As autumn approaches, hunters are preparing to take to the woods in search of game. According to CNS News, there are about 13.7 million hunters in the U.S., 12.7 million of which use some form of firearm, and 4.5 million report hunting with a bow and arrow.
That’s a lot of people and a lot of weaponry, and it leaves plenty of room for a lot of accidents. Some are lethal, some aren’t, and some are just outright strange.
William McCormick, 28, was struck by the tumbling animal while hunting with a partner near Carter Lake on Saturday afternoon.
The incident happened in Alaska in which two men were hunting with rifles, according to Forbes, the men spotted a bear up on a ridge and shot it.
So far, so good. The bear promptly fell down the ridge, however, bringing a number or rocks with it. Not only was the hunter struck by the rocks – the bear also landed on top of him.
The hunter who was hit had to be taken to the hospital, and his injuries are reported to be life-threatening, showing that accidental weapon discharge isn’t the only danger when you’re out looking for game.
There are a lot of bizarre and dare we say it funny incidents when people have been out hunting – below is just a handful.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported several unusual hunting mishaps and all just in the state of Georgia. One was an incident that occurred in 2010, in which a man named Hutch Murphey was accidentally shot in his rear end – by his dog.
It happened while Murphey was goose hunting with several other men. The incident report for the accident names the shooter as a 3-year-old yellow Labrador retriever named “Buddy” and specifies that Buddy didn’t have a hunting license, nor did he ever graduate from a hunter safety course.
Another accident involved a man taking a fall out of a tree stand. Tree stands are raised platforms attached to trees, where hunters can more easily spot and shoot game. A man named Robert Razzano was sitting in a ladder stand, looking for deer.
Without his realizing it, his legs had fallen asleep, and when he tried to stand up, he just fell right over, plummeting 18 feet before hitting the ground. His face hit a tree root, and his elbows went into his ribs, causing breaks in his jaw, both wrists, several ribs, and his back.
While the man blames his fall on the loss of feeling in his legs, the DNR’s report on the accident states that there was alcohol involved and that a safety harness could have prevented the entire thing.
The AJC also reported a case in which a man was fatally shot by his 12-year-old son while they and other family members were hunting hogs. The boy was new to hunting, and excited because his uncle had just killed a hog nearby. The light was fading, and when the boy saw movement coming toward him, he took his shot.
The movement wasn’t from another hog, it was the boy’s father, coming to get him from his tree stand. The AJC noted that a large percentage of the hunting-related shooting accidents the DNR reports on involve hunters who didn’t take hunter safety classes.
Another incident was reported in Montana, by the Bozeman Daily News, in which a man who was out bow hunting fell down a steep hill. In his fall, an arrow fell out of his quiver and impaled him in the thigh. His companions were able to remove the arrow and put on a compression bandage while they waited for rescue and the man was successful lifted out and taken for treatment.
In Kansas, some men out turkey hunting ended up stalking each other, according to the Wichita Eagle. A man started running toward the turkey he thought he had shot, but when he got there, he discovered he had shot two of his companions instead.
The shooter was adamant that he had seen turkeys moving around over there, but in fact, he was looking at a turkey’s preserved tail fan, behind which his companions were hiding. The man who did the shooting was likewise camouflaged, and the hunters were stalking each other.
The moral of these stories is this: If you’re planning on going hunting any time soon, use your head. Take the appropriate safety classes and use the right equipment. Avoiding alcohol while you’re out there and armed is a good idea, too. Happy hunting, and don’t shoot any bears uphill.