Saturday, May 12, 2012

Finally after 6 months I finally feel comfortable enough to tell about a hunting accident that happened to me on opening day Nov. 2011. My son and I where stalking some deer in the national forest and we didn't have any doe tags so we could only bag a buck. Well we had came to a small clearing with about 5-6 deer about 60-70 yards away and it was somewhat foggy. I was shooting a 1942 303 british infantry rifle that had been modified in the 1960s with a monte carlo stock and a cut down barrel. Its a fine shooting rifle. It was given to me by a close friend of the family on his dying bed. I keep the gun cleaned and polished and I am extremely a real gun safety freak. Well I bolted a round in the chamber and looked through the scope to see if I could spot a buck, I didn't. So I eased the gun down assured the safety was on and held it hanging parrell to my rt. leg barrel pointing down. My son had heard something coming up behind us so he had turned to take a look and then I heard the report of a rifle. I said did you shoot if not that was awful close. He said no and looked down and excitedly stated. "hey dad you OK!" I said yeah why, he answered "your foot is smoking" I then looked down and realized the gun I was holding had somehow fired off the round I was holding the gun in the curvature behind the trigger guard and my finger was nowhere near the trigger. I looked at the safety and it was still on. I looked at my foot again and I could see a black hole through my boot about 2" in diameter about 2" from the end of my foot. I tried to move my toes in my boot but couldn't feel my big toe, I picked up my foot and looked at bottom of boot and a small 1/2" diameter exit hole with a small amount of blood on it. I am an eagle scout and always carry a first aid kit so I open my small backpack and my helped me tie a bandage around my boot and I told him we'd better head for the truck. I also always carry a pedometer because I like to measure the distances that I track deer to see how far they are moving. at about 1/2 mile I started feeling a little pressure to my foot. My son I think was the one in shock. He looked really pale, so I started telling jokes to make light of everything so it would ease his tension. We finally made it to the truck at 1mile and 1/10. We loaded our gear in the truck. He was only 13 at the time and has driven much and I asked him if he felt like driving he said no, I think he was still a little in shock, So I climbed into the drivers seat and using the side of my rt .foot to push the throttle we where off by now it was starting to smart some. I grabbed my cell phone but could get no signal in the area we where at and had to drive about 6 miles before I did get a signal. I tried calling my wife but her phone just rang. So I called her folks but theres just rang also. So I called mine, my mom answered and I told her notto panic when I told her what I was about to tell her but if she could try to get my wife on the phone and have her meet me at the hospital. She said she would and I had to drive about, 24 more miles to get to the local ER. By this time my foot was soaking the bandage and my son was still not sure of himself. He did help me out of the truck and into the ER. I told the registration clerk what had happened and they immediately went to work. They had to cut my favorite boots off of my foot and to my surprise my big toe was still intact. I did have a massive gunshot wound thru the joint of my big toe and foot I was then rushed into surgery and the wound was cleaned and closed. My wife chewed me out for using an old ancient relic of a gun. By the way the firing pin was very worn from bigging such an old gun that the gunsmith told me any slight bump could have made it go off. So now I am all healed and will always walk with a slight limp the rest of my life butthe lesson I learned and most important is to always be prepared, mentally, physically and emotionally. I am always working scenarios out in my head, I am always learning new skills, so I can be assertive, I have good medical training, and I usually try to be tough thru small little accidents, bumps and bruises which I think gives me a hi tolerance to pain. I feel if we train ourselves, learning skills, testing ourselves, etc we are preparing ourselves everyday to not panic in bad situations. I think this taught my son a lesson also to be more prepared. He was a little not so sure, but I tried to be the one to make it all seem alright to help him. If we are sure of our selves and assertive in our quick thinking abilities then we have nothing to worry about. This is a true paleo survival skill. Making due with what your surroundings provide to get thru. I know I will continue to work to be a survivor striving to succeed and go forward no matter what life throw in my way.