Michigan Bowhunter Learns Lesson – Inspect Your Carbon Arrows

By Hunting NetworkOctober 17, 2011

LAST UPDATED: May 1st, 2015

Michigan bowhunter Mike Ketelaar was taught a terrible lesson earlier this month, while he was practicing before a hunt, when his Carbon Express arrow shattered, thrusting the last third deep into his left hand.

Ketelaar explains, “I knew they could shatter, but didn’t know this could happen. I was very much surprised. I will never trust a straight carbon arrow again.”

The 26 year old Grand Rapids resident had to undergo three hours of surgery to repair the damage that hundreds of carbon fibers had left behind. The arrow cut three tendons and completely devastated one of his finger joints. Ketelaar will have to undergo months of physical therapy, expecting to regain about 90% of his hand’s mobility.

dudes hand after arrow explosion

The surgeon had to pull hundreds of broken carbon fibers from Mike’s hand.

However, Ketelaar doesn’t want you to blame the manufacturer of the arrow, Carbon Express. He had failed to reject the arrow that ultimately led to this disaster. “I knew there was a compromised spot on the side, a nick, but I never would have shot it if I had known it would explode into my hand. I had 27 arrows and inspected them after the accident and found three that were defective that I didn’t know about.”

Carbon Express has a website available to hunters providing them with information and an instructional video on what to look for while inspecting your carbon arrow, even pointing out the dangers of shooting multiple arrows into a target and allowing them to hit one another.

The staff here at the Hunting Network understands that while carbon arrow explosions are rare, they can occur. It’s important to be extremely diligent and inspect all of your equipment including your arrows on a regular basis.

Mike Ketelaar does plan to continue hunting this season and has already bought a crossbow to take into the woods with him. He hopes to spread the word on his accident, teaching other hunters the painful lesson he’s already received. 

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