A Nebraska father accidentally shot his son in the head while pheasant hunting in Iowa Saturday -- and the son lived to tell about it. In fact, the teen never lost consciousness and is ready to go hunting again, the Omaha World Herald reports.
Christopher Rearick, of Omaha, Neb., was lining up a shot when he tripped, discharging his 12-gauge shotgun in the direction of his son, 18-year-old Ryan Rearick, according to the paper. The shot blasted Ryan in the back and side of the head, dropping him to the ground.
Bleeding and dazed, Ryan was still able to walk 150 yards with his dad to a road where they could get cell phone reception and call for help.
Ryan, who absorbed 15 pellets, told KETV that had he turned his head, the shot would have struck an artery.
"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.”
The Rearicks had both taken a safety course, and Christopher called the accident unavoidable. "It's situations like this that make you sit back and think about life and how precious it is," he told KETV.
The elder Rearick said he might need some time before he hunts again, and his wife, Lisa, admitted she'll be fearful the next time. But his son, who reportedly suffered no permanent injuries, said he was raring to go -- once he gets clearance from doctors.