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Ever Save a Deer From Deathtrap?
I was coming back from hiking and along I-80, just across the Wyo/Utah border, I see this herd of deer off the side of the interstate.
As I drive by I see they are all gathered around this doe ~~ Muley
Traveling @ like 70 mph, I can't just stop before I am way past them, it kinda grabs at my desire to save her from a slow miserable death before the Yotes get to her and finish her off.
I'm in my F350 on my once a month driving it, so I double check the traffic behind me and the traffic coming at me on the other side of the interstate, slow down and drop it in 4 x 4 and cut across the meridian.
I have to repeat the crossing as I get past the herd of deer and then stop just below them off the shoulder.
I cruise hike up the steep embankment and take a pic or two.
The herd of other deer haul deer butt out of there and she is very active trying to 'pull out' of the barb wire.
I start talking to her in a calming voice, get my wire cutters out of my pocket and I actually had to use both hands as that barbwire along the interstate must be industrial thick grade!
As soon as the barb wire cuts she is gone super fast, she isn't bounding like Mule deer normally do as she is really favoring that hind leg.
She drops down into a gully and I don't see her again.
Sure, it had a good deed feel to it as I go back down the embankment and back to the F350.
A dang good hike and a good deed all before 0900 on a Sunday morning!
I'm sure many of you have had similar experiences, one way or another.....
Good luck, Robb
Walking out from a morning hunt many years ago, I came upon a fawn doe stuck in a fence the same way. This was a hog panel though, so no way to cut it unless I had a hack saw. I was able to leverage the leg out and the doe could hardly walk once free. She just stumbled a few yards then laid down. I left her there to recoup.
Picked a whitetail fawn out of a four inch square wire fence. Looks like it tried to jump it but the hind legs went thru it. It wasn't cut up, no hair missin so I guess I spooked it and its momma over the fence as I was walkin in. I picked it up and over the fence and it came right out. I dumped it over the fence in the direction it was headed and the little plick double barreled me in the chest as a thank you!
Hope she makes it Robb!
Horrible way to go just hanging there. Have cut quite a few out of fences over the years.
On my folks ranch it is pretty common to see deer get caught in the fences. A lot of times after cutting one out, we find them dead later pretty close by. I think that they struggle so hard that they damage themselves to the point that they can’t recover. At least they can get away and maybe get some water and be in a much more peaceful place.
Tried to save an elk calf that fell through the ice into a tailing pond once. Actually called the DOW and had them come out. They wouldn’t do anything to help but told me I could try. I was able to get her out, but she didn’t make it. I was sad but glad I at least tried.
Pushed one off the ice once. Funny thing, the whole time I was trying to get this old doe to safer ground there was a coyote making tracks directly at us about 200 yards out. He had a major pissed-off look on his face when the doe loped off into the woods. lol! Better luck next time buddy!
Had a small doe hung in fence in same manner a few years ago in southern Ohio. Didn't have wire cutters with me ,but the fence was so old and rusted ,that I was able to bend the barbed wire a couple times to break it . She just stood there a few moments and ran off. Found a dead coyote this way a couple winters ago. Hind legs hung up and was just skin and bones . Had been there awhile.
We found an elk calf in barbed wire SW of Rawlins. Got the leg out. It was really pathetic. It had no visible eyeball, just the whites. We tried to get it upright several times. It had zero left. Put it down with a broad head in the heart.
I saved one this fall. Decided to shoot an unseen limb and deflect the arrow into the ground....;^)
“Saved” this gal a few years ago. She was pretty chewed up and I thought she was dead but as I got near her I could see her breathing. She didn’t move but the moment I flipped her leg out she was gone like a rocket. I watched her run over a mile but always wonder if she made it.
2 friends of mine did it but they didn’t have wire cutters. They got kicked a few times too. The doe had some cuts on her face from running head first into the fence, but seemed ok.
Mpdh. I didn’t cut the wires on the one above, although I did have cutters. I stuck a small cheater pipe in the big v on the right side and twisted the wires until it took pressure off her leg. You could likely do the same thing with a hammer handle or a screwdriver. Having cows this wasn’t my first rodeo.
I was too late to help this little guy.
I was too late to help this little guy.
Yes, two of them as a matter of fact. A buck fawn and a doe, about 30 years apart. Got a domestic goat's head out of a hog wire fence once too and he mashed the hell out of my finger. I wanted to stick him back in the fence ..........
I did that for a horse once while I was out hunting, although I doubt the horse survived the severity of the wounds. I had to cut all three strands but it already looked like someone had gone after her with a chainsaw. I'll never look at barbed wire the same way...
Few years ago came across this fawn where it didn't clear the fence with it's back legs. When I was walking up to her she let out the loudest bawl and scared the heck out of me, my 14 yr old daughter got a pretty good laugh seeing my reaction! I picked the fawn up off the fence and set her down and she took off like a rocket.
Friend of mine freed a fawn from a barbed wire fence late one summer. I never have.
Myself and Kurt found a Mule Deer Doe with both back legs wrapped in the fence years ago while looking for a place to hunt Turkey's. While we were digging for tools to cut her out the landowner showed up, so we helped him cut her free and fix the fence. Worked out good as he gave us permission to hunt his ground and camp on it also.
I had the same exact experience also with a mule deer doe in Texas except it was inside a ranch. Luckily it was near a fence corner so I was able to unwrap the barbed wire at the corner post so no wire cutters were needed.
Took a muley doe out of a fence in exactly the same position as the OP, up on the Uncompaghre Plateau, back in '74. It was my first CO trip, and I was driving in to some open scrub oaks about three miles off the highway on Forest Service two-track. Saw the doe and two others jump the fence as I approached a hundred yards or so away. The other two cleared it, last one caught the top wire and was caught this way when I got up next to her. Always carried at least a small tool kit on trips, and I stopped to grab my pliers and the movie camera I had handy on the front seat because of the beautiful September views. Took a quick shot of the doe as I walked up to her, then got to work on the wire. Couldn't see any way to save the wire from being cut, so I cut it with the pliers and some vigorous twisting to finish the job.
When her leg came free, she didn't seem to know it immediately, and I already had her leg gripped in my left hand when the wire separated. I tried to ease it down as much as I could, but when she finally felt free of the wire, she darn near jerked me through the fence before I could let go!
Watched her as she limped off about a dozen yards into some light brush and laid down to lick her wounds and flex that leg. After a few minutes, she looked back at me, got up and trotted away, slight limp but apparently otherwise unhurt. Had thoughts of filling my deer tag with her if she was hurt worse, but she looked healthy enough to probably survive.
Good job Robb:
I saved a cow elk. Her leg was cut to the bone completely all around: zero continuity of tissue/blood vessels. It was apparent she'd been stuck for quite some time based on dried droppings, torn up dirt and her poor condition. Honestly I doubt she made it, but who knows? She had enough gumption to act like she wanted to bite me (I was on the "safe" side of the fence). She hobbled off, so at least if she wasn't going to make it she could lay down and die in peace.
You can't ever tell if some of these animals made it or not. They're pretty dang tough ! We had a three legged doe on my lease for a couple years, gone right below the hock. It didn't bother her much, she could jump those fences just as well as the other deer. I always wondered if she lost that bottom leg in a fence.
Drycreek I had a doe come by me during gun season one year, her leg broke and flopping just below her body line. She had obviously been wounded in the barrage of gun fire I heard ten minutes before. She was out of bow range so I didn’t finish her. That first winter was hard on her but she lived several more years. I’m not sure if she raised another fawn but my memory says she didn’t.
As far as them making it, I don't know what caused it but there was a cow elk missing a hind leg running around the breaks one year.
The pic is one I've posted before. Front leg bones from a cow elk I killed. She had a calf with her and ran with a bad limp but was healthy. Not sure what caused the break.
Had a fellow teacher come to my room to tell me of a doe he saw in a fence by school. Bang, out the door and with the help of a student who was running late, I was able to get the doe out of the fence. She flopped down and I thought she was a gonner. Went back to the truck to get the Kabar. When I approached, she must have known I had turned to predator and she hobbled off into the brambles. Never saw her lay down so I liked to think she made it.
A few years back in the Utah Bookcliffs I came upon several fawns caught behind a mesh wire fence that closed off an area too rugged for cattle to graze. The fawns were mewing and struggling to get to their mothers. The inclosesure had no openings that I could find and the does were calling back to their fawns and neither could get to each other. I cut a small hole in the fence and backed off as the does had run off. The fawns immediately ran to their mothers that had stopped about 150 yards away. I felt that this would not have ended well without the hole in the fence. I do not know how the fawns could have gotten in there but they did..........badbull
I was coming home from work quite a few years ago when some deer crossed the road in front of me. They all jumped the fence but the last doe got her hind leg caught. I stopped and freed her from the fence. She laid very still till her leg come out of the fence then she tore out of there fast.
Thanks for sharing your stories and pix.
We hunters are more helpful to the survival of our wild game than many non-hunters would ever think.
Good luck, Robb
Found this young pronghorn in time. He sure didn't appreciate my rescue efforts (kicked and bawled like crazy), but eventually I got the job done. He ran off none the worse for wear.
Me and my buddy pulled a whitetail doe out of a fence one night in Nebraska. It’s leg was caught in heavy duty hog fence. We didn’t have anything heavy duty enough with us to cut it so it took some wrestling and prying to get her out.
On the last afternoon of archery season a few years ago I had a doe run across the road where I was going to hunt that evening. She tried to jump a fence that was on top of a 3 foot bank and got her rear leg caught between the top two wires. I still had an antlerless tag and thought about filing it with her, but decided that was not who I was. I tried to get her freed from the wire but saying she did not appreciate my help is an understatement. She tried to attack me with her front feet if I got close to her. I finally got some pliers and unhooked the wire from the nearest post and she pulled free and ran off. I assume she was ok as she had no broken bones and was only in the fence for five or so minutes. I then attached the wire to the post and went hunting.
I came across a doe in a hog panel early one morning. It was below zero and it looked like she had been there all night. Her lower hind leg was froze solid. I decided to cut the lower leg off at the knee. She survived but I don't know if she was able to have a fawn the next spring.
Years back, I headed out with my muzzleloader to pull a treestand during a late season in NYS. The stand was only 300 yards from a road, but the blowing snow had the seasonal road looking chancy. So I removed all nonessential gear from my pack, including my film camera at the time and headed off through a field. As I neared the woods, I saw deer tracks headed into the cedar swamp. I decided to follow them as they were headed in the general direction I needed to go.
In time, I noticed several fresh beds. And a small deer seemingly bedded looking at me. As I got closer, I realized that she was stuck! Her back was straight up and down with her front legs straight out in front of her. Her hind end & legs were in a hole in the swamp. She had apparently fallen in and the angle of her hind legs did not give her any strength to push up.
After mentally dissing myself for not having a camera, I stashed my muzz gun and approached her. I knelt down and touched her side. She then let out the loudest blaatttt that I have ever heard! Scared me at first! So on a second attempt I got my arms around her and under her front legs from the back. I then lifted her out of the hole. She promptly ran off about 30 feet. Then she stopped and looked back at me for several seconds as I wisher her good luck. I like to think that was her way of saying thank you.
She was injured a little - hair rubbed off and slight bleeding. So I followed her wondering if I should do a mercy killing (I had a legal tag for antlerless deer with the muzz). But, Christmas was only days away and I liked the story that I had saved a deer from becoming certain coyote fodder better. I turned off the track and continued on my treestand removing mission....
I once found a hog trap someone put on our far west side of our property. It had a VERY much alive Tom turkey in it. I flipped the trap over and he left quickly, although very stressed.
Im the opposite.
About 20yrs ago, I had a ML cow elk tag in my pocket. I was walking along a NF/BLM fence line early one morning and came across this nice yearling cow.
She was hung up like 'smarba' pic above was, but laying on the ground.Prob been there only an hour or so.
I eared back the ol Hawken and put the bullet behind her ear.
After the hair quit smoldering, I punched my tag, quartered her up and packed her out.
Some fine eatin' right there
cnelk you didn't find the meat was tough due to stress?
I wasnt stressed at all
Brad, Brad, Brad...……………….haha
Good luck, Robb
Just read a story about a guy in Estonia who climbed into an icy river to save a dog. Turns out he saved a wolf. I'll try to find the link...
cnelk - Bwhahahahaa
Good one Robb - and everyone who freed the stuck.
A few years ago, I found a first year buck with his head in a coyote snare. My wrestling skills were no match for him. I wish I’d had a video running. He slipped my grip several times while I was trying to ease the tension on the snare. Kicked holes in my canvas pants and bloodied my shins. Cut my hands up too. I definitely underestimated the situation. My wife was looking on the whole time and her face was priceless. I’m not sure if she was more concerned about the deer or me. We were both exhausted in the end, but he ran off in apparent good health save for the 6 inch ring of hairless, bruised skin on his neck.
Pre cell phone days and before I always carried a camera I found a fawn stuck in a fence. I very slowly and quietly got her out and she looked at me for a bit then slowly walked away.
Not a deer but I came across these two bulls locked up while archery deer hunting in 2013. One was already dead and the other was just standing with head lowered to the ground. I called g&F and they sent a couple guys and even a sheriff happened to show up by chance. Since I was hunting from a blind at another location I happened to have a camera and tripod. This is actually a series of 5 videos and the ending was not good. If you watch 1-5 you can see from time I spotted them to the end. Youtube comments are brutal. This is episode 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENlMCBLpu1g
G&F had guessed the dead elk had been dead for at least two days. If you watch the 5th episode you will see me run down to try and save the elk. Right before I enter water you will see me look down. The water was full of raw flesh and maggots and smelled like death. Afterwards, G&F offered to give me their horns but I didn't want any part of these animals that had such a sad ending.
Here ya go KnotHead
Good luck, Robb