Last Saturday morning, my buddy Bo Warren and I were trolling for stripers in the Bay. We were 1 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 worn 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 - Kent 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.