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Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > 2007

MI - Hunter shot on Thanksgiving

Lapeer County hunter thankful after surviving deer hunting wound
Posted by James L. Smith | The Flint Journal
November 26, 2007 16:00PM
A Hadley Township hunter who accidentally shot himself Thanksgiving Day said despite the serious wound he is thankful to be alive.

Brian Crowley, 51, was hunting along on Hadley Township property owned by friends about 8 a.m. Thursday when he shot a doe with his 20-gauge shotgun.

The doe was down on the ground, but still alive when Crowley approached it. In an effort to dispatch the deer Crowley pulled a handgun from his pocket.

"I cocked the hammer back and it slipped," Crowley said. "The bullet entered below the knee on the right side and came out the middle of the shin bone and broke it in half."

Acting quickly, Crowley who was bleeding profusely, took off his belt, wrapped it around his leg and tightened it to stop the bleeding.

What followed was an hour-and-15-minute ordeal of dragging himself out of the woods uphill and over fallen timber, Crowley said from his Genesys Regional Medical Center hospital bed.

"Moving was the hard part," Crowley said. "It was very painful."

Hearing the voice of his friend, property owner Wayne Dabrowski, he yelled for help and state police and Lapeer EMS responded quickly to his aid.

Crowley said the accidental shot probably happened because he was concentrating on the deer's head and because he had his gloves on.

Friends picked up his deer and took it to a processor.

But for now, Crowley remained in Genesys awaiting surgery Wednesday to install a rod into his leg. He expects to be going home Thursday.

The injury was the first in his more than ten year hunting career, said Crowley, a CN Railroad employee.

"I am very thankful," Crowley said. "I was just glad I was able to get out. God was with me."

Crowley also expressed thanks to the ambulance crew and hospital workers who treated him.

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