Yesterday I went to check a trail camera that I set up under a feeder before we left for a week out of town. Once I found that a sounder of 10 hogs had been hitting the site for the past 2 nights, I decided to drive the 45 minutes back to the house to get my ladder stand and set it up in the woods. I got back and assembled my 12' stand and stood it against the tree I had picked out 40 yards from my feeder. I wrapped my safety straps around the tree and anchored back to my stand. I attached the "dead leg" between my ladder and the tree. I then climbed up to attach my ratchet straps. I got the ratchet strap attached and sat down. I noticed the seat was at a bit of a downward angle and the ladder looked a bit bowed. The only way to adjust this is to take the ratchet back off of the tree... which I did. The seat portion of the stand began to shift and everything went into slow motion. The safety straps around the tree kept the legs from completely flying out from under it, but the top ladder section continued to bend just below the seat/stand section. I had the presence of mind to think "I'm getting ready to become a statistic" as I envisioned what part of my body would hit first. I could see one of the ladder legs come out of the ground as the stand now tilted onto one ladder leg, as the seat section continued to bend backwards. The bent dead cedar on the far side of the stand, coupled with the safety straps turned the potential final ride into a slow elevator. At one point the bending actually stopped, which allowed me to get my legs into a position that was much less compromising. At that point I was able to drop free the final 2'-3' to the ground, landing squarely on my feet. The only "injury" I sustained was a light case of "bark rash" on the inside of my left elbow/bicep area. After the adrenaline rush slowed, I decided to pull the ladder apart. Where the top ladder section inserted into the stand coupling was bent like a candy cane. I was able to bend it back a bit and pound it out of the socket/coupling. I then took that top section off of the rest of the ladder and re-attached the shortened ladder to the rest of the stand. I now have an 8' ladder stand instead of a 12' ladder stand. While some would likely lecture me on what I should have done differently, I just look at this picture and the light abrasion on my arm and know that God was watching out for me. This could have turned out much worse.