lorin make any of the mistakes I'm talking about?  Maybe.  Maybe not, but if you bow hunt you owe it to your family and friends to take every safety precaution.  It's beautiful and fun but bow hunting can be dangerous.

My thoughts and prayers to out to Lorin and his family.  I love the sport of bow hunting the way I'm sure Lorin did.  I would love to have met him and exchanged hunting stories.

If you've been out and up already this year or if you're waiting for the rut it's time to review.  Not only where you're going to hunt and when but every safety detail that you can incorporate into making it a safe and great hunt.

Climb safe.  Shoot Straight!


Madison, SD - Lorin Larsen, age 49, died as the result of injuries sustained while hunting near Hurley, SD on October 13, 2012.

He was born on January 4, 1963 at Sioux Falls, SD to Roger and Eunice (Wenzlaff) Larsen. He married Karen Maroon on October 12, 1985 at Madison. He married Kathy Young on February 14, 2005 at Custer, SD.

He is survived by one son - Logan of Crooks. Three daughters - Kelsi Larsen of Sioux Falls, Kristin (Brady) Wiebe and Jordyn Larsen both of Madison. His father - Roger Larsen of Hurley. Two sisters - Lori (Duane) Benson of Hurley, Lisa (Stephen) Cotting of Anchorage, AK. Special friend - Sue Keenom of Washington, DC.

He was preceded in death by his mother - Eunice Gosett.

Funeral Services will be held at 1:30 PM on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse with Rev Tim Traxell officiating. Burial will be in the Hurley Cemetery.

He grew up in Hurley graduating from Hurley High School in 1981 where he participated in football, basketball and track. He graduated from Dakota State University in 1985 with a degree in business. After graduation he went to work at KJAM Radio in Madison where he worked for 26 years last as station manager. He was presently employed as an account executive for WNAX Radio in Yankton.

He was Chairman of the DSU Alumni Association and immediate past chairman of the SD Broadcaster Association. He officiated basketball and football for many years.

The family will be present at 7:00 PM on Tuesday at the Weiland Funeral Chapel which is in charge of the arrangements.

Memorials may be directed to the Lorin Larsen Scholarship Fund at Hurley High School.

To send a message of sympathy visit www.weilandfuneralchapel.com.



Tuesday, October 16, 7:00pm

Weiland Funeral Chapel

320 N. Egan

Madison, SD  57042