Oregon native Gary Heeter is recovering from an incident that could’ve been much worse than how things played out.
The 69-year-old was rescued from the Maury Mountains on Nov. 5, KOIN reports, when he was involved in an ATV rollover crash. Deputies told KOIN that Heeter had an elk on the back of his ATV, which impaled him during the accident.
The news station reports the crash took place in a “very remote” area that Saturday morning before 11:45. Deputies said Heeter was dragged the elk back to his hunting camp when his ATV rolled backward while climbing a steep hill.
KOIN reports multiple search teams and agencies were called following a 911 call was received from Heeter’s hunting party. It wasn’t until 1:03 p.m. that a Crook County deputy found a member of the hunting party by the crash site, KOIN reports.
The TV station reports Heeter’s fellow hunters bandaged him up and gained control of the bleeding before authorities arrived. Though Heeter was taken to a hospital via a Life Flight helicopter, KOIN reports Heeter had to be carried half a mile on a backboard to a location fit for the helicopter to safely land.