Russell Summers and his dad, Michael (Baggy) rescued the floundering animal from atop the ice after it had ventured out about 300 yards from the shoreline.

Golden Lake – A well-known father and son staged a successful rescue attempt Sunday morning after they discovered a young female deer struggling on the ice on Golden Lake in front of their residence off Hawkin’s Road on the south side of the lake.

Russell Summers and his dad, Michael (Baggy) rescued the floundering animal from atop the ice after it had ventured out about 300 yards from the shoreline.

“I woke up Sunday morning and I could see from our window out off the point that there was a deer that had fallen on the ice,” Russell explained. “It likely got chased out by the coyotes, and then they (der) get out on the ice and kind of do the splits because their hooves can’t get traction on the slippery ice.”

He called his father who lives nearby and the two ventured out onto the ice, but encountered a pressure crack where there was about three feet of open water.

“We couldn’t get out to it,” he said. “So we went back and grabbed some lumber, a ladder, our floater suits, and a couple ropes.

“We kind of made a bridge across the crack and we were able to get to the deer and pull it back in,” he added.

He estimated the doe was about two-and-a half years old and weighed, perhaps, 125 pounds. He said it was hard to say if the deer had fallen through the ice, noting it was on top of the ice when they got to it.

“It had possibly went through the pressure crack, but when we got to it, it had gotten out but it couldn’t stand up again,” he said. “It was very exhausted and ready to give up.

“ It just let us walk right up to it and we were able to get it back to shore,” he added.

They tied some ropes around the deer and lifted it onto a bit of a sleigh they had taken out as well and slid the deer across the ice to shore.

“To get it across the crack, we had to put it on the ladder we brought out,” he said.

Russell said the deer was sore when it got to shore and ran away rather gingerly, but he fully believes it will survive. He noted at one point it gave a few kicks, one of which he took in the chest.

“But it didn’t hurt,” he said.

While he and his dad are avid hunters, they both respect wildlife and would do another rescue if the situation arose again.

“It felt great to be able to do that and to save it,” he admitted. “We respect the wildlife.”

He estimated the rescue took about 45 minutes.

As they performed the rescue, some bystanders gathered on shore to witness and record the event.

Russell said it was good they had the necessary equipment, noting as ice fishermen they had the floater suits because they’re on the lake all winter fishing.