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Broken Fall
Author: Jeff Simpson
Groups: Athletes
Athletes: Jeff Simpson
Sep 17, 2012

I don't really know how to start this post off. The events of the last two days have weighed greatly on my mind and I’ve struggled with whether to tell the story or not.  Truth be known, I don't want to. But if it helps someone else down the line to not follow the mistake I made two nights ago, it makes it more than worth it.

So here we go. If you are here, you most likely know that I’m a photographer/videographer. With that, I’m always looking to get creative and new angles of different things. The other night was no exception. We just took delivery of our new high speed camera and wanted to get a couple test shots with it shooting a bow. A buddy of mine was with me and was the shooter while I was running the camera. He took a test shot and smacked the target right in the bullseye. So I went to set the camera up for a second shot.


I wanted to get the angle from back behind the target to see the arrow leave the bow. I was off to the side from the target a little, but tried to make one last adjustment before the shot as he was drawing back. That's when things went horribly bad. He tried to put down and accidentally bumped the trigger. The arrow fired, skipped off the concrete and went straight into my leg. Now, from my perspective I vividly remember not knowing what just happened. I heard the bow go off, I heard the arrow hit the concrete and I heard it break something. My initial thought was that it hit the carbon leg of the tripod and the leg kicked back and hit me in the leg…..then reality set in. I looked down at my left leg to see an arrow stuck through my shin, half the arrow showing in front and half out the back. This next detail is one I hope people truly absorb because I did what I 100% should not have done. I reached down and yanked the arrow out of my leg as fast as I could. By doing so, that opened the gates to lose blood, fast. It took all of 5 seconds for me to make it clear that we needed to head to the ER immediately. Not to get into too many more details from here out, the short story is I’m doing fine. I’ve been in the ICU for the past 2 days now and fully expect to go home today if there are no signs of infection. I have a broken leg, a pretty significant puncture through some muscle and a heavy heart on this one. I know and am so very thankful that we escaped this one pretty well considering what else was possible in that situation. I cant thank my friend enough (who will forever be anonymous) for keeping a clear mind and getting me to the hospital so quickly. He did everything right in an emergency situation, the true mark of a great man.

With so many people out filming hunts these days and wanting to get that one great shot, this is a quick dose of reality to make certain safety is always placed well in front of getting any shot. I’m very strict with safety when my son shoots and I feel like an idiot for breaking my own rules just to test a new camera out. Its 100% my fault and I know it. I hope this can be a quick reminder to everyone to pay extra attention to safety.

As for what's next…I’m now 9 days out from my elk hunt trying to figure out how I can go and have a chance at a bull with a broken leg. I’m playing it one day at a time, but have every intention of giving it a go…even if I have to OPTIFADE out my crutches and go super slow into areas that are not too steep. We’ll see. Right now, I just want to get out of this hospital…

Glad it wasn't worse Jeff! Heal up and don't screw anything up by being in a hurry to get on the mountain, there's always next year. Good luck with everything.
Posted by Dale Pearson on Sep 19, 2012 11:08 PM
Good Lord! When I saw your facebook update awhile back...I thought that you had INJURED yourself...and not a clue that the injurty was that you had been SHOT! Definitely an oversight of judgement; but as the old adage goes: "what doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger". And I think that we can all learn from your experience and remember that when dealing with a WEAPON..any weapon; bow or otherwise....we cannot be lax and forget the basics. Get well soon Simpson.
Posted by Luke Johnson on Sep 19, 2012 11:03 PM
Sorry Brother!

Good news, because of you humbleness and story, I know a few folks in the hunting industry that might want some high speed footage shot. Crazy way to tell and market to the world you now have a high speed camcorder! LOL... Just depends how fast your camcorder is.

Get a hold of me and I'll try and connect you up. and make the most of your situation!

Scott @
Posted by Scott Hoffman on Sep 19, 2012 9:47 AM
Don't beat ypurself up Dude, we all make blunders from timt to time.
Posted by David S Sorrow on Sep 18, 2012 8:33 PM
Wow. Sorry to hear about the misfortune.

I really enjoy your work and look forward to seeing more of it as your healing allows.

