Last archery season my 37 year old nephew experienced a situation with his crossbow that I suspect many crossbow users don't give a lot of thought to. For the record, though quite strong, my nephews admittedly not the most athletic, motor skills, kind of guy. But, he's not a total klutz by any means. A very intelligent guy, and a very good, dedicated hunter that's incredibly focused when in the woods. In a cold late October pre dawn darkness, he was preparing to settle into one of our more remote ground blinds and was in the process of loading his Barnett Crossbow. The morning was not only cold, but it bought to that area of the woods, wet slippery soil from a recent rain. As he almost completely had the cocking cable pulled 100% back, his rubber boot slipped out of the stirrup and the bow leapt back up and caught him square in the face. Blood everywhere. Especially on him. Did I mention he was in one of our more remote located blinds? After all was said and done, the damage tally was, one lost tooth, multiple stitches inside and outside the mouth area, severe bruising and swelling, a black eye, weeks of pain, costly medical bills, loss of hunting time, and some very hurt pride. The attending physician that saw him as he arrived at the hospital said, "looks like you got kicked in the face by a horse". I have to say, that's a good summation of how he looked. And, not to get sidetracked, but the following 2 to 4 days in particular proved extremely painful for him. Because of opioid abuse, the doctor staunchly refused writing scrip for more than the original 4 pain killers. Because we didn't want to hurt his pride, we didn't take any photographs. I wish we had, if only to better illustrate the lunacy of such policy and the physicians ridiculous refusal to provide additional pain relief. But that's a story in itself. My nephew, I am glad to say, did recover in time to spend 2.5 weeks in deer camp later on and was his usual good hunting company. Dedicated and enthusiastic. However, he now noticeably, and myself too, seem to position our bodies a little more defensively now when loading up our bows. Given the right circumstances it can happen to anyone.