Heart Attack while Hunting

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
Last week, Tuesday, I was hunting pheasants with my adult son at the hunt club where we're members. It makes a good, easy and fun hunt for us a few times a year and really extends the "season." I thoroughly enjoy watching our dog work the birds as well.

Hadn't been feeling on top of the world for two days prior, but figured I was just being old & grumpy. Old and grumpy I may have been, but I missed some warning signs...

We hadn't gone far from the Jeep when I told my son "I don't feel real well, going to need to take it slow." He was mildly surprised since I'm in my mid 60's, he's in his 30's, and I typically out-walk him. So we slowed down. About a quarter mile into our hunt I told him "We need to get back to the Jeep."

Center of my chest felt heavy. Pain in my upper back between the shoulder blades. Short of breath. Sweating profusely. Nausea. Pain radiating up into my jaw...

We turned to head back to the Jeep, it was gradually uphill, 400 - 500 yards away. Not much of a hill. My progress slowed so much! I was just putting one foot in front of the other. My son is a certified EMT. We both knew I was in a bad way. Every time I stopped to rest I'd kneel down and almost instantly felt better each time.

Twice the dog stopped and pointed birds. My son dropped one cleanly with his 28 gauge CZ double. Such a sweet little gun! The dog pointed another, we were moving that way anyway. The bird flushed as we approached and I popped it with the 80+ year old Remington 32 over & under. Two birds now. Looking back, I smile at the thought that I shot a pheasant while I was having a heart attack. Dog retrieved. My son carried both birds.

Stopped often as no exertion meant almost no pain, and I could catch my breath. My son thinks I stopped at least four times in the last 100 yards to the Jeep. He was planning to go get the Jeep and bring it to me, but the conditions were so muddy that we were afraid the Jeep would get stuck out there and then we'd really be in trouble.

I made it to the Jeep. Got the dog, the birds and the guns into the Jeep. John took care of the birds and put them in the cooler then drove us home. Home is very close to the hospital. Then to the ER.

It's amazing how fast things move at the Emergency Room when the admitting folks are told "I think I'm having a heart attack." Yup. Quickly I was being examined and treated. Spent that night in the hospital. Surgery the next day to clear a completely blocked artery and install a stent. Leaving the other, partially blocked artery alone for now.

Another night in the hospital. Lots of tests. Found a couple of small, old blood clots in my lungs. That was kind of scary, but apparently I never even noticed them and they were likely from one of my prior incidents of blood clots in the legs. Dang.

Back home. Lots of new medications to take at least for a while. Back to the doctor's office again to check on things. I'm feeling amazingly well now, a week later. I've been urged to continue with my hiking and with using my rowing machine. No real strenuous workouts for a while though.

Yesterday I walked nearly 4 miles here in town with the dog. Only gained about 200' or so, but noticed that I climbed that elevation back to my home with no problem at all. Nice easy pace, just over 3 mph average.

Am on the way back, but ya, last week was pretty intense, particularly getting back to the Jeep. Glad my son was along. I sometimes hunt alone.

You guys take care of yourselves. Doggone disaster can strike with little warning. The doctors have recommended me for the hospital's cardiac rehab program and think that I'll be able to get back to life as usual. I suspect that they're right.

Regards, Guy
F* Guy, we want and we need you here.
Take the bloody care of yourself!

Best thing your son was around.

And ultimate reloader wouldn't be half as interestingly without you.
Neither would be this forum

Get yourself up again

We want you
We need you
I'm so glad you got things in order ASAP and are on the mend
This story really hits home for me; When I was 19 my dad, brother , myself and a friend were out hunting geese. My dad had been diagnosed with heart problems and was waiting to get in for surgery. As we were walking back from the blinds we laughed and joked about about our hunt; And dad went face first into the dirt...DRT before he hit the ground. Quite a tough one to swallow for me and my 15 year old brother loading your dad into the car. Dad was 45
Fast forward to 2017 , I had some of the same symptoms as you, pain in the neck and the like; That started on Thursday my first day off of 4, I had symptoms everyday up until I returned to work Monday. Monday evening it hit me and like you I had horrible pain on the left side of my neck and jaw. I was close to the hospital so I went and told them I thought I was having a heart attack. Well the filling out of info stopped when they seen my blood pressure was 190 over 160. I got some meds and was put in the ambulance and taken to Royal University Hosp in Saskatoon where they were all set up waiting for me. In 38 minutes after my arrival I was all fixed up and watching TV in the CCU . I felt good enough to go back to work. Scary stuff but somehow I knew I wasn't going to die; It's a feeling I cannot explain but I just knew.
Take care out there, and if something isn't feeling right go get checked out
Glad you are feeling better and are going to be okay Guy! Listen to your doctor and take it easy and slowly get back into shape. Prayers for you and your family. I'll shoot our friend Colin a text and let him know.

Glad you are feeling better and are going to be okay Guy! Listen to your doctor and take it easy and slowly get back into shape. Prayers for you and your family. I'll shoot our friend Colin a text and let him know.


He knows. His wonderful wife said I was in trouble for not letting her know, just Collin. LOL! I've known them since the late 1980's. Good folks.

Glad to see you're getting better Guy.

My heart attack back in 2021 was strange. None of the normal systems. I was able to take myself to the hospitale ER, explained what was going on and the sat me down in a chair and wired me up. That's standard procedure at that hospital regardless of what you come in for They even did it one time when I had a nosebleed I couldn't stop. Anyway, I could see the screen and the five lines that bounce on the screen. The bottom line looked like something Picasso might have done. It was flat out bizarre. Other than the problem with breathing I felt fine. Ghe put me in a bed nd next morning got a stent put in. A week later they put stent number two in. Oh what fun, not. I was mildly sedated and could see and hear and feel everything they did both times. First stent went in through the wrist and the second though the femoral artery. Hopefully they will never have to do that again. Watching your blood spurt up in the air while they try to stop it is a bit scary. Seems the stuff that gave me to bring me out of sedation was working a bit faster than they thought it would.
Paul B.
Sorry about the heart attack but glad your son and others got you headed in the right direction. Hope and prayers that your 100 percent soon. Dan.