Deer are famous for “freezing” in the headlight beams of oncoming cars, but for a doe on a rural Michigan highway, there were not only headlights but a mild collision with a car that left it frozen with fear in the middle of the road. The incident last Friday was captured by the video unit of a patrol car used by Deputy Ryan Swartz of the Huron County Sheriff’s Department (the video was released Monday). Swartz, who was responding to the deer-versus-vehicle call, was unable to coax the doe off the roadway, so he just lifted the animal and carried it to the embankment.
“What he did is certainly not recommended but he felt confident enough because of his many years of experience with deer,” stated a news release issued by the Sheriff’s Department.
The deputy said that when he first arrived he thought the deer was a decoy because it stood totally motionless. He told local TV station WNEM TV5, “I figured as I walked up to it, it would just run off the road [but] it just stood still. It wasn’t moving at all. So I went up and I pet it and I was thinking that would get the deer off the road.”
When that didn’t work Swartz simply carried the deer to one side of the road, then the other, and set the animal down. Eventually it regained its composure and trotted into a field. The entire episode lasted about 10 minutes.