A man hunting deer in Madison County Wednesday south of Truro was injured while using an unconventional weapon. Iowa Department of Natural Resources spokesman, Kevin Baskins, says the accident involved a 69-year-old man from Cumming. “In this particular instance we had a gentleman who was on a stand and took a shot at a deer when the muzzleloader he was using exploded,” Baskins says.
The man identified as Theodore Larson lost a thumb in the explosion. “He was unable to find his thumb after the gun exploded,” Baskins says. He says Larson was eventually flown to a Des Moines hospital for treatment.
Baskins says the muzzleloaders are often new reproduction guns that are still loaded in the old way. Baskins is not sure what type of gun Larson was using, but said they will try to find out why it exploded.
“Our officers are experts at looking at these firearms and being able to examine what’s left of the gun to determine what may’ve happened to make it perform that way,” he says. Baskins says the muzzleloader shotgun season overlaps with the regular shotgun season. He does not believe there have been that many problems with the oldstyle weapons.
“I think it’s an unusual case. It’s not unheard of and that’s obviously one of the reasons why we want to further investigate and determine why that gun did perform the way it did,” according to Baskins. Baskins says the accident happened around five in the evening and Larson was likely airlifted to the hospital because it was the quickest way at that time of day to get him in for treatment.