A happy ending to an icy story occurred just outside of Duluth, MN this past weekend. Sunday morning, a neighbor of Cotton-area resident Jeff Slygh called him asking if he could assist a deer who had fallen through the ice into the freezing waters of St. Louis County’s Nichols Lake. Slygh is an avid hunter/fisherman in the area, and had saved a Labrador retriever from the same icy lake in his canoe eight years prior.
“She wondered if anybody was around to save the deer and I kind of blew it off for a little while, and then I finally told Carol [my wife] to call her and tell her I was coming,” said Slygh.
Slygh loaded up his boat and found a nearby clearing to enter the ice sheet, and began to break a channel with his paddle to head out to the deer.
“She turned and started swimming through the channel I had busted and she swam probably a third of the way in and then she couldn’t go anymore,” he said.
Once he reached the doe, he slowly eased her into the canoe, fearful that she may tip over the boat. The doe was exhausted, though, and made slowly her way into the canoe.
Image via: WDIO
“She rode pretty good all the way, I talked to her the whole way in,” he said. “I said, ‘bambi, I’m just trying to help you, I just want you to get to the shore.'”
As soon as they reached the edge of the lake, the doe leapt into the cattails and spent a short amount of time gathering her strength before heading off into the woods again.
A bystander was able to capture footage of the event, along with the local station WDIO issuing a report.
As far as how Slygh feels being a local hero, he says:
“I’m not real big on hearing about it, you know,” he said. “I did what I wanted to do. I got the deer on the shore and I’m perfectly happy with that.”