All it takes is little lapse in judgement and one little slip can turn a successful hunt into a race for your life. Elk Hunter Matt Lindbert is now more aware of this then ever before. Now he wants other hunters to learn for his ordeal. Hopefully no one else will make the simple mistake he did that landed hi in a whole world of hurt.
Matt harvested a great bull during Colorado’s 2nd Rifle Season, during the butchering his knife slipped and cut a deep gash into his leg severing his femoral artery. Now Matt was in a race for his life trying to get to the hospital before he bleeds out.
Matt Posted the Following in the Group Elk Addicts on Facebook.
Hopefully, sharing this will open a few eyes, make you a safer hunter, and prevent someone else getting injured in the backcountry!
Opening day of 2nd rifle season I went into the Colorado mtns and I almost didn’t make it back out because of a poor decision.
First off I probably should not have been hunting as I had a sinus infection and 101.5 fever… but a fever/headache wasn’t going to stop me since I was a tough guy! As I started to break down my bull to pack out, I went through a few knife blades trying to peel the hide off. I had just a small cut left and I didn’t want to change the blade yet. I forced the knife the last bit and it cut and I slipped forcing the knife in beside my knee cap to the bone. I had just cut the femoral branch artery! I knew it was bad immediately… I told my dad and friend Conner that I just cut an artery and blood was squirting out of the gash in my leg.
At that moment I thought, I’m not getting out of here.. this is it. I had no reception and I was miles into the mountains at 10500ft.
I cursed myself for being careless! I have never cut myself on the countless animals I have processed over the years! It was late, I was tired and had covered over 12 miles hunting that day and my body wasn’t feeling 100% from being sick.
I ripped my belt off and made a tournaquet, it slowed the flow but I was still bleeding. It’s amazing how tight a tourniquet has to be to stop blood flow! My dad then grabbed some game bags and started tying them on my leg. I only had the sharp pain at first but I knew I was starting to go into shock! I was able to calm myself down and I knew I had to make some decisions.
My leg swelled up and I couldn’t bend it. I wasn’t sure if tendons were cut or not. After we got the bleeding under control somewhat. I threw my phone/gps to my friend and said go back and get my sidebyside into the meadow or as close as you can. The side by side was less than a mile away, but no direct path to me. Even then the ride out would take about an hour as the road was rough.
After a lot of painful bumps I made it to the truck for another 25 minute ride to the hospital. More bad luck struck… my truck headlights were dim for some strange reason. After my dad wiped them off thinking it was dust. we still couldn’t see and We still had no cell coverage. I told him the last bandage is starting to soak through, just drive! The lights eventually brightened!
Finally at the hospital and after 2 hours of cleaning the wound and trying to stop the bleeding. She said they would have to cut it open more to find artery! She cut it open and still could get to it and after sticking her fingers in there, my muscle started protruding out! She then called in the orthopedic surgeon And I had to under go surgery for 2 hours before they got to the artery and stiched up!
I scared myself, my dad, and friend pretty bad and I wasn’t sure if I was coming off the Mtn alive!
I’m lucky to be here to tell my story! My leg is healing but with much pain, and many dr appts. scheduled. I’ve lost all the feeling in my knee besides the shooting pain the nerves are sending! I have a lengthy road to recovery!
I wish you all to be safe in the field and have a successful season! I hope no one will have to go what I went through!
Matt is luck to be alive. If it was not for the quick thinking of applying his belt as a tourniquet he would probable not be here today. Be safe out there my friends and take your time and be safe.