Despite their graceful appearance, deer can be incredibly powerful creatures. As if to prove this point, a buck in Duluth, Minnesota was photographed dragging a 12-foot aluminum boat and its trailer through no less than three different properties. Arden Stabs first discovered the deer when it was tugging the boat through his yard on October 26.
“That Monday morning I was returning to the house after taking out the garbage when I heard a thumping sound,” he told OutdoorHub. “It sounded somewhat unusual so I walked to the back of my house and here was a deer pulling a boat by the tongue of the trailer. It was a 12-foot fishing boat and it had three ladders piled on top of it.”
Stabs estimated that the entire pile weighed a few hundred pounds at least. Even on wheels, it was a heavy burden to carry around. To make matters worse, the tongue of the trailer was digging into the ground and ended up plowing a line straight through the yards the deer went through.
“Somehow this deer had hooked a mass of ropes in its antlers and on the tongue of the boat. I realized it was my neighbor’s boat that was being pulled down our yards,” Stabs recalled.
Based on the furrow carved into the ground, Stabs said he caught the deer on its return journey. It had already dragged the boat out of his neighbor’s yard, crossed his own property, and walked into the yard on the other side where it encountered more swampy terrain. At this point Stabs speculated that the deer decided not to venture any further and return back to where it had gotten the boat from. However, a tree in his property prevented the deer from taking that route.
“He finally got hung up in a tree on my property and he kept pulling and pulling,” Stabs explained. “He actually pulled the boat around the tree. That was when I called 911 to see if someone could come and untangle the deer. I also called my neighbor who owned the boat, woke him up and told him there’s a deer stealing his boat. He said ‘you’re kidding me.’ But he looked out his back window and sure enough, there it was.”
The deer was gone before rescue workers could arrive. Stabs said that the animal was able to fray one of the ropes enough that it just broke free and released it from the boat trailer. When the buck left, it still carried a mass of trash and rope entangled on its antlers.
“If someone doesn’t get that mess off of him, he’s going to get entangled somewhere else and exhaust himself to the point where he’d be in trouble,” Stabs said.
The homeowner added that it was likely that the buck had already become entangled in a number of things before arriving on his property, and may be a bit malnourished going into the rut.
“He was a big deer, but he looked pretty gaunt for this time of year,” Stabs said.
A few days later, another neighbor reported the same deer become entangled in a hammock, even completely wrapping itself at one point. The buck was also able to escape from that incident as well, but unless it untangles all that rope and wood on top of its head, its future may be looking grim.
As for the boat, Stabs said it took him and two of his neighbors to tow it back. At least now they will have a very unique story to share.
What is the strongest deer you’ve ever seen? Does it hold a candle to this one?
Image courtesy Arden Stabs