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Avid ‘sportsman’ orchestrates incredible Island Lake deer rescue

Dec 03, 2022 06:31AM ● By Editor
December 2, 2022 from Northern News Now

DULUTH, MN -- Brett Capra was sitting at his home on Pike Lake, just outside Duluth, Wednesday afternoon when he saw a concerning photo show up on his Facebook feed.

A person living on nearby Island Lake had recently posted a photo of a doe and her fawn, exhausted and stranded on the ice outside their home.

A deer and her fawn wait to be rescued on the ice on Island Lake
A deer and her fawn wait to be rescued on the ice on Island Lake.(Brett Capra)

It hadn’t been very long since the photos were shared, so Capra hoped in his car to see if he could help.

“I just felt like it was something I had to do,” Capra said.

When he arrived, he asked the property owners for their permission to head out on the ice and try and rescue the deer.

Capra said the property owners had already called the DNR, too.

Quickly, seeing the animals were struggling, Capra orchestrated a daring rescue mission.

“Here’s goes nothing. Going to try and save these little deer here,” Capra said in a video he took during the ordeal.

With less than three inches of ice, and a little help from a rope, a 2-by-4, an auger, and a canoe, eventually this brave soul helped save two others.

“I put the fawn in the canoe and then tried to get the doe to walk on her own but she she couldn’t get up or anything. I had to tie her legs together and then try and get her in the canoe. I had to roll her in,” Capra said.

Two deer once stranded on the ice on Island Lake hitch a ride back to shore in a canoe
Two deer, once stranded on the ice on Island Lake, hitch a ride back to shore in a canoe, thanks to Good Samaritans.(Brett Capra)

When they reached shore, Capra says the scared fawn took off running up the hill.

But the doe, which appeared to have a leg injury from her time on the ice, stayed put.

Capra and neighbors helped tend to her, putting a blanket on her and giving her a little food.

A self-proclaimed sportsman willing to put his instincts aside, all to give these creatures a fighting chance.

“I climb trees for a living and cut them down, so danger isn’t anything that’s new to me. For me, I guess it’s just another crazy thing I did.”

The rescued deer rests after an exhausting deer
The rescued deer rests after an exhausting deer.(Brett Capra)

Sadly, Capra says he learned from neighbors Thursday morning that the doe didn’t make it and passed away after he left.

He says he’s thankful the doe didn’t have her final moments scared and stuck out on the ice.

To view the original story and the videos, follow this link to Northern News Now.

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