A Bad Shot

Someone needs to practice some more with their gun. For the past 24 hours, there has been a wounded 6-point buck deer hobbling around the pond at my home in Brown County. Some dogs would occasionally come down the hill and chase it into the water. I loaded the 12-gauge with some bird shot to discourage them, but they took off and didn’t come back as soon as I pumped the first round into the chamber. Didn’t even have to fire.

However, the deer was obviously in no shape to go anywhere on its own. His front left leg was swinging around like it was on a string. I put a call into the Conservation Office and they asked me if I could put it down myself. All we have here for the shotgun is bird shot (we don’t routinely shoot large animals…or small ones, either), so two Conservation Officers came over. One of them took the poor buck down with a single shot at the base of the skull.

Upon inspection, the deer had already been shot twice. Once in the leg, effectively shattering it, and again in the hind end. Apparently some idiot out there can’t shoot worth a damn, and can’t track worth a damn either. If you’re going to seriously wound an animal, you had better make sure you follow it and put it out of its misery.

Somebody out there needs to have their shotgun rammed up their ass, stock first.

WFR Mock Rescue Pictures

Here are some pictures from the class mock rescue on Saturday. The pictures were taken by one of the course instructors, Matt Link. Click the image for a larger version.

Our patient obviously had a broken femur. The patient head-to-toe exam revealed a possible head injury as well. That means one person has to pull traction on the leg, and another has to hold the patient’s head steady to prevent any further damage to the spine.

The patient, Laura, was quite the actor. Nothing instills a sense of realism more than having blood everywhere and a patient screaming her lungs out. Anyone else within a mile radius must have been pretty freaked out.

I was the Incident Commander (IC), or leader, of the group, but I had to take a couple turns pulling traction so the others could rest.

We had to put a tarp over the patient to help keep her warm. It was probably 38 degrees out. It felt like summer to me.

At this point, we had the entire group back together (2 of them had gone off to search for the reported second hiker, but we eventually learned from Laura that the second person had left to go get help), so I started putting together the litter to transport our patient.

Here’s Chris, building the traction splint for Laura’s leg. He made a good one. You can also see Brenda starting to take over patient care from Curt. Brenda did an excellent job talking to Laura and keeping her occupied while we got everything ready.

Chris, putting the finishing touches on the splint, and me, putting the finishing touches on the litter. Brad is packing everyone’s stuff up, Curt is pulling traction on the leg, and Bradley is filling out our SOAP note.

This is a BEAM (Body Elevation And Movement) move to get Laura into the litter. You can see padding for her neck, lumbar, and knees already in the litter.

Plenty of padding is needed to keep a person warm and comfortable in a litter basket.

The tarp both traps heat and keeps the patient protected from the environment.

Navigating obstacles with a litter basket is hard. We had to carry that thing for about a mile, on what would be considered a “rugged” trail. This was one obstacle, a wall in the middle of the trail.

Yes, my back hurt when I woke up the day after. This was another fun one, a series of switchbacks.

Finally! Our trial ended where it began, at the Bryant Creek Shelter House. We started from there at 6pm and arrived back at 9:16. An hour of that was the patient transport.

Time to reclaim all our gear. I got a little dirty.

And debrief time, where we talked over the procession of events, heard the patient’s view, and gave negatives and positives for the evening.

It’s an experience I’ll never forget. I hope I never have to use what I’ve learned, but I’ll be prepared if I do.


Our patient LIVES! We had to treat her for a head injury and an open femur fracture (meaning: very very bad injuries), put her in a litter basket, and transport her on about a mile of woodland trails. The rescue took about 3.5 hours.

I’ll put pictures up later today or tomorrow.

Rescue Me

I’m preparing for my final mock rescue in the Wilderness First Responder class. I’m nervous. If the patient “dies,” the entire class fails the rescue, no certifications for anyone. A week and a half ago, some of us learned about the Incident Command System (ICS), used to manage people and resources during emergencies. The rest of the class learned about it last night. I’ve been working through possible ICS configurations to present at the the prep session I’m running tonight.

I have ideas on which person should do what job, but I’ll let the class decide as a whole. We’ll be out in the woods tomorrow morning through the afternoon, practicing for the rescue. The final scenario starts at 6pm, and ends when we have either evacuated the patient, or they die. I’m working to make sure it’s the former and not the latter.