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Utility worker stops to help deer blinded by snow and ice after North Dakota blizzard

Brent Harr, a water operator with Stutsman Rural Water District in North Dakota, snapped this photo of a deer blinded by snow and ice Thursday while on a service call. He stopped to help the deer. SUBMITTED PHOTO

WOODWORTH, N.D. — A water utility worker on a service call in central North Dakota helped rescue a deer blinded by caked ice and snow that covered a majority of its head on Thursday.

Brent Harr with Stutsman Rural Water District said he was on a call near Woodworth in the wake of this week's blizzard when he saw a deer that appeared to be in trouble off to the side of 57th Avenue Northeast. He stopped the truck at around 11 a.m., he said.

“I found this doe stumbling around and falling down,” Harr said. “I noticed her face was completely covered in ice.”

National Weather Service data shows that the temperature was minus 2 at the time, and the wind chill was minus 22.

The deer was between 1½ and 2 years old and between 130 to 140 pounds, Harr said. After many failed attempts to get control of the deer, a young farmer who was driving by stopped to help get the deer to the ground, he said.

Harr and the young farmer removed about 2 inches of ice from the deer’s head. The ice had covered the deer’s eyes, and once it could see again things looked much better, he said.

“We got her back on her feet and away she went,” he said.

Harr said this was the first time he had an encounter of this type with a deer in trouble. He wanted to help the doe because it would have suffered and likely would not have a chance against coyotes or other predators.

“I had to do something,” he said.

Harr said the blizzard caught everyone and everything off guard. The owner of the farm he was servicing was having problems similar to the rescued deer with his cattle that got out of the pasture, he said.

“It turned out there was no problem at all with the service call,” Harr said. “But it looks like I was on the right road at the right time.”

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