Max Verschuuren is a hunter from New Zealand. He was out on a hunting trip with his friends when a simple miscommunication in the group nearly ended in fatal disaster.
Here is his story:
When did you begin hunting?
I began hunting when I was about seven years old with my old man shooting goats and rabbits. I started on small game, working my way up to bigger game.
Why did hunting appeal to you?
I shot my first deer when I was 16 years old and since that moment big game has really appeal to me. It’s not just about trophies for me: I love to supply meat to friends and family.
The night I got shot me and a few mates were out hunting and I had just shot a hind up on a slip under torchlite. After I shot the hind I went up the slip to go retrieve the animal. I had a dim head torch on, and when I was about 100 meters up the slip I looked back towards my mates who were holding the spotlight on the slip. I yelled out to them where do I go from here they replied to just wait there, still thinking I was in the bottom of the slip and not halfway up. So I waited. I decided to empty my boot of some rocks that had gotten in and as I bent down to put my boot back on I heard a gunshot. I felt the warm feeling on my back of blood dripping down my ribs. I had been shot in the back as I was bent over and it skimmed into my shoulder blade leaving me with a huge gash in my back. I scrambled back down the bank to the truck where the boys were and all I could hear was them screaming and yelling and saying sorry because they thought I was a deer. With the dumb head torch on my head, they thought it was a deer’s eyeball in the spotlight. Shortly after we drove back to the house we got an ambulance to take me to hospital.
When you think back on the event, what could have prevented the accident?
The event could have been prevented by the shooter identifying his target, but because it was night time he couldn’t. He shouldn’t have shot at all.
Now that you’ve seen SafeShoot, how do you think SafeShoot might have prevented the accident?
I do think SafeShoot would have worked. If he had the mechanism on his gun it could have told him that his mates were up the slack and not the deer. This whole scenario would have been averted.