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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

(OT) OH DEER! (OT)

A buddy of mine sent me the story and pictures below. Thought you might find it interesting. I have only seen one deer swimming in the ocean. It was early one morning during scallop season when I was headed out to the grounds in my boat. I saw a big doe swimming across the harbor from Abrams to Second Point. I was surprised at how fast she was swimming. I motored up to her to offer assistance but she would have no part of it. She sped away and landed on the beach at Coatue and ran off into the cedars.

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Last Saturday morning, my buddy Bo and I were trolling for stripers in the Chesapeake Bay . We were 11-1/2 miles offshore in about 80 feet of water contemplating why the fish weren't biting. We looked back to check our gear and saw something odd in the water. Was it a seal? Can't be, we don't have seals around here. On closer look, it turned out to be a buck deer that was WAY off course. He was desperate and barely staying afloat.

I've seen deer swim a river or bayou before. When you see that, the first thing you notice is that they are powerful swimmers. Their head and shoulders are out of the water and they make surprisingly good headway. This critter was just keeping his nose up and looked like he'd been swimming all night long. In fact, he was so warn out that he swam toward the boat probably thinking it looked enough like land to him. When he got closer though, he wasn't sure what to make of the two dudes on board, and backed off.

So, since the fish weren't biting, we thought we'd give this buck a hand. Turns out Bo grew up around cows and was really handy with a bowline. He lassoed the deer on the first try! Bo grabbed his neck, I grabbed the flank, and we barreled over backwards into the boat. Before I knew it, Bo was on top of him and had him tied up just like a calf.

We hit the throttle and shuttled him to the closest beach - Ken t Point . I beached the boat and we carefully unloaded the deer onto the sand. The whole time we kept thinking he was going to kick the snot out of us. He never did though; he was totally spent. We untied him and jumped back. Too weak to stand, he just sat there quivering. We even picked him up again and put his feet underneath him, but he still couldn't walk. Don't know if he made it or not, but I think his chances were vastly improved. Hopefully he recovered after time. When you're out & about, ya just never know...





5 comments:

Tom McGlinn said...

Good for you guys! Well done.

G Hughes said...

Excellent story, saved her life! Great job guys!

Martie said...

George,
Actually, "she" was a he. ;^)

Anonymous said...

The Captain and First Mate of the Gray Lady and I, along with a couple of bystanders, pulled a doe out from amid the ice flows in the boat basin two winters ago. She was obviously in distress with not much left in her and evidently couldn't find her way back out. We got her up on the dock, tied up her legs just like in the picture, loaded her into a truck and took her down to Jetties Beach. By the time she got there she had recovered enough to run off. Happy ending. T

Martie said...

Nice work, Tobey!
I'm sure the deer in these stories know that their life is going to be saved and let the rescuers help them.