Vic Cotton was about to sit down for dinner with his family Monday night when he got a frantic call from his neighbour.

A deer had fallen into an icy pond down the road from his home in Bearspaw and it couldn't get out.

Cotton and his two boys grabbed their ladder and hiked out to the pond, where a crowd had already gathered. 

“I would probably suspect the deer was in there for about 10 minutes before we arrived on the scene,” he told CBC’s David Gray on the Calgary Eyeopener.

“So we got out on the ice, and I crawled out as far as I could towards the deer, and you know, it was obvious the deer was in distress and frantic.”

Cotton said they realized the only hope was to lasso the animal and drag it to shore.

“So we had brought along a tow-rope in anticipation of having to do this. Slipped the tow rope over her and then my son threw another rope over to the other guys and they got a rope over her head as well. And then we stood back and dragged the doe out of the pond,” he said.

“She got up, shook off and then ran away.”

Bearspaw is northwest of Calgary just outside the city limits. 

“That’s the reason people live out here in Bearspaw, the fact that we sort of co-mingle with the wildlife and, you know, we have a certain responsibility to take care of the animals that we share the space with,” Cotton said. 

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