When you’re boating on Lake Erie, there are some things you can expect to find: strong winds, good fishing, and a watery landscape stretching out for miles. What you probably don’t expect to find? A deer. And yet a swimming deer is exactly what two fishermen came across miles from the shore during a recent fishing trip.
“It was on the verge of going under,” Jason Langton, one of the fishers, told Michigan Live. “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.”
The two had to come up with a plan quickly, as the deer was quickly running out of steam. They maneuvered their boat up close to the animal and managed to get a rope around its antlers, towing it to shore in a painstaking trip that took an hour and 10 minutes. As soon as they got to an area where the buck could reach the bottom, it made a break for it. “It stood right up and took off,” Langton said.
Langton said he believed the deer may have ended up out in the lake after entering from a peninsula to the northeast and getting caught in the current. However the deer ended up out there, it was incredibly luck to come across Langton and his fishing partner. Deer are generally good swimmers, but at that distance from the shore, the animal’s prospects weren’t very bright, and it was incredibly lucky to be found when it was.
As for Langton and his friend, even after catching the legal limit of 50 perch each, the deer was still their catch of the day. As his wife wrote in a Facebook post that soon went viral, “Only my husband would go out fishing on Sunday morning and come home with 100 perch and a 3 point buck!”
As Langton himself put it, “I’ve fished out of Brest Bay for years and never experienced something like that. It’s one of those once in a blue moon, once in a lifetime thing[s].”