Thanks to three young men coming home from a football game, a 10-point buck in Iowa has a chance to spend the fall somewhere other than a sinkhole. Eric Smorstad, Gavin Nimrod, and Dryton Meyer used some rope and a tractor to rescue an unfortunate buck last Friday night on Smorstad’s family farm east of Decorah. Smorstad’s father, who runs the farm, was the first to find the animal after the tractor nearly got stuck in the sinkhole itself. Seeing as how Smorstad and his friends were home from college, his father recruited them to haul the deer out.
“It was hard to see; only three or four feet wide and maybe 10 feet deep,” Nimrod told the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “We made a loop, caught an antler, and kept his head up. We decided to tie another rope; Eric and Bryton held my legs and I went down and re-tied it.”
It was dangerous work, especially with an agitated buck carrying some serious headgear. Nimrod used the deer’s antlers to haul it up the side of the sinkhole, and barely had a chance to get out of the way before the buck ran off. One of the men almost got a sharp jab from the animal’s rack along the way, but the rescuers said that the deer eventually calmed down.
“He stopped fighting and looked around, like he was grateful,” said Nimrod. “Then he got his legs under him and took off. The rope caught on the side and busted the clip off and he was gone over the hill.”
Meyer, who says that all three are hunters, said that rescuing the animal from a slow and certain death was part of being an outdoorsman.
“I am an outdoorsman. I love hunting the animals and love to share the experience with others,” posted Meyer on YouTube. “To share that experience is what we were going for, not to simply save an animal’s life, although I do show tremendous respect for the animals that I hunt.”