I'm sure you don't need any more lecturing about safety at this point... :)

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Posted by Paddy on Sep 18, 2012 12:38 PM
Damn Jeff! Bad Form Dude! BAD!! Can't wait to hear what your Doc thinks about your short term plans.......
Posted by Larry Bollinger on Sep 18, 2012 8:32 AM
Wow is about all I can say...first, I can't imagine looking down and seeing an arrow sunk in the front of my shin and out the back of my calf. Kudos to Mr. Anonymous for keeping a cool head and glad you are ok Jeff! Hope you are able to get enough leg back under you to chase a big bull down and put the arrow in the right spot!!
Posted by Chad Bell on Sep 18, 2012 7:28 AM
Thank you for shareing , it is lessons like these that keep us grounded and make sure that we stay sharp on the safety.
With regard to your Elk hunt , I know the feeling , I was gored by a buffalo on the first hunt after signing a lease on an area , and had to fill the quota regardless , I hunted 8 elephants , a lion and 6 buffalo on crutches , And I have to add it would not have been possible if my wife had not stepped in and took over the driving and organizing and of coarse taken the full brunt of a very grumpy frustrated PH. That is when you really get to know someone!!!
Best wishes and a speedy recovery!
Posted by JOHN WAMBACH on Sep 18, 2012 2:27 AM
Glad everything turned out nearly as well as it could. My family and I are looking forward to more of your amazing videos. Get well soon brother.
Posted by Michael on Sep 17, 2012 10:59 PM
I wish you the fastest recovery possible Jeff. If anybody can hunt with this im sure its you. Good luck!
Posted by Chris Lord on Sep 17, 2012 8:45 PM
Tough break buddy. Take it easy and let that heal properly. Plenty of time to hunt in the future.

God Bless.
Posted by Dan Chaffin on Sep 17, 2012 8:35 PM
If you take it easy & have friends to handle the elk you could go ( take Hydrogen Perixode) & other meds to keep infection from coming in--some to go directly on it & internal Dr. Subcriptions.
I have to have people handle my elk after I shoot it;due fractured spine 4 places & 4 herniated disc + l5s1 connecting things together.
If I didn't have my life injuries I'd help with your elk. Follow Doc's orders & maybe we can go together sometime after I win a bow!

Posted by Larry Holland on Sep 17, 2012 8:10 PM
I hope you heal up fast Jeff. Best of luck for a speedy recovery. Mistakes happen and thankfully it wasn't any worse.
Posted by Chris Draper on Sep 17, 2012 7:16 PM
Thank you for being honest and letting others know not to make the same mistake. Admitting that it's 100% your fault; is no easy to do. I commend you for that. Have been in similar situaton in past. One time had to have knee replacement two weeks before deer season. They told me I couldn't hunt that year. I said "Watch Me!". Guess who took biggest buck that year!!! Good Luck to you! Wish you a speedy recovery.
Posted by Deb on Sep 17, 2012 7:03 PM
Mna, thank goodness you're "ok", that could've turned out a lot worse. Get well soon!
Posted by Dan Mallia on Sep 17, 2012 6:38 PM
Don't lose your hunt. I hunted with a cast and crutches 2 years back after I broke it in the snow WHILE hunting. Put a trash bag over your cast, throw a rubber boot around that. Bingo.
Posted by Chris on Sep 17, 2012 6:11 PM
hope you get to go on ur elk hunt?and heal quick.good Luck!!
Posted by Tim Lauber on Sep 17, 2012 5:45 PM
Both of y'all were at fault...but I would say the shooter more than you.

As a Range Officer at our club (which happens to be one of the best pistol and multigun clubs in the nation), we are meticulous about safety...especially with firearms. And one of the things we never do is draw a firearm when someone is downrange. It is such a strict safety rule, that even removing a firearm from it's holster (or pointing a long gun down range) while someone is there, is a DQ offense. (Disqualification).

That being said, the person who was shot should never have been downrange in the first place. There is always the possibility of the release malfunctioning, the D-Loop breaking during the draw, or a faulty draw back form. (Not pointed at the target).

From the shooters point, he should never have drawn the bow if someone was downrange...period.

Horrible lesson to learn. The emergency rooms are always filled from people with the same mentality as y'alls. (It can never happen to them).

I hope you have a speedy recovery. And I hope the damage is not as bad as it looks.
Posted by Raymond Moreno on Sep 17, 2012 5:37 PM
I was sick when I saw the 2 words "broken fall". I've been there with a knee surgery right before Elk season. You will make your hunt and maybe not kill but the victory will be in the effort.
Good luck, thanks for sharing.
Posted by Darren Bennett on Sep 17, 2012 5:18 PM

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