“Well, you don’t see this every day on Lake Erie.”
When Jason Langton and Scotty Domine, two veteran fishermen from Monroe, Michigan, headed out from Brest Bay, they were surely hoping to catch a big one—but nothing quite like this.
They were more than three miles off shore when they suddenly noticed something flailing in the water. They approached it and realized something was amiss.
It was a deer.
The fishermen were understandably surprised to see the animal that far off shore, but they assumed the animal had simply been swept up in the current after grazing in marshy grass near the coast.
They soon realized the deer wasn’t having a nice swim—it was in serious trouble.
“It was on the verge of going under,” Langton told MLive. “You could tell it had been out there for a while. It was fatigued and swimming in circles.”
“It was going to die if we didn’t try to save it.”
So they decided to attempt a rescue. They brought the boat as close as they could to the drowning deer, and managed to lasso the animal’s antlers with their line.
They had the deer attached to the boat, ready to guide it back safely to shore. According to MLive, Langton held the deer’s head above the water while Domine slowly drove the boat.
But the rescue was no easy task.
“It was a tussle,” Langton told FOX2. “It was bucking and kicking the whole way in; the rope kept sliding out of my hands, trying to hold it up.”
“A couple times I didn’t know if it was going to make it or not, but, I held it up long enough.”
But thankfully, after over an hour of pulling the deer to safety, they made it back to shore safe and sound.
“Pulling in a three-point buck!” one of the fishermen jokes on camera.
It was a heroic rescue, but the deer didn’t stick around much to thank them—immediately upon returning to shore, the deer bolted right back into the woods.
“It stood right up and took off,” Langton told MLive.
Langton told MLive that a friend later mentioned spotting the same deer later that day, so he’s assured the animal made it through okay.
And he’s happy to have made the effort—taking a break from catching fish to save a buck.
“We couldn’t leave it to drown,” Langton told MLive. “I’ve fished out of Brest Bay for years and never experienced something like that.”