Two Guthrie County men are facing multiple charges after an unplanned deer hunt led to one of them being injured. DNR conservation officer, Jeremy King, says it appears things started out innocently enough for 21-year-old Robert McCauley and 27-year-old Derrick Johnson of Guthrie Center.
“Our investigation found that they were out Saturday afternoon shooting their bows around dusk,” King says. He says they gave up shooting at pop bottles after seeing deer cross the road, and put arrows in their bows and started to pursue the deer. They followed the deer into a field and started stalking them.
“Robbie tripped, fell, hit his head on the bow…and when he did that he fell forward. Derrick, the individual behind him with an arrow notched on his bow, ran into him with that bow, piercing him between his spine and his left side, King explained. “The arrow went in about nine inches, angling downward.”
McCauley stood up and pulled the arrow out and ran a short distance before he collapsed on the ground. He was taken to the local hospital and then on to Des Moines, where King says he has non life-threatening injuries. King says it could have been much worse.
“If that arrow would have went straight or up, there’s a good chance with a broadhead on it and that much penetration, it could have been life threatening,” he says. Both men were charged with not having a hunting license, not paying a habitat fee, spotlighting, and not having a deer tag.
Johnson was also cited for attempting to take deer. King says it’s a case of the two men seeing an opportunity and taking it without thinking through all the ramifications.
“Even if they would have had valid licenses and tags and they would have been completely legal, just the thought of how you pursue game and how you react and stalk them needs to be always be in the forefront of your mind,” King says. He says most people associate hunting accidents with guns and bullets and don’t think about what can happen with arrows.
He says improperly handled arrows can be as deadly as a gun. “Those broadheads are specifically made for killing, and they are a very effective tool that have been around for centuries….it was just a two-blade broadhead,” King says.
“It’s a very effective tool with a long cutting surface on it. And when you put the weight of an individual running behind it — and you have that much force exerted onto a small point that has two cutting edges on it — it’s going to create some massive trauma.”
The incident happened November 10th, but King says it took some time to sort things out as the two men initially told different stories from what actually happened.