Dowagiac pair pull struggling doe from water at Arthur Dodd Park

Published 10:12 am Thursday, June 25, 2009

Niles Daily Star

While fly fishing Tuesday afternoon in the Dowagiac Creek at Arthur Dodd Park, Austyn Jackson and Conner East heard a strange noise coming from up the creek.
The two avid fishermen, who will be freshmen this coming year at Dowagiac Union High School, originally thought it was a dog splashing around in the water according to their grandmother Linda Gardner.
“Upon going further upstream, they discovered a doe in the river struggling in the current,” Gardner said. ” She couldn’t get out of the river. Of course both boys, not thinking of what the circumstances could be for themselves, left their waders on and went off to help the doe.”
Their first attempt at helping the doe out of the water was not very successful as she fought the two boys, which made it hard for them to get a grip on the animal and she drifted further down stream.
That didn’t deter Jackson and East.
The two went after the doe and finally got her headed toward the shoreline despite her repeated attempts to get away from them.
Once they got the doe onto the bank, East called for his grandmother.
“Conner called me to see if his mother had called and told me and then hinted if I could come out as they were awful hot,” “I went out and the doe was still laying on the bank, totally exhausted. We stayed for a while, she was moving her head around quite a bit more, but still exhausted. The boys were thrilled that they were able to help her. They had called animal rescue and they were told to leave her there as when she got her strength back she would probably recover.”
While they waited to see if the deer would recover, a man and his young daughter came up and asked if they had caught anything.
“Yes, a trout and a deer,” the boys answered.
“I’m very proud of both boys for saving the life of the doe,” Gardner said. “Conner figured she was between 1 and 3 years old, weighing approximately 100-pounds.