Nova Scotia

Lobster fishermen haul up deer swimming far from shore

Two brothers lobster fishing off the coast of Antigonish, N.S., on Thursday morning hauled up an unusual catch — a deer swimming far from shore.

The animal looked to be headed for Cape Breton but had a long, long way to go

Justin Boudreau says once the deer was on the boat for a second time it calmed down and seemed to enjoy the ride. (Luc Boudreau)

Two brothers lobster fishing off the coast of Antigonish, N.S., on Thursday morning hauled up an unusual catch — a deer swimming far from shore.

Justin and Luc Boudreau first noticed the deer's head bobbing above the waves while they were fishing near Jimtown Beach. The animal looked to be headed for Cape Breton but had a long way to go.

"A deer is a pretty good swimmer, but it was a long way from shore, and it was a long way from shore the way it was going," Justin Boudreau told CBC Radio's Information Morning.

The seafaring deer, which Boudreau guesses was about a year old, seemed to be doing OK, but looked tired.

The duo got close enough to swing a rope around its neck and lift the animal, which weighed about as much as a large dog, into the boat. 

The brothers spotted the swimming deer on Thursday morning off the coast of Antigonish near Jimtown Beach. (Luc Boudreau)

"It was so exhausted it pretty much just collapsed," he said. 

But the rescue wasn't over.

Once the deer caught its breath, it headed back overboard and into the water. 

"So we had to do it again and once we had it aboard the second time, I just stayed with it," Boudreau said.

He held his arms around the deer as they headed for Crystal Cliffs Beach, where they tried to get as close to shore as possible before lifting the deer overboard.  

Boudreau is humble about his and his brother's dramatic deer rescue, saying they were simply fishing in the right place at the right time. 

"We watched it until it made it to shore, and then soon as it hit the beach, it just ran up into the woods and that was the end of it," Boudreau said.

"[It] never even turned around and said thank you. Not even a wave."

Justin Boudreau and his brother were in a lobster boat in the waters off Antigonish when they saw a deer swimming far from shore. 3:02

With files from CBC Radio's Information Morning

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