Young mule deer got trapped in ‘gooey’ mud. Photos show how an Idaho warden saved it

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When an Idaho wildlife official heard that a mule deer was struggling to break free from a pit of thick mud, he grabbed wood, a shovel and rope.

A homeowner near McCammon spotted the yearling mule deer trapped in a pit of mud over Memorial Day weekend and called for help, Idaho Fish and Game said.

“She sank up to her belly and was trapped by the gooey mud… and helpless,” Idaho Fish and Game said in a June 3 news release.

Senior Conservation Officer Nick Noll and 15-year-old neighbor Cole Gunter came to the deer’s rescue.

Standing on wooden boards to avoid sinking into the mud, the pair tied ropes around the front and back of the deer. Then they pulled.

“Since she was a little gal, I was able to grab the rope in each hand and pull her out of the mud into my lap,” Noll said in the news release.

“I started this gig to help wildlife,” Noll said.
“I started this gig to help wildlife,” Noll said.

Once the doe was on Noll’s lap, he carried her to the bank. The deer didn’t move at first, but then she hopped over a fence and ran off, wildlife officials said.

“It was definitely a feel-good day as a game warden,” Noll said. “I started this gig to help wildlife, and I think we literally saved a deer’s life.”

Mule deer live all over in the central mountains and southern deserts of Idaho, according to Fish and Game. They are known for their big ears and are bigger than white-tailed deer, according to the National Wildlife Federation. Mule deer can weigh between 130 and 280 pounds.

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