Conservation officers come to aid of deer stranded on ice in Vernon - InfoNews

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Conservation officers come to aid of deer stranded on ice in Vernon

Conservation officers rescued a mule deer stuck on Okanagan Lake Jan. 5, 2016.
Image Credit: Conservation Office Service
January 06, 2017 - 5:30 PM

VERNON - Conservation officers in Vernon rescued a deer caught in a slippery situation yesterday.

A mule deer was stuck on a frozen section of Okanagan Lake on Thursday, Jan. 5.

According to the conservation service, which was alerted just before 10 a.m., the deer was unable to maintain traction on the slippery surface and became stranded on thin ice.

Conservation officer Tanner Beck says when they arrived, the deer had stopped trying to get up and was lying down. 

Using a flat-bottomed boat, Beck and another officer shimmied out onto the ice and used a snare pole to retrieve the deer. With the help of a parks ranger pulling the boat back to shore, they towed the deer to land.

“It was pretty docile with its head down,” Beck says of the deer.

Back on land, conservation officers released the deer and it eventually got up and took off. It did not appear injured, Beck says.

The same thing happened in Okanagan Falls today when a deer got stuck on Skaha Lake. A rescue team was just about to retrieve it when the deer got up and walked off the ice on its own.

Beck says it’s not uncommon for deer to get stuck on frozen lakes.

“It’s a fairly common thing that occurs. Sometimes they get chased out by predators or neighbourhood dogs or they’re just unaware it’s too slippery to stand,” Beck says.

Predators will chase prey onto the ice so they are easier to get, Beck says.

The conservation service will often let nature takes its course when deer get stuck on the ice, but because of the high profile location of yesterday’s incident, and a resident who indicated she was going to go out there on her own, they decided to intervene.

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