Deer is trapped on ice, then hunters show up—it’s ‘catch of the day’

"Catch of the day."
November 19, 2017 3:45 am Last Updated: November 19, 2017 3:45 am

Deer have it pretty rough. Whether it’s cars, other wild animals, or hunters—a deer’s life is fraught with danger at almost every turn. Sometimes, even the elements themselves conspire against them.

One particular deer was having a terrible few hours when it got stuck on a frozen lake. It’s hooves could not generate enough traction to get itself off the slippery ice. Perhaps, given enough time, it could get away, but even that possibility was slim. To make matters worse, as dawn broke there was another danger looming: a pair of hunters just happened to show up.

Hunters Darick Kvam and Kody Hadler were out hunting deer—not intending to save them.


On the morning of November 12, Darick Kvam and his friend, Kody Hadler, were both out hunting deer near Morris, western Minnesota. They had been walking in the snow for a short while when the two came upon a frozen lake. What they saw in the center gave them some pause.

A young deer was trapped on the ice; though it struggled to get itself to the safety of the woods, its hooves could not gain traction on the slick surface of the icy lake.

The deer was stranded and likely to die. It made a tempting target, but the two men had other plans.


Instead of taking aim, Kvam decided on an altogether different plan. He started walking on the frozen lake and approached the deer.

Even as Kvam approached, the deer, though it struggled, was unable to move even a few feet. As distressed as it was, there was nothing it could do to put distance between itself and the approaching hunter.

It did not take long for Kvam to reach the deer. When he did, he grabbed both of its front legs. But not to do it harm—he was going to save it.

With the deer’s two front legs firmly in hand, Kvam pulled the deer off the frozen lake and to a snowy embankment.

Though the deer was off the ice the hunters were not finished.


The deer, however, did not immediately move. It was exhausted from trying to get itself off the lake.

So, Kvam continued to help it—he lifted the deer up and carried it into the woods. After being pulled a few feet into the woods, the deer regained some of its strength and bounded away.

“Catch of the day,” said Hadler in a heartwarming video that captured the whole rescue.

And so, the life of one deer was saved by the most unlikely of people—those who set out to hunt it in the first place. However, as unlikely as it seems, Kvam could have done nothing else.

“It felt good,” Kvam said in an interview with WCCO. “It’s nice to give back to the wildlife. It’s just a respect thing, I guess, the way I look at it.”

Watch the rescue in the video below:

Who else participated in catch and release deer season? Saved a button buck!

Posted by Darick Kvam on Sunday, November 12, 2017