A Paradise man is still in recovery after accidentally shooting himself during a hunting trip between Plains and Paradise. As he sits in a Kalispell hospital bed, Dan Risland knows he’s lucky to be alive. In fact, the 63-year old hunter was just centimeters away from death.
“If I would have hit that, even if the helicopter was right there, I would have died because you cant stop it,” said Risland, speaking about his femoral artery. The bullet missed the artery narrowly.
Risland says it all started when he and his girlfriend spotted some elk tracks in the woods. Risland went back out the next day and there they were: four elk standing about fifty feet away. He took the safety off the rile, and moved at them, but his foot caught a stick. He rolled down a hill, landed on top of his gun and the gun went off.
“The muzzle blast blew a big hole out of my stomach,” said Risland.
The bullet also went into his thigh and out his calf. He knew he would likely survive the gunshot, but he was worried about the possibility of hypothermia.
“I didn’t think the bleeding was going get me but boy was I cold.”
He was more than lucky to have cellphone reception where he was. He called responders and guided them to his spot.
“Praise for the helicopter people and this hospital,” said Risland, speaking about the ALERT crew and Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
The incident hasn’t put a wrench in Risland’s love for hunting.
“I’m not going to quit hunting. I love it and I’ll be back when I get healed up,” said Risland.