Two icebound deer were rescued Friday in dramatic fashion, one with the draft of a low-hovering helicopter, the second by a man who went onto the ice and forced the animal to shore, with the help of a second man.
As spectators watched in awe, a white helicopter hovered above the ice and literally blew the animal back to shore, about a football field's distance.
The copter, however, could do nothing for the second deer, which refused to budge.
Observers were even more stunned when a man armed with nothing more than a stick walked out onto the ice and began driving the deer back to shore. Once the animal came closer, a member of the local water ski club, which had been considering a rescue of its own, helped pull the animal to land, using a rope.
The first deer, the one driven by the copter, made it through guard rail along the Great River Road and loped haphazardly into nearby woods and was lost to sight. People stopped traffic along the highway to make sure it was not hurt.
The second deer was carried by people up the shoreline rocks and over the guard rail and was set down near the bluffside shoulder. It hobbled for a distance but laid back down and was being examined.
Shortly after the rescue, a hover boat appeared on the ice as yet another person showed up to help with a rescue. That boat, however, was not needed.
Earlier in the day, the deer were about 100 yards from shore and appear to have moved further apart from each other. The previous morning, the pair was huddled close together as they would stand up, slip and fall back to the ice, unable to get real footing.
As they did on Thursday, drivers continually pulled off the Great River Road, near Stanka Lane, to watch the plight of the creatures.
The trouble, conservation officials said previously, was that any rescue could be more dangerous to the humans who would attempt it.
No boats generally go through that area, which is between the shoreline and an island in the Mississippi. The actual river channel is beyond the island.
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