FARMINGTON — Three Davis County Sheriff Deputies recently rescued a male yearling trapped in a large Fruit Heights storm drain.
The deputies, who were alerted to the trapped deer by a group of teens on Sept. 14, had to make a quick decision whether to put the deer down, or try to rescue it from the 6-foot wide, 12-foot deep storm drain, Davis County Sheriff Sgt. Todd Taylor said.
“When we got there he was laying down in the bottom of the hole. Once he saw us, he stood up,” Taylor said of the deer.
But because of a cement lip on the storm drain, the relatively small buck was unable to free itself from the hole, Taylor said.
With help from sheriff deputies Cory Cox and Steve Sanford, Taylor said, the three used rope and mountain climbing carabiners to rig-up a pseudo-leash, then drop it over the deer’s neck in order to hoist it quickly from the hole.
The only other options to get him out of the hole were to tranquilize him — which because it was late at night they were unable to get a hold of someone to do that — kill him, leave him there to die, or rope him and pull him out quickly, Taylor said.
“It was a little traumatic for him,” Taylor said.
The deer fought the process, at times screaming like a human, Taylor said. That possibly could have given some people the false impression the deputies were doing something cruel, he said.
The officers recorded the night rescue.
“Usually when we have a deer that is in dire straits, unfortunately, they are killed. We didn’t want to do that. We did what we thought was best for him,” Taylor said.
“Although the deer was unhappy with the rescue at the time, he appeared unharmed and when he was released from the rope, he ran off into the woods,” Davis County Sheriff’s Sgt. Susan Poulsen posted online.