It was a father’s worst nightmare. Eighteen-year-old Ryan Rearick was simply standing in the wrong place at the wrong time when he took 15 pellets of birdshot to the back of the head from his father’s shotgun as the pair and their dog were pheasant hunting in Iowa this past Saturday.

The father, Christopher Rearick, of Omaha, Nebraska, was lining up a shot for a pheasant when he tripped and his 12-gauge shotgun discharged into Ryan’s back and head. He dropped to the ground, but never lost consciousness.

“You’ve been shot, I shot you,” was all a breathless Christopher could say when Ryan asked what happened as he lay on the ground. The pair still managed to walk 150 yards together to a road where they got cell phone reception to call for help.

“It sounds like he was pretty lucky,” Kevin Baskins, of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, told Iowa Radio. “In talking to our conservation officers who investigated, it sounds like there were some pellets that hit him in the back of the head, but it probably wasn’t a direct hit from the full load of that shotgun shell.”

Baskins pointed out that such an accident would have been fatal if the pair were deer hunting and using deer slugs. Both hunters had taken a safety course.

Ryan Rearick was taken to a hospital in Red Oak and then flown to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha. He did not suffer any permanent injuries and is expected to make a full recovery. Ryan said he is ready to go hunting again, but his father will need to take a break before he goes back into the field.

Image from Renee V on the flickr Creative Commons

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4 thoughts on “Eighteen-year-old Survives Shotgun Blast to the Head on Pheasant Hunt

    1. I’m sure the father was not using buckshot to shoot pheasants, more likely number 5 or 6 lead shot…big difference. It’s almost impossible to judge the situation if you were not there to witness what happened. I for one will not pass judgement on the father!

      1. To “conservative”; Do you think that people don’t read this stuff? You for one have not a clue what you are talking about. I have been hunting with my Dad since I was six years old. Number two I would like to thank Slim Pickin for backing my Father and I up. It was called an accident for a reason. I would like to bet money that if something like my situation happened to you, you wouldn’t want people going around on the web and making ridiculous claims like yourself.

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