HomeOutdoorsViralBow Hunter Gets ’10 Inches of Arrow’ Stuck in His Leg

Bow Hunter Gets ’10 Inches of Arrow’ Stuck in His Leg

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by KKIDD via Getty Images)

It was a brisk September day, the sun shining down on the Spirit River valley, a popular destination for hunters all across Alberta, Canada, for the colossal bull moose and elk that wander the area. For 30-year-old hunter Chris Landers, the call of the forest was undeniable. So he called his friends, Devon and Jared, and the three men set out for a day of bow hunting.

After arriving at their destination, it wasn’t long before Landers and his hunting buddies heard a bugling elk, the group venturing deeper into the trees in search of their prize. As they walked, a particularly thick patch of brush on the forest floor knocked an arrow from Landers’ quiver. Intent on finding the elk, however, the errant arrow went unnoticed by the bow hunter, its deadly broadhead pointed toward the sky.

Chris Landers’ next step was the most painful of his life. Though his foot narrowly missed the arrow, his leg wasn’t so lucky. The razor-sharp blades gouged his shin, the force of the bow hunter’s step sending it so deep into his leg that it went behind his knee and plunged into the back of his lower thigh.

White-hot pain shot through his body, but the hunter’s agony was the least of his worries. The blades had severed his peroneal nerve and nicked an artery, causing his left leg to spout impossible amounts of blood as he fell to the ground.

“[The arrow] went right beside the bone, almost halfway up my leg,” Landers explained to Outdoor Life from his hospital bed. “It went past my knee and snapped off somewhere. We found the bottom half of the arrow and another small chunk where it broke, so about 10 inches of arrow were in my leg.”

Bow Hunter Facing Months of Recovery Time Following Gruesome Accident

Chris Landers’ two friends, Devon and Jared, immediately rushed to his aid. Despite their remote location, the friends had somehow found their way to the lone spot of cell phone service and called emergency services.

“We stopped the bleeding so that it wasn’t crazy bad, and I just tried to calm myself down a little bit,” Landers said. “We had STARS Air Ambulance flying overhead about an hour and a half later. One of the nurses came down and put a tourniquet on. She couldn’t get an I.V. in because I was in shock, so she had to drill a hole in my leg to put meds in through my shinbone.”

Unfortunately, the arrow did an astonishing amount of damage as it burrowed through the bow hunter’s leg. Medical staff did their best in the immediate aftermath, but there’s little to be done about the immense nerve damage he suffered. All Chris Landers can do now is wait.

“I had the surgery for the arrow, then surgery for my nerve, then surgery to fix the artery,” Landers explained. “Then I’ve had four debridements. They cut dead muscle out of the front of my leg so it doesn’t get infected.”

“The nerve itself was cut really high up,” he continued. “And it only grows about an inch a month from where it was cut into the dead part. So it’s going to be a long time. I’m probably not going to have much up-and-down movement in my foot. But they haven’t said anything because they don’t know.”

“It doesn’t look that good, but we’re just taking it as it comes,” Landers added resolutely. “It’s not something I can change now so I’m trying not to get too worked up about it.”