Bow Hunter Impaled by Another’s Arrow Airlifted out of Colorado Wilderness

by Joe Rutland
(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

In Colorado, the life of a bow hunter probably was saved thanks to his rescue beacon after being impaled by another arrow. This all takes place in the Colorado wilderness. Now, the hunter happened to be impaled above his knee. This happened while he was hiking off trail, a member of the Routt County Search and Rescue said as CBS News reported. 

Now, the arrow, which was referred to as a “lost” arrow, was left behind by another hunter. This happened after an errant shot took place, RCSAR Vice President Harry Sandler told CBS4 in Colorado. Actually, no one really knows how long that arrow had been there. But Sandler said that it’s the second year in a row that a Routt County bow hunter was injured while encountering one.  

Bow Hunter Rescued From Colorado Backcountry

In reviewing the incident, this injured bow hunter had sent an SOS on his rescue beacon. He would shut the device off because of low battery power. Then, an RCSAR team rode four miles to the Elk Park Trailhead north of Steamboat Springs. They hiked 2.5 miles to reach the South Fork of Mad Creek. Then, they would bushwhack upstream and through dense timber and knee-deep swamps another 1.5 miles to reach the hunter’s last known coordinates. The hunter was easily found and had not moved from his location.

With the difficult terrain, this team would determine that carrying the hunter out via a litter was difficult. They did request a helicopter and one landed nearby. It would transport the bow hunter to UCHealth’s Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs. Then, the aircraft would return and lift the rescue team out of the area and back to their ATVs, Sandler said. 

Last year, another archery hunter, Sandler said, was injured near South Franz Creek and Mount Candy. North Routt Fire Protection District was able to reach that hunter by all-terrain vehicles. That injury also was impalement above the knee. Yet unlike this recent injury, last year’s hunter left the arrow in his leg. Medics would pad the shaft of the arrow and bring him out to an ambulance.

“With penetrating injuries it is never recommended to remove the object in the field,” Sandler stated, “it is best to let surgeons at the hospital perform this task. Leaving the object in reduces the chances of severe bleeding and additional tissue damage.” He also would suggest that anyone traveling off-trail in the backcountry during hunting season should take caution. People should supplement their first aid kits with a tourniquet and also hemostatic gauze.