Hunter rescued after being impaled by elk horn during ATV crash


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A hunter impaled by the horn of an elk was rescued in the Maury Mountains on Saturday, according to deputies.

The Crook County Sheriff’s Office said Gary Heeter, 69, of Bend was involved in an ATV rollover crash, and that’s when he was impaled by the elk horn.

Deputies said prior to the crash Heeter had been dragging the elk back to a hunting camp behind an ATV. When he started to drive up a steep hill, the front end of the ATV came up, and Heeter was impaled by the elk horn when the vehicle rolled backward.

The crash took place in a “very remote” location near National Forest Development Road 1670 on Saturday morning before 11:45 a.m.

Multiple search teams and agencies were called out in response to a 911 call received about the injured hunter. The call came from Heeter’s hunting party.

At 1:03 p.m., a Crook County deputy found a member of Heeter’s hunting party near the crash site. When the deputy found Heeter, he was conscious and speaking but appeared to be going into shock. Before authorities arrived, Heeter’s hunting party had bandaged him up and applied pressure to control the bleeding.

A Life Flight helicopter had trouble finding a suitable landing area due to intermittent forest cover and rocky clearings but finally found one before fuel levels became an issue.

Heeter was eventually placed on a back board and carried half of a mile away to the helicopter. He was then flown to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend.

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