Man Crawled for 4 Days after Breaking Legs while Elk Hunting

Before you read this story I would like to put emphasis on a couple of points. First and foremost, if you go hunting (especially in a remote area) always go with a partner. If something happens to you, the chances of getting out of trouble increase by having a buddy go with you. I would never go hunting alone, it’s just too darn dangerous. Secondly, if you do hunt alone, always take a satellite phone, or a GPS locator with you. If you are hurt and cannot get back to civilization, at least you can let someone know exactly where you are. The man in this story was very lucky to have survived his ordeal.

A hunter who crawled for days after breaking his leg in rugged central Idaho is recovering in a Boise hospital and says his love for his family gave him strength and prevented him from committing suicide. John Sain was tracking an elk alone in remote wilderness near McCall when his foot slipped between two logs and he fell.

The accident broke both of the bones in Sain’s lower leg, leaving him badly injured and unable to walk. ‘I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it out,’ said Sain, a Darby, Montana, native who lives in Riverside, California. The 50-year-old was miles from the trail, didn’t have cellphone service and was in a lot of pain. He briefly considered suicide, Sain said. ‘Contemplated on just ending it right there honestly,’ he told NBC.

But he changed his mind after writing goodbye letters to his wife and kids. Sain made a splint out of sticks and ripped cloth and began the arduous crawl. He had a little food, a water purifier and a small survival kit, and he built a fire each night for warmth. But on Sunday – four days after his ordeal began – Sain was dehydrated, in pain and starting to break down. That’s when two motorcyclists found him and summoned emergency crews. A McCall firefighter told KTVB that people used chainsaws to clear the way for Life Flight to land in the dense wilderness.

The motorcyclists chopped down some trees to clear a landing space for an air ambulance. Sain was flown to a Boise hospital, where he is expected to stay for a few more days while he recovers from leg surgery. Sain’s wife, Jennifer Sain, and their two kids flew to Boise to be with him. ‘It was hard just knowing that he’s out in the hills just trying to stay alive,’ Jennifer Sain said. Sain’s wife said her husband is an experienced hunter who often hunts alone. He plans to go hunting alone again – but not without a satellite phone or GPS locator.

This is one story that had a happy ending, sadly, many people do not survive when faced with such odds. So let this be an example to all you would-be outdoors-men out there. Nature is not a very compassionate, or forgiving mistress and she does not suffer fools. Always take precautions whenever possible, your life may depend on it.

by Richard Anthony / Associated Press