For whatever reason, deer are always crossing Megunticook Lake. In the summer, they swim. In the winter, they walk across the snowy ice to get to the other side.

But this week, a yearling white-tailed deer needed a couple of helping hands in order to make it back to shore after getting stuck on the frozen lake, which had turned to glare ice after Monday’s rain. Justin Twitchell, the lake warden with the Megunticook Watershed Association, said Thursday that Dan Ford first noticed the distressed deer when he was shoveling the roof of a cottage off Carle Farm Road. The deer was stuck in the middle of the West Narrows, a northwestern section of the lake that runs between Fernald’s Neck and Route 105.

“Dan watched as this deer tried several times to get on its feet but was unable to do so,” Twitchell wrote in a brief report about the Wednesday morning incident for the nonprofit watershed association. “Fearing the worst, Dan gave me a call.”

When Twitchell got there, he and Ford ventured onto the ice to get a closer look. To their dismay, they saw that all four of its legs were splayed straight out onto the ice. That usually means that the deer has split its pelvis or broken its back while frantically trying to get up, Twitchell said.

Photos Credit: Don Murray 

“Usually, they get themselves so busted up they have to be put out of their misery,” he said in a phone interview.

As they got closer, they found the deer had no broken bones. They figured it could have been out there all night trying to get up, Twitchell wrote in his report, and the two men wanted to help the exhausted animal get to land if they could.

“After several valiant efforts to get on its feet and away from us, the deer had to stop and rest,” he wrote. “I took this moment to move and grab one of its front legs. Dan quickly moved in and secured the other front leg.”

Twitchell cautioned Ford to stay far away from its powerful rear legs.

“No matter how young they are, they can put a hurting on you,” he said.

Although at first the deer engaged in a ‘tug of war’ match with the men who held it by the legs, they were able to drag it across the ice toward Lands End, about 200 yards away. Don Murray, who had accompanied Twitchell, snapped photos of the unusual sight.

“As we got close to shore, it got excited,” Twitchell said.

Once there, the tired deer lay on the ground for a little while to regain its strength to get on its feet, he said.

“After a while it was able to get on all fours and run away off into the woods,” he wrote in the report. “I am in hopes that this deer will recover from this energy-draining and stressful event and live to enjoy several more years on our watershed.”

Responses to "Men save distressed deer stuck on Megunticook Lake ice in Camden (Photos)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Superbe sauvetage !

  2. Fili says:

    That is so great that they helped the poor deer out.

  3. Anonymous says:

    That's awesome.

  4. Anonymous says:

    a brilliant rescue xx

  5. Anonymous says:

    how beautiful it is priceless

  6. Anonymous says:

    You Guys ROCK. Well done

  7. Anonymous says:


  8. Unknown says:

    You guys are true american's thank you very much for the rescue. Walt Williams
    central Ca.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much!! I will be sharing this with all my friend's not just as a nature lover but as someone who see's this every year. Most do not make it, sad to say. We live in Croton Michigan by the Muskegon River and have seen this so many many time's. You guy's rock!!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    awesome jobs fellas. at least someone has respect for life and did what needed to be done.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thank you-two, true men to do this rescue, not take advantage of a situation...and thanks to your buddy who caught it all on film for us!

  12. Okay this is not going to make me popular but first let me say I am thrilled they saved her. But if you think the deer has a broken pelvis why drag her by the front legs to the shore? Couldn't they have come up with a nicer, less stressful way of handling her?

  13. Anonymous says:


  14. Anonymous says:

    Love to see true men in action :) great work!!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Great job guys!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Good job guys. Poor thing would surely have died out there.

  17. Anonymous says:

    A AWESOME job. There is good In the world.

  18. Anonymous says:


  19. Anonymous says:

    Well done!

  20. Anonymous says:

    that a great thing to do.ty for your time and effort

  21. Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much to the two wonderful, caring men for taking the time to save this beautiful animal!! Hero doesn't seem a big enough word!!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Always love and help animals - well done guys

  23. Anonymous says:

    you two are awesome angels - just proves you don't always have to take extreme measures to save an animal - just caring and wanting to help is enough. They deserve long lives like humans do.

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