HomeOutdoorsMinnesota Hunter Survives Close Call in Woods

Minnesota Hunter Survives Close Call in Woods

by Jennifer Shea
(Photo by Thomas Frey/picture alliance)

A hunter in Minnesota plunged 14 feet while he was trying to clear some branches on a hunting trip, and his wife helped save his life. 

Michael Phipps was preparing to hunt deer last month on the day before archery season began, KARE 11 reported. He found what he believed to be “the perfect tree.” So he attached his ladder to the tree and attempted to clear a few branches to fit his portable.

A sudden drop

“Sure enough, the branch I was on broke, and sent me down about 13 or 14 feet on the ground,” Phipps said.

Phipps was struck unconscious by the fall. He lay on the ground out cold with broken ribs. 

Luckily, Phipps’s wife Erin was there with him. And Erin is an experienced hunter who shot her first buck when she was only 14.

Erin ran back to their truck and grabbed a cell phone. She called 911. Then she helped guide first responders to the spot where the couple waited to be rescued.

Minnesota Hunter’s Difficult recovery

Phipps’s recovery was not without problems. He was discharged from the hospital only to suffer difficulty breathing. So he went back, and discovered that one of his broken ribs had punctured his lung. 

He had to spend two weeks in the hospital. Only Erin could visit him because of COVID-19 precautions.

“I got to see my wife, but my kids… that was the real punishment, not being able to see my kids,” Phipps said, according to KARE 11.

On Monday, Phipps was finally able to come home. His brother David launched a GoFundMe and planned a benefit concert to raise funds for Phipps and his family. By Wednesday morning, they had raised $6,360 in donations.

They could really use the donations – to cover medical bills, to make up for Phipps’s lost work time while he recovers, and also because Erin is pregnant with another child.

In Minnesota, archery season began on September 19 and runs until December 31, 2020.