A man from Mason County is thanking a Michigan DNR conservation officer for saving his life on Monday. According to a release from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources on Monday, a 22-year-old Scottville man was target shooting on U.S. Forest Service, east of Manistee; managed land that is available for target shooting.

The man used his cellphone to call 911 after he accidentally fired a shot from his .40 caliber Smith and Wesson Bodyguard pistol into his left leg. Manistee County Sheriff’s Office deputies received the call around 11:49 AM, Monday morning. Conservation Officer Scott MacNeill was the first emergency responder on the scene, arriving three minutes later.

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MacNeill located the injured man, sitting in the driver’s seat of his pickup truck, surrounded by blood. The man exhibited signs of shock and was plugging the wound with his finger to slow the blood loss. MacNeill applied a department-issued tourniquet to the man’s thigh, slowing the blood loss, and treated the man for shock while waiting for medical assistance to arrive.

The man told MacNeil that after he loaded the firearm at the rear of his truck, he put the firearm in the front, left pocket of his shorts, at which point, the firearm discharged. Per the man’s request, MacNeill unloaded, cased, and safely secured the firearm and secured the man’s vehicle as well. At noon, medical personnel arrived on the scene and transported the man to Munson Medical Center in Traverse City.

MacNeill has been a conservation officer since 2016 and patrols Manistee County. The injured man told MacNeill that the tourniquet saved his life and that wouldn’t know what he would have done if he had to wait for Emergency Medical Services.

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