Birdshot To The Chest


This has been going around for a bit. A guy took a full load of birdshot to the chest. I have seen the picture with a few different stories about how it happened so I have no idea if it was a hunting accident or some other mishap. Either way it shows what bird shot will do. It wasn’t all that close due to the size of the pattern. I’m not proponent of bird shot for home and self defense or anything but with that said if he had been very close it would have been a different story. The wounds are nasty looking but otherwise superficial. I know because I myself have taken bird shot ot he chest from about 25 yards.


  1. My dad told me a story of a client taking him bird hunting (Dove I think) in the Sierras back in the late 70’s or early 80’s. Said he was terrified the whole time. The whole area was covered in hunters just blasting away. He said it sounded like a shooting range. Said the shot was raining down there was so much being flung around. The then finally the two of them got peppered by someone. Luckily they were far enough away that it just stung. To top it off the client tell him “Don’t worry I know how to handle that” and proceeds to turn toward the offenders and shout “LOW BIRD” and fire back at them. He never hung out with that guy after that. and stuck with deer/antelope.

  2. That picture reminds me–Family friend of ours was a WWII vet who’d had the great misfortune to hit the replacement pipeline about the time we were most heavily engaged in the Hurtgen Forest battles. If I remember the story right, he’d had exactly one day in Normandy when he got run over by some idiot rear-echelon type in a deuce-and-a-half, literally standing in line on the beaches, and he’d been hospitalized long enough that they sent him to the replacement center just in time to get shipped to a unit heavily engaged in the Hurtgen–Whereupon, he got another day in combat and happened to be in the exact wrong place for a mortar or artillery burst that basically saturated him with steel and wood fragments which were still working their way out of his body when I knew him in the early 1970s. I remember watching him pull out a bit of steel from his forearm with wide eyes, and asking what had happened. He was matter-of-fact about the whole thing, and quite rueful that most of his WWII combat experience consisted of being under medical care. Both times he’d been in line for a meal or some other admin thing, and his comment was that just standing in line was apparently extremely hazardous in a combat zone.

    From his description, most of his upper body looked like that guy’s picture after the second incident.

  3. A friend of mine was accidently shot by a careless young kid in spring gobbler season. The kid heard him calling and he and his buddy snuck in behind my friend and blasted him with a 12 gauge 3 inch #2 shot at about 25 yards. He had 2 bb’s in one lung , a couple very close to his heart, and some that went through his biceps on the one side, plus a bunch in his back in the muscles. He missed 8 weeks of work and a lot of the bb ‘s are still in him today 50 years later. Every now and then one would work it’s way to near the surface and he would have it removed. A lot of the bb’s were left in him as the surgery to get them out would have been pretty dangerous.

    • If memory serves, that dude that Dick Chaney pumped full of bird shot had a pretty close call when a pellet worked its way up next to his heart.

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