A Cumming man is out of the hospital Tuesday after nearly shooting off his hand in a hunting accident. 69-year-old Ted Larsen lost his thumb when his gun exploded last week.
"I have hunted all of my life," says Larsen.
Last Wednesday, he went hunting in Truro with a muzzleloader. When he came across a buck, he took a shot.
"I could look down at my hand and my thumb was about gone. It was just all tore to heck," he says.
Larsen says he called 911 at least three times, but the call kept dropping out. That`s around the same time someone else came to his rescue.
"Ted was yelling at us from inside the stand," says Larry Wisecup.
Wisecup owns the land where Larsen was hunting. The two have been friends for 50 years.
"It was pretty bad. It looked like to me that the hand was gone," says Wisecup.
Larsen didn't lose his left hand, but his thumb is gone. He says he made a simple mistake when he double loaded his gun. There were two powder loads and two bullets in the gun.
"I should have checked it," says Larsen. "That would have been prevented if I had just took a couple minutes to do that and I didn't do that, see. It's just my own stupidity."
As bad as it is, he knows it could have been worse. But what happened won't stop him from hunting again.
"Heck no. More determined than ever I guess now," says Larsen.
The next time, he'll just be more careful and hopes by sharing his story, other hunters will too.
"You just got to be careful. I'm just glad God was with me, that I'm even here really," he says.
Larsen is among 14 people who were injured while hunting this year. Fortunately, the Iowa DNR says none have been deadly.