The Official magazine of Western Canada's Game Warden Associations
Spring 2011 Issue

Wired Up Buck

    The day had ended and I was on my way home to see the kids. My wife had decided to make a trip to the States to do a bit of Christmas shopping with about eight other women. She left me with the kids so I figured I better get some help from grandma as looking after twins for a whole weekend required some support.

    On my way home I stopped at the grocery store find some type of dessert that I could bribe my kids with for the weekend. While looking in the ice cream and frozen cake aisle my cell phone rang. It was a fellow officer in Regina. He called to tell me about a discovery his friend made while hunting with his two boys south of Weyburn along the US border. While walking in an abandoned farmyard they came across a nice white tail deer caught up in a bunch of rolled up wire. I guess work was not done for the day so I quickly grabbed the rest of my groceries, got them home and headed south to the border to meet up with this hunter.

    Upon my arrival I noticed nothing out of the ordinary, but soon learned that the deer was down the hill about 50 yards from my location. I eventually located the deer caught up in the fence, but it was not caught as I had thought. See, sometimes deer and moose jump a barbed wire fence and get caught up between the strands. What I saw was much different. As I got closer to the deer I could see that there was some fresh dirt in a semi circle around the deer, as well as some feces from a coyote or two. It appeared that the coyotes had found this deer last night and figured they would wait one more night for it to become exhausted before they set in for a feast. At first he was laying flat on its stomach obviously tired from the torment of the coyotes. I got within about 3 ft. of him, which is something that I would not normally do especially when I looked at the antlers on its head, and noticed that he had about 25 lbs. of wire on his antlers. My guard was down thinking the deer was exhausted, but one snort and a lunge towards me sent me quick stepping backwards tripping over some more wire. Fortunately the deer could not get free of the wire to come at me. It was clear from the buck’s heavy panting and snorting that he still had some pep in him and he was not ready for me or any other creature to get close. How was I going to get close to this deer in order to get the wire off his head? Didn’t this deer know that I was actually trying to help him? Reality kicked in and the hunter who made the call and I looked around and found a 100 lb. chunk of long iron. We picked that up and lobbed it towards the deer’s head. Our goal was to have the chunk of iron land on the barbed wire thus pinning the buck’s head down, but if it landed on the deer’s head I guess it would have solved the problem too...although it would not have made as good of a story!  The first throw did not work that well and as I got close enough to pick up the chunk of iron the deer snorted and came at me again. Once again I tripped on something while jumping back. Don’t farmers ever clean up their yard! The second throw worked and the deer could not move as its head was pinned.

    I took my camo coat and placed it over the buck’s head so that he could not see us cutting the wire.
The officer and the upland bird hunter slowly cut the wire off the deer’s antlers
    After about a dozen cuts, I noticed that there was only one wire left on its head. The deer sensed freedom and pulled against the wire. I told the hunter and his two boys to get up the hill in case he came after us. In reality they were probably safe as he had an officer holding a pair of wire cutters about 4 ft. in front of him—a perfect target. Within a second or two the deer was lose, the coat was on the ground, he pawed at the ground once and lowered his head, I drew my pistol so fast that Doc Holiday would have been proud  as I thought that the buck’s G2 was going to go right though my body armour into my chest. I think that the deer had second thoughts when it saw the muzzle of my service pistol aimed at him and as quick as he got loose from the wire he turned around and ran off into the night.

Author: Lindsey Leko.
Lindsey is a member of the
Saskatchewan Association of Conservation Officers.

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