Meet Tyler Rast, an outdoorsman, hunter, and father of three who this year after waiting nearly two decades, drew a Henry Mountains archery deer tag.
One of the best mule deer hunts in the world.
(Tyler) I think that was a bullseye, Adam.
(Tyler Rast) How many places can you see 20 plus bucks together at once and see some big old trophies as well. It’s been awesome, we’ve been really impressed.
Tyler’s story however is not so much about his hunt as it is how he got here. You see, three years ago, while hunting deer in Colorado. Tyler was shot by another hunter.
(Tyler Rast, Shot by another hunter) We were hunting over in, just north of Craig Colorado. We were pretty excited about it. I had been there the year before and done real well and opening morning November 3rd, 2012. We headed out from the farm house we were staying at.
(Tyler) about a mile and a half from the farm house and I was riding up the road on my four wheeler. I was standing up.
(Tyler) my dad and John were behind me. In a Polaris ranger. The last thing I remember is I saw a doe cross the road and then it felt like my arm just like exploded and almost immediately after that I heard a gunshot. I immediately pulled off the side of the road. Got off my four wheeler. My dad and John pulled up next to me.
(Tyler) I looked at my dad and said, “dad I can’t believe it, I’ve been shot!”
(Dan Rast, Tyler’s Dad) There were a number of people in this bowl that we knew were there, but it was so big. I don’t think anybody knew when the shot was fired, nobody else knew that he had been hit. We were kind of on our own.
(Dan) John threw a tourniquet on his arm and we threw him in that ranger and we got the heck out of there. No phone calls, nothing. We had to get him safe.
(John Rast, Tyler’s Cousin) We didn’t know if he was going to pass out, loose consciousness. We had no idea.
Because it was cold out, Tyler was dressed in layers and because of this, they didn’t know the extent of his wound. They drove to the nearest hospital, where Tyler was flown by helicopter to the trauma center in Grand Junction.
It looked pretty bad.
(Tyler) we got to Grand Junction and they immediately took me into surgery because they needed to get my arm cleaned out so infection would not set in.
(Tyler) I can remember waking up and I was still kind of groggy and the doctor came in that operated on me.
(Tyler) and the only thing that sticks out in my mind is he said; “tyler you need to know you can loose your arm.”
Tyler was hurting. But, somebody was looking over Tyler and his young family. Even though the bullet had shattered his Ulna, ripped most of his muscle away, his main nerve in his arm was intact and functioning. The doctors in Colorado sent Tyler to the University of Utah where they specialize in the reconstruction of limbs.
[They were able to put my arm back together.
o this day I have a metal plate that goes from my wrist to my elbow with a number of screws that held it all together.
At the time of the shooting, Tyler’s wife was pregnant, he also had two other children to take care of. He was frustrated and angry at whoever had shot him. Over time however, that wound in his heart healed, just like his arm would.
I decided that I was just going to forgive this person.
I feel like because of the trials and struggles I went through that I’m a better man because of it. I’m stronger and my family is stronger.
at the same time. You know I hope that it brings to light that all of us fellow hunters and outdoorsman that are out here sharing the great wild outdoors. You know we just need to keep in mind that safety is very important. You know when you are out and about hunting. It’s easy to get the so called ‘Buck Fever.’
but you always need to remember that safety is number one and you always need to know what is behind whatever animal you are shooting at or whatever target you are shooting at.
a lot of positive things have come out of this. We’ve always been close but it’s made the three of us, ten times closer.