Deer lives to fight another day
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | Dec. 23, 2018|
On Saturday morning, Hana Curtis posted to the Haliburton Highlands OFFICIAL Buy & Sell site about a couple of deer laying way out on the ice on Lake Kashagawigamog.
“I was worried they may have gone through the ice but they seem to be just unable to get up because it’s slippery,” she wrote. “Can anything be done to help them?”
Following the Facebook feed provides fascinating insight into not only how social media can spread news instantaneously, but, in this case, how it can be used for discussion and, ultimately, to bring about a good result.
People did indeed respond to Curtis’s post. They queried why the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry does not assist animals in distress in this type of situation. They talked about why emergency services, such as police and fire, can’t respond.
It’s not the first time this winter that deer have been trapped on the ice due to slippery conditions. And, it won’t be the last. People do need to know what they can and cannot do in these situations.
A lot of the talk on Saturday was about the safety of the rescuers. If they put themselves in harm’s way to save a couple of deer, there could be a price to pay.
However, in this instance, the rescuers used good old-fashioned common sense to get the job done. Worried about the thickness of the ice, they got a tin boat. That way if the ice got perilous, they could simply get into the boat. They also ensured the boat was tied off by rope to people on shore. In that way, the boat could be pulled to safety.
There really wasn’t any danger to the three men who ventured onto the ice. It might have got hairy had one of the deer plunged through the ice while a loop was around it. It would have been quite a feat to pull a deer up and out of the water. But, then, nature would have well and truly taken its course and it’s likely the deer would have perished. But that didn’t happen.
We live in an area in which people love to hunt and fish. In this case, one of the rescuers had been hunting deer since the age of 15. However, he knows a fair fight. Two stranded deer on a lake do not make
for a fair fight. When someone posted about using tags to harvest the deer, others let him know in no uncertain terms that this was about saving, not killing, the deer.
People hunt up here for meat, or because they love being in the bush with wildlife. Sure, it’s sport, but many don’t do it just for the sake of sport. They have a healthy respect for our deer, and other wildlife populations. That’s why a friend of mine noted the other day that he will shoot a deer or moose but always aims for the heart to make it a quick kill, so the animal won’t suffer.
That spirit of empathy and respect for wildlife was very much evident on the shores of Lake Kashagawigamog this past weekend. Kudos to those who raised the alarm bell, and to those who responded. Winter is going to be tough on these deer but for now they’ve lived to fight another day.
Lisa Gervais is the editor for The Highlander.