Quick-thinking group saves young deer trapped on ice

Updated: January 3, 2020

deer wrapped in warm blankets Photo by Matt Mccoy

It’s not an uncommon sight around this time of year—deer become trapped on thin lake ice, unable to stand up because of the slippery conditions and make their way back to shore.

A young doe had already been trapped on the ice at Moira Lake near Madoc, Ont. for several hours when Ryan Mccoy, his wife, Jessica, their friend Gord Preston, and Scott Wiggins hatched a plan to stage a rescue attempt.

With the lake ice not safe to walk on, the group, who posted about the encounter in the Ottawa Valley Hunting & Fishing group on Facebook, had to find an alternative means of rescuing her. The deer was a long ways out having been chased onto the ice, over 180 metres they guessed. A rescue would be necessary lest she fall through or become the victim of a hungry coyote.

Ryan had the idea to jump in the boat, which was hooked to a jeep with a winch as an anchoring point. He managed to reach the doe by pushing himself out into the lake and he was able to tow her back to safety.

man in boat towing deer back to shore
Photo by Matt Mccoy

Once she was safely back on dry land, the deer received much attention from her rescuers.

deer being tended to on dry land
Photo by Matt Mccoy

Mostly in the form of some warm blankets:

deer wrapped in warm blankets
Photo by Matt Mccoy
deer wrapped in warm blankets
Photo by Matt Mccoy

A snack (never has a carrot been so tasty):

young boy feeding carrot to deer
Photo by Matt Mccoy
kids feeding deer
Photo by Matt Mccoy

And finally, some petting from kids and neighbours who had come to see her.

kids approaching deer
Photo by Matt Mccoy
young girl posing with deer
Photo by Matt Mccoy

After four hours of rest, she was back on her feet and on her way.

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