An Oregon hunter was impaled in freak accident while hauling an elk.
In an incident that once again shows you never know when a freak accident will occur, a 69-year-old Oregon hunter was airlifted after being impaled on the antlers of an elk he was dragging with an ATV.
News Channel 21 reports Gary Heeter was going into shock when first responders reached him and his hunting party in the Maury Mountains in Crook County. He was subsequently airlifted from the area by a Life Flight helicopter to St. Charles Bend hospital, where he was said to be in fair condition.
The rescue was hampered a bit due to the remoteness of the location. Fortunately, Heeter’s group was able to get a 911 call out. Officials determined Heeter had been dragging a harvested bull elk back to the group’s hunting camp behind his ATV. But when he attempted to drag the large animal up a steep hillside, Heeter was thrown off the ATV and onto the elk’s antlers when the ATV’s front end suddenly came up. Fortunately, the other members of the hunting group were able to help control the bleeding of Heeter’s wounds with bandages and pressure.
In spite of his injuries in the freak crash, Heeter was conscious and communicating with others when Crook County Sheriff’s deputies became the first responders on the scene.
The deputies on scene also helped contact the rescue helicopter which was having trouble finding the accident site and a suitable landing zone. It appears the helicopter was the only way to get the man out because an ambulance crew couldn’t get closer than 1.5 miles from the accident scene.
An incident just goes to show it always pays to hunt with a group in a remote area. Make sure you have a way of contacting the outside world. Not everyone expects a dangerous situation to happen once a harvested animal is on the ground.