Conservation Officers rescued a mule deer in 108 Mile Ranch well before the holiday season after it was seen struggling with Christmas lights entangled in its antlers and around its legs.
100 Mile House CO James Zucchelli says he attended on Nov. 10 and the animal was able to be calmed, freed from the Christmas lights and released safely.
“The deer appeared to be exