Fishing for deer in Alaska

Imagine this. You are fishing on your 62-foot charter vessel in Alaska when you see 4 deer swimming towards your boat. What do you do? (Read full story below)

Tom Satre, the captain of the vessel, slowed down his boat and began to watch the group of four juvenile Sitka black-tailed deer.

“They swam right toward the boat,” he said. “Then, they started to circle the boat. They were looking up and looked like they needed help.”

Satre said this was the first time he saw deer in this much distress. The poor souls were foaming at the mouth, unable to make it onto the swim step, so they swam under it instead. The people on the boat knew something had to be done.

The bucks’ antlers were very small so Satre guessed they were of last year. Some of them were hardly large enough for him to grab on to, so he improvised a lasso and hauled them by the neck onto the back of the boat – one by one.

The typically skittish and absolutely wild animals came willingly and once on the boat, collapsed with exhaustion. They were shivering, Satre said. Some of them could not even hold up their heads, and he didn’t know if they would survive.

“They couldn’t stand up on their own,” he said. “(And) they couldn’t shake the water off their coats. We didn’t want to touch them, but it was clear they were happy to be there. They probably would have crawled on board if they could have.”

As the boat was making its way back to the shore, the sun began to shine and the deer began to revive. One of them even stood up and walked around.

Upon reaching the shore, one of the deer jumped out and ran to the forest, but 3 of them stayed on the boat. 2 were helped to the dock where they continued to rest and then left for the forest by themselves.

The smallest one, however, had to be carried and then wheeled to the dock. For that little guy, it took some time to be able to stand and make his way into the woods.

The good thing was that there were enough people on the boat to save the deer, the boat owner emphasized. According to wildlife specialists, the deer may have been chased into the water by predators and were unable to return to the shore due to the hungry wolves lying in wait for them.

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