News 21

Remember the Hunter Who was Impaled by Elk Antlers in a Freak Accident?

An Oregon hunter suffered serious injuries after a freak accident that occurred while he was hauling an elk.

In an incident that once again shows you never know when a freak accident will occur, emergency responders had to airlift a 69-year-old Oregon hunter. An elk's antlers impaled him as he was dragging it 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.

A Life Flight helicopter subsequently airlifted him to St. Charles Hospital in Bend, where he was reportedly in fair condition.

The remoteness of the location hampered the rescue a bit. Fortunately, though, 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 four-wheeler.

But when he attempted to drag the large animal up a steep hillside, Heeter fell 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 deputies from the Crook County Sheriff's Office 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.