Web Exclusive: Deer rescued from thin ice - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Web Exclusive: Deer rescued from thin ice

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(CNN/WITI) - A deer lands itself on thin ice in Southeast Wisconsin, but a team of volunteer firefighters came to its rescue. 

It was a day long struggle-- sliding and slipping.  "It just couldn't get any traction on the ice," says rescuers.  A seven point buck falls countless times after it finds itself stranded in the middle of Tichigan lake. 

A situation that had neighbors concerned and a fire department ready for a rescue.  "We'll do whatever we can to try to help rectify the situation," says Rescue Capt. Mike Borchardt Tichigan, WI Volunteer Fire Company. 

The Tichigan Volunteer fire company made several attempts to help the struggling animal Wednesday, but thin ice halted the rescue.

"We may have broken through and had some problems," Bob Zortman, Tichigan, WI Volunteer Fire Company.  "It was deemed that the ice was not as safe at that time."

But the crew did not give up, another try Thursday, with a few men, a rescue sled and hundreds of yards of rope proved to be the deer's saving grace.  

"It was almost as if he knew that we were there to help him," said Bob Zortman of the Tichigan Volunteer Fire Dept.

Bob Zortman and another man place a rope on the deer's neck. They begin to move him to shore.  "We were just monitoring it, trying to make sure it wasn't going to struggle and try and get up again," said Bob Zortman of the Tichigan Volunteer Fire Dept.

40 minutes later, they were close to land.  "He's seeing the trees. He's knowing he's maybe going to be off the ice," says rescuers. 

The crew removes the rope, holds the horns and the deer is finally free.

"We pulled him the last few feet to the shore, make sure he could stand up and then the deer loped off," said Zortman.

The deer did not get injured during the rescue. Crews noticed a scrape near the deer's shoulder. It's believed to be the result of a bow hunting injury.

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