Justification For Carrying An IFAK With You

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Outdoor Life.

It’s been a tough year for Chris Landers. The 30-year-old hunter from Strathmore, Alberta underwent four ocular surgeries at the beginning of 2022 to fix a detached retina, the result of a work accident during which some metal shavings flew into his eye. He hunted in 2021 before realizing the retina was an issue and successfully harvested an elk and a black bear. He was hoping to have similar success with his 2022 elk season, but things wouldn’t go as planned.

Landers and his buddies were hunting in the Spirit River valley north of Grand Prairie in the afternoon of Thursday, Sept. 15 when disaster struck. As they followed after a bugling elk, some thick brush knocked an arrow out of Landers’ quiver. Somehow, the arrow stuck into the ground with the broadhead pointing up. Landers didn’t see it in time and stepped right into the razor-sharp blades. The broadhead gouged into his shin, soared up behind his knee, and plunged into the back of his lower thigh.

The blades severed his peroneal nerve and nicked an artery. This not only turned his left leg into a fountain of blood, but also rendered it practically immobile and without any sensory function. Extreme damage to the tissue and cartilage around his knee joint only got worse as he fell to the ground.

“[The arrow] went right beside the bone, almost halfway up my leg,” Landers tells Outdoor Life from a hospital in Calgary. “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.”

His hunting partners Devon Spencer and Jared Manuel immediately sprung (sic) into action. They were miraculously in the only spot of cell phone service they’d seen in the two days they’d been hunting, so they called in 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 says. “We had STARS Air Ambulance flying overhead about an hour and a half later. They nosed down and 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 do an [intraosseous infusion] and had to drill a hole in my leg to put meds in through my shinbone.”

Pictures at the link.  They were initially using a belt as a tourniquet.  Even if the IFAK contains nothing more than a tourniquet and Quik Clot, carry one in the bush with you.  Virtually anything can happen.


Comments

  1. On October 6, 2022 at 7:44 am, Latigo Morgan said:

    A story that stuck with me for some reason was about a guy who had a CAT tourniquet stuck up on the visor of his car at all times. One day, he got in a wreck and was bleeding heavily – I don’t recall where – but was able to take that CAT tourniquet and self administer it until rescue showed up to get him out of the wrecked car and into an ambulance. I think Clint Smith told the story, but I’m not sure.

    I have an IFAK attached to my range bag. Not so much because I think I’m going to screw up, but I don’t know what others are going to do around me.

    But that arrow story, holy cow, what a freak accident!

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This article is filed under the category(s) Survival and was published October 2nd, 2022 by Herschel Smith.

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