Three Faribault men carried out an unusual rescue mission last Saturday after they received a call about a deer stranded on ice-covered Cedar Lake.
When a Cedar Lake resident noticed a doe and her fawns being terrorized by coyotes, Brad and John Standke, and Ronnie Hendrickson were called to pursue the rescue mission.
"For us, this was no big deal," said John Standke, who grew up on the lake with his brother Brad. "We've done similar things over the years and we're usually the first to get a phone call when someone needs help with something around the lake."
When the men arrived, they realized the doe had already been killed by coyotes and one of the fawns made her way to land. The other fawn wasn't so lucky.
"She was struggling out there," Standke said. "She had no chance."
As avid hunters and fishermen, the three men knew they were putting their own lives in danger by walking on unsafe ice. The men gathered rope, flotation devices, a paddleboard and ice picks to use in case they fell through the ice.
"Growing up on bodies of water, we always take precautions," Standke said. "We brought the paddleboard for our safety, but it ended up being the perfect way to get the deer off the ice."
The rescue was captured in a series of videos and shared on Facebook. One of the videos has been shared more than 10,000 times.
As the men approached the deer, Hendrickson said on camera: "Gonna have to grab her and drag her to shore, and hope we don't fall through the ice or get kicked in the eye."
The deer was too exhausted to put up a fight, allowing the men to lift her onto the paddleboard.
"I think she knew she was in good hands," Standke said.
The Standke brothers pulled the deer to shore, while Hendrickson crouched around the deer to keep her from running away.
"Me and the deer are just getting a little ride," Hendrickson said while embracing the deer.
Once on land, the men continued to drag the deer on the paddleboard about 100 feet away from the shore so she wouldn't run back onto the ice. She eventually ran off into the woods.