Hunter's leg amputated after dog shoots him in thigh

Annette Crawford
January 11, 2019

It was at that point in time I realised how much he had bled.

"All of us have hunted for 20 years or more and none of us thought about that happening", Heckford said. While they were loading the up their gear, Branch laid his gun down flat in the vehicle's bed.

The Mississippi Clarion Ledger reports a labrador retriever who had accompanied the group on the trip hopped into the bed of a Polaris Ranger utility vehicle and stepped on the safety of Branch's shotgun, firing at him from roughly four feet away.

The 6ft 6in Branch made 28 appearances for the Tigers from 2009 through 2011, seeing action at guard and tight end, before a series of injuries cut his career short during a junior season that saw LSU advance to the national championship game. According to his friend, it was an accident involving a dog.

Micah Heckford (right) encouraged hunters to double check guns after his friend Branch (left) was shot with a 12-gauge shotgun. They took him closer to a road, where medical personnel could access them.


Heckford said he has "known Matt for a very long time", and added, "He is big, he is tough, he is a fighter, and most importantly, he is no quitter". "His trousers were just soaked in blood".

He was later transported to the University of Mississippi Medical Center where his leg was amputated.

A former LSU offensive lineman and father to a 1-year-old son, Branch-in stable condition at a Jackson hospital-has since undergone "multiple critical surgeries including the partial amputation of his left leg and re-connecting his femoral artery in his left upper leg", Heckford writes in a viral Facebook post, meant to remind even the most experienced hunters about the importance of gun safety. After calling 911, the group drove Branch to an area accessible to first responders, who removed his trousers. We think we're being safe, but are we?

Since the amputation Mr Branch has undergone additional complex surgical procedures with several more to come. The funds raised will help Branch and his family with the sudden expenses the accident prompted.

"There was 80+ years of hunting experience amongst our group", it reads.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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