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'Caught my first walleye' - then a bullet to the head

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#1 Spiel


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Posted 23 February 2010 - 08:53 AM

'Caught my first walleye' - then a bullet to the head
Student was having a "golden" day on Ely lake until he heard shots.

February 18, 2010
PAUL WALSH / Star Tribune

Ryan Byrnes loves fishing so much that he left Phoenix to spend winters at college in Ely, Minn., where walleye are practically a snowball's throw from his classrooms.

Wednesday night he got an ice-fishing experience he'll never forget: First, he caught his first walleye ever. Second, he got shot in the head.

"The next I know, I'm laying in the snow and there is blood on the ground," said Byrnes, 18. "I felt the back of my head and it was bloody."

Byrnes, a student at Vermilion Community College in Ely, was fishing on Shagawa Lake with his roommate Cody Kuznia.

"The fish were biting, and everything was golden," said Byrnes, 18. "... Caught my first walleye. I was very excited."

So excited that Byrnes and Kuznia, in separate pop-up shanties about 10 feet apart, barely took note of the 10 to 15 shots they heard from the north, "a pretty good ways away." That is, until a bullet pierced the top of Byrnes' shanty.

Kuznia, in an online fishing chat site, wrote that he heard Byrnes yelling that he had been shot, but "I didn't believe him till I went outside and seen that there was blood in his hand."

Byrnes said they "broke down camp and took off for the emergency room. They said I was fine, no concussion or anything."

Byrnes added, "It was a crazy day of fishing. I caught my first walleye, and I got shot for the first time."

Authorities have yet to figure out where the bullet came from. Sgt. Dirk Davis of the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office said there is small-game hunting going on now for squirrels, cottontail rabbits and snowshoe hares.

Davis said the public's help "is going to be key" to help authorities find the shooter. "If someone heard something, call us [at 1-218-749-6010]," he said.

Byrnes, who is studying wilderness management, said he left behind the warmth of Phoenix "to get out of the big city and get close to the lakes," adding that he was "tired of driving two hours to the nearest lake."

Byrnes said he found the bullet that glanced off his head, and "I had it in my pocket and wanted to keep it as a trophy. But the police took it away. I asked if I could get it back. They said they had to hold onto it for a little for evidence."

He said a little thing like getting shot won't deter him from going back to a lucky walleye hole.

"I'm going to go back to that same spot," he said.

#2 CanadaFish



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Posted 15 April 2010 - 08:42 AM

Truth is stranger the fiction I say.

#3 Anthony73


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Posted 21 June 2010 - 10:30 PM

Small game hunting for squirrel... someone tell me how you mistake a human for a squirrelPosted Image

#4 Terry



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Posted 22 June 2010 - 11:40 AM

thought I read this one before

gets confusing when older posts are dug up

#5 Anthony73


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Posted 22 June 2010 - 08:49 PM

I'm a newbie so i wouldn't know!

thought I read this one before

gets confusing when older posts are dug up

#6 waki5



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Posted 20 January 2011 - 09:42 AM

what a story. the odds of that happening again are slim to none

#7 pylon


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Posted 24 January 2011 - 02:10 PM

still fishin must be no brain damage lol

#8 Loadman



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Posted 24 October 2011 - 09:32 AM

did it go in or graze off his lid?

#9 cja



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Posted 09 August 2012 - 06:34 AM

might have to start were army helmet fishing

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