BARRE – Paul Guglielmi was cycling his daily commute on September 24 when he noticed something strange in the field near his house.
“They were quite far away and I thought they were little cows grazing,” he said. “They weren’t acting like deer. My neighbor said the same thing.
Guglielmi called a nearby farmer and told him he thought some of his cows were lost.
“He checked,” he said. “By then the deer had fallen, fallen from exhaustion.”
The two large males had tangled their antlers during a fight.
Department of Environmental Conservation Officer Nathan Godson arrived at the field, which was at the corner of Drake Island and Gillette Roads.
“Their heads were on the ground and one of them was pinned to the ground,” he said. “At first we planned to shoot them. But we wanted to save them.
Guglielmi drove a tractor over the field and Godson used a pole to slide a winch around the woods.
With the deer securely attached, Godson climbed into the tractor bucket. Guglielmi handed him a Sawzall and Godson set to work.
He cut the antlers almost completely from the larger male and one side of the smaller male.
The larger male got up first and tripped several times, lay down and then walked away.
“It took him about 30 minutes,” Godson said. “The other took off and went into the woods after tripping.”
Godson, who has been an officer for five years, said he had never done anything like it, but was happy to have saved the deer.
“It seems a bit early for them to fight,” he said. “They were both nice deer, both big with eight tips.”
Guglielmi said he believed he had seen the biggest buck before, a deer he hit and lost on an archery hunt last year.
“The bigger deer had a flaw on one side,” he said. “I’m pretty sure it’s the same one I hit in the shoulder.”
Sometimes when a deer is injured, it causes deformation of the antlers.
“I’m glad he did,” Guglielmi said. “It was fun. They were both exhausted and barely breathing. It was good to see them go.
Three days later, in West Seneca, two highways employees came across a pair of dollars entangled in Cazenovia Creek. One of the males lay dead in the water as the larger male frantically tried to break free.
The workers used a saw to cut the wood from the dead fallow deer. The surviving male tripped in the water before reaching shore and vanishing.
Video of this rescue is on the West Seneca Police Department Facebook page.