Hi, I’m BJ and my passion is hunting. Like most people I got my first gun when I was 8 years old and I have been shooting ever since. Growing up I competed in shooting sports in 4-H and would go hunting on weekends and school holidays. Hunting and shooting is my passion. As much as I love hunting there is one thing that is an even bigger part of my life that I would like to share with all of you, but before I get to that I need to tell you a story.
Thanksgiving weekend 1999 a friend called me and said they were going to do some trap shooting in a field behind his house. I had just returned from a pheasant hunt where I missed probably a half dozen birds so I figured I could use the practice. I went over to my friend’s place and shot a few rounds of trap then it was my turn to run the clay thrower. I was knelt down to reload the thrower and the next thing I knew I was laying on my back and my ears were ringing. People were running over to me but I had no idea what was going on, I didn’t feel anything and I could hardly hear anything from the ringing in my ears. It took what felt like several minutes to figure out that my pants were shredded and then I realized I had been shot in the left shin. I was less than 10 feet away from the shooter so I took the full pattern of 8 shot in my leg. My buddy put me in his truck and we raced to the hospital (looking back this was a bad decision we should have just called 911). There they put me in an ambulance and transferred me to another hospital. At that hospital the doctor came out and said, “We want you to have the best chance of keeping your leg so we are going to Flight-for-Life you to another hospital.” I had been doing relatively good until I heard that I might loose my leg. They gave me a 3rd dose of morphine and loaded me into the helicopter and that is the last thing I remember for 2 days. I ended up having 11 surgeries to reconstruct my leg, then i was confined to a machine in my room for 2 months and then I started physical therapy to learn to walk again.
I didn’t hunt or even shoot a gun for several years. My best friend is really responsible for getting me back into hunting. He reminded me how much fun we use to have hunting and I knew he was a safety conscious person that I could trust to go back in the field with. One day I realized that hunting had been such a big part of my life it would be stupid to give that up. I also figured that I had been shot for a reason and I should use my experience to teach others about gun safety.