September 16th, 2011
09:43 PM ET

Man, son save fawn in middle of bay

Dave Falkenburg didn’t catch any fish in Michigan’s Wild Foul Bay on a recent excursion, but he’s happy with what he says he did grab from the water: A 65-pound fawn.

Falkenburg and his 13-year-old son, Justin, say video taken with the boy’s cell phone shows them rescuing the juvenile deer well away from shore on Sunday. They say they found it while driving their motorboat in the water about 45 miles northeast of Saginaw.

“My son thought it was a seagull or something,” Falkenburg told CNN of the moment they saw something bobbing in the water. “And I said no, I think it’s a deer.”

Falkenburg told CNN affiliate WNEM that it appeared the fawn was struggling to survive. The video, which the pair posted to YouTube, shows the boat approaching the water-treading fawn, and then Falkenburg grabbing the animal by the neck with the intention of keeping its head above water.

“We both decided that we needed to act, and needed to act fast,” Falkenburg, of Caseville, told CNN.

After Justin drove for a while with his dad holding the deer’s head, Dave Falkenburg eventually put the deer into the boat.

Thirty-five minutes after they found the animal, they were close enough to shore to put it into shallow water. Video shows the fawn walking toward land.

Falkenburg said deer regularly swim from a peninsula out to an island.

Mary Detloff, spokeswoman for the state Department of Natural Resources, said no DNR personnel were involved. She said she had no reason to doubt the story.

“I wouldn’t put it past the people of Michigan trying to save a deer,” she said.

Falkenburg said it didn’t matter to him that he didn’t catch any fish on the trip.

"We caught the best catch of the day," he said.

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Filed under: Animals • Deer • Michigan
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. drap

    Warm and fuzzy story..sort of reminds me of the classic animation short..Bambi meets Godzilla... .

    September 16, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Venison 4g

    Deerload in seconds!

    September 16, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. yada

    Sweet story.

    September 16, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. yada

    Sorry. Didn't mean to double post.

    September 16, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. yada

    Oops! Maybe I didnt. lol

    September 16, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Fawn Liebowitz

    Here I was swimming along..when this guy nicknamed otter grabs me and asks if I can find a friend to double date with his son Bluto... .

    September 16, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joeys Allotta-Fettucini

    HI, I'M JOEY and I once saved 15 deer swimming in Lake Erie. It helps to keep my body in shape. I go to the gym 3 times a day because I can afford it. It also helps to have a yaucht when saving deer. I have one because I can afford it. I also have an apartment on Park Avenue, a summer home on Marthas Vineyard and a Chalet in the Swiss Alps because I can afford it!

    September 16, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bambi

    Hey guys! Thanks for the ride to shore. My first time on a boat.

    September 16, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. where the man saves son from boy-stalker story

    500 children go unaccounted for in the US daily. Surely there are stories to report of at least one of them being saved ny a man. (according to the fBI, over 2,000 go missing ea. day, with about 3/4ths being simple cases involving runaways who return home safely. About 1000 per year are found dead. Where are the other 500? Surely there must be stories of at least a few of them being found each day...but there are none. Bambi was cute, but not as cute as an human child, unless your view is by abortion. Then I could see bambi being more urgent than a child)

    September 17, 2011 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  10. where the man saves son from boy-stalker story

    Oopsy...100 per year are found dead ea. year. (not 1000...typo)

    September 17, 2011 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  11. yada

    @ where I understand your passion regarding missing children. It's horrible and I share your concern. This world is getting worse by the minute. But in a world with such brutal and depressing headlines, it's nice to get a light-hearted story once in awhile. This one happened to be about a rescued deer. If you look closer, it was also about a boy lucky enough to have a dad who takes him fishing and teaches him to rescue a helpless animal and respect for their surroundings. Father and son having a wonderful adventure, making awesome memories and well.....that just warms my heart.

    September 17, 2011 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
  12. yada

    Good night from the West Coast.

    September 17, 2011 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. raven

    When I was a kid we saw a black bear chasing a baby moose. It drove it halfway around a little lake til the moose,out of desperation jumped in the water and the bear SWAM after it. Didnt see what happened on the other side but was something Ill never forget. Nature at its rawest.

    September 17, 2011 at 3:16 am | Report abuse |
  14. raven

    This story warmed my heart too,yada.And I hope the fawn was reunited with its mama.

    September 17, 2011 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |
  15. yada

    I sometimes wish I were a fawn. A fawn sleeps all day. Doesn't have to have a job and eats and drinks for free. My kind of life. Oh well. Maybe on my next reincarnated life. We are all reincarnated. We usually come within the same area. raven,you used to be a butterfly. Before that you were a grizzly bear. Before that you were a salmon. Before that you were Billy the Kid. Bad raven. Bad.

    September 17, 2011 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
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