A wildlife officer took aim with his shotgun, let out a round and saved two deer in the process. It’s not what you typically expect to happen when shoots at a deer. But in this case, Fish and Wildlife Officer Scott Kallweit was trying to separate two deer with entwined antlers.
It all began when Russ Wright was driving home in Calgary, Alberta. He spotted two deer in a field but noticed there was something odd happening.
“I stopped and realized these deer had locked antlers,” Wright told Global News. “That’s crazy because you just don’t see that. They were locked tight.”
He called Fish and Wildlife to report the distressed deer and Kallweit came out to the scene. He could tell the two were locked in a life or death struggle.
“It was pretty dynamic in terms of them moving around and bouncing around,” Kallweit said. “I knew they had a lot of energy. It was a good possibility that they were probably not going to get separated by themselves.”
Assessing the situation, Kallweit weighed the best options for separating the two animals. Tranquilizing them was not a good option, so Kallweit opted to use his 12 gauge shotgun instead. He patiently waited for the deer to become still so he could make the necessary shot.
And with one round, he hit the antlers and freed the deer. Wright, who was on hand to witness it and film it said it was the most unbelievable thing he’d seen. “Scott was terrific and very professional. [He] made a beautiful shot, freed the deer and they live to see another day.”
Kallweit explained that the shot-off antlers will not have any lasting effect on the deer who lost them. For one thing, the deer were close to shedding their antlers. For another, “[Deer] naturally regrow these antlers starting again in the spring anyway so it’s something they go through every year,” Kallweit said. He kept a piece of the antlers as a memento of the life he saved.