A hunter from Jasper, Ind., suffocated while hanging by his foot from a deer stand Wednesday at Patoka Reservoir, authorities said.
The Dubois County coroner's office ruled that Brian D. Beckman, 46, died of positional asphyxiation -- a condition that occurs when a person's body position keeps them from breathing properly.
His death was ruled accidental, and the coroner's office did not believe any medical condition led to him falling from the tree stand, said Tom Jahn, an Indiana conservation officer who was called to the scene.
"From what I understand... hanging there upside down would keep the person from getting oxygen to the brain," Jahn said.
Beckman went deer hunting alone about 12:30 p.m. When he had not returned about seven hours later, his family and friends went to look for him, Jahn said.
"His wife knew where his tree stand was," so the search party went there and found Beckman hanging upside-down from the railing of the stand, which was about 14 feet above ground, Jahn said.
Beckman was pronounced dead at the scene.
The tree stand was a commercial type consisting of a metal ladder, platform and seat.
Investigation showed Beckman appeared to have fallen from the stand, gotten his foot caught in the railing and could not right himself.
"He had all of his weight on that one foot," Jahn said.
Source: Indianapolis Star.com