I don't think I've ever seen a widowmaker...

St. Coemgen

Feeling the Heat
Feb 4, 2016
323
Hungary
www.stcoemgen.com
I've always understood widow makers to be pieces of tree tops or limbs either snagged or dubiously attached in a tree that is not immediately obvious to those underneath, and of particular hazard to tree fallers, etc. Sure, a leaning tree could be considered a widow maker I suppose, but in those cases, the hazard and or risk of being around or under it is relatively obvious and can be avoided as necessary.
You are correct what is a widow maker.

But in some cases, being able to walk or drive around a widow maker may not be so easy. Where I live, there are fences, that impede walking around such obstacles. So I am saying, it is complicated. And if the land owner, or the "government" does not deal with it... I have been know to do so. Even at legal risk to myself.

Just saying.

Hope this helps.
 
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St. Coemgen

Feeling the Heat
Feb 4, 2016
323
Hungary
www.stcoemgen.com
when I first started in tree work. Much safer than a saw just harder and slower.
The smaller saw in the photo is a Fiskars SW84 hand saw.


I highly recommend it. It is "pull" saw (if you push it, you will bend the blade), but it very sharp and can cut through most trees like butter.

Video of me using one on some wine vines (pulling it out like a sword is only an extra fun benefit).

 
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Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
876
Western Washington
The smaller saw in the photo is a Fiskars SW84 hand saw.


I highly recommend it. It is "pull" saw (if you push it, you will bend the blade), but it very sharp and can cut through most trees like butter.

Video of me using one on some wine vines (pulling it out like a sword is only an extra fun benefit).

Man, that pruning video is totally pro. Wine vineyards are pretty popular where I’m at. Just started taking off in the last 20 or 30 years and I guess we have exceptional conditions for good wine. I had no idea there was so much to it.
 

sesmith

Feeling the Heat
Dec 11, 2009
256
Central NY
My understanding is also that the term widowmaker describes dead branches up in a tree that can come down and kill you when cutting trees. A leaning dead tree is pretty easy to avoid, a branch you may not have noticed, not so much.

When I was clearing one of my trails a few years ago, I had cut a couple of small trees that were overhanging it and in the way. I had set the saw down and was in the process of dragging the branches off the trail. I have no idea where it came from, but a large dead branch about 3" in diameter came from somewhere overhead and speared me right in the head with it's butt end. It drove me right to the ground. Stroke of luck was that I still had my hard hat on. On a hot day (it was) I might have already taken that off, but hadn't. The branch glanced off the helmet, broke off the ear protection, and bruised and cut my shoulder. Other than a headache the rest of the day, no further damage. The weird part is that the trees I had cut were nowhere near the upper canopy where that branch had to come from. Just being in the wrong place at the right time I guess? Hard hat stays on all the time when I'm working in the woods now.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
876
Western Washington
What you just described was the reason we never wore ear protection when we were working in old growth. Something the old timers advised and I listened. I personally saved 3 lives by hearing the sound something makes on its way down from way up above.
 

MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
547
NE Missouri
While scrounging for firewood last December, I ran across a real widow maker, the victim was a whitetail deer. I noticed this downed oak, then saw the tips of some antlers, as I got closer I saw the fur spread out on the ground. The tree was wedged between the antlers of an 8 pointer. The only conclusion was the tree had fallen on it, right between the antlers, pinning it to the ground. The bark looks rubbed off around the antlers, like it was struggling to get free. I reported it to a conservation agent, he agreed the tree fell on the deer.

In the picture you can see the antlers on both sides of the tree, and a broken tine on the bottom set of antlers. What are the odds of that happening? That poor deer was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Deer11a.jpg Deer13.JPG
 
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burning VC

New Member
Feb 6, 2020
13
wNC
Just wanted to comment.....
I have a REAL widowmaker....covers all the bases.....I'll try to get a photo...

The Bambi above.....Tree did NOT fall on it...

Almost certain that buck was marking territory, by rubbing his head on the tree....
'deer rub'

If you look at the end of that trunk, the base is knotty, gnarled and rotten....not splintered and split..

That deer went up to a standing dead tree, tried to rub his head between the antlers, and the tree came down, pinning him by the horns to the ground.

A widowmaker falling down onto antlers would have broken them off, crushed a skull, etc.....severe trauma...

This just looks like Darwin's version of a Winner Deer....(hey lets get rid of the one that rubs Dead Trees).

.02
 
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MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
547
NE Missouri
Just wanted to comment.....
I have a REAL widowmaker....covers all the bases.....I'll try to get a photo...

The Bambi above.....Tree did NOT fall on it...

Almost certain that buck was marking territory, by rubbing his head on the tree....
'deer rub'

If you look at the end of that trunk, the base is knotty, gnarled and rotten....not splintered and split..

That deer went up to a standing dead tree, tried to rub his head between the antlers, and the tree came down, pinning him by the horns to the ground.

A widowmaker falling down onto antlers would have broken them off, crushed a skull, etc.....severe trauma...

This just looks like Darwin's version of a Winner Deer....(hey lets get rid of the one that rubs Dead Trees).

.02
I do agree this isn't really what you would normally consider a widow maker, like a snagged tree or branch overhead. This was a widow maker none the less.

This deer has been the analyzed and discussed, with a conservation agent, and more importantly guy's that have been deer hunting since they were 10 years old, and everyone reached the same conclusion.

The deer rubbing the tree is the first thing that comes to mind. However deer rub much smaller trees while standing on all fours, with their nose toward the ground. In this case, the base of the tree is near it's rump, this deer would have to be sitting on it's tail, with it's back to the tree, looking up the tree, and had to force it's antlers around it. The tree on the deer was wedged in between the antlers, I had to work them free. One antler is broken (the trauma).

The conservation agent had to write out a disposition form before I could keep the antlers, the form says I have to keep it with the antlers, and I can never give them away or sell them.. :)

This picture is what a deer rub looks like, it's a small locust tree.
 

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burning VC

New Member
Feb 6, 2020
13
wNC
Heh heh heh
It's 100% plausible, however infinitesimally unlikely that the deer was taken in the way you imagined, MoDoug, but to be polite I will no longer disagree with your strong opinion.

Never posit absolutes.(see what i did there? )

If THIS tree leaned and fell onto THIS deer, AND he pulls back to get away, where do you think the trunk Top MIGHT end up?
(toward nose)
Leverage + weight distribution + fulcrum
Rub Lines and Hunting Success: Part 1 | NDA


. However deer rub much smaller trees while standing on all fours, with their nose toward the ground.
NEVER posit Absolutes!!
The Old Traditional Deer Rub

Tree, not small. Between horns, Negative. Not looking down or up..

If THIS tree (above) came down, it would strongly resemble the end in your photo, down to the 'round critter burrow' already started in the 'ground level rootball' at the end of the tree trunk that pinned your deer.






Also, in my pic below, I can find maybe twenty trees same size as your Deerkiller,
shallow enough that I can push them outta the ground, barely alive, but full canopy trees.
(look at ALL the rootballs already!! geez)



In this picture(beloew), where is the danger?
*laughs*


And looky at ALL the deer path...


This is the border to my driveway.
The left margin is the tree line, more or less..
1617510889352.jpeg


In all four directions from my house is similar,....the river is at the bottom of the hill, house is on the hilltop.

We have Oak Acorns, Hickory Nuts, Black Walnuts, Chestnut, Persimmons, Apples, Wild Cherrys, blue and blackberries on our land...
and I throw old bread and stale popcorn outside every day or so...



But How many ways to die can you find in my photo?

Where is the widowmaker(s)?
 

MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
547
NE Missouri
@burning VC , politeness is always appreciated by all.

And a blessed Easter to everyone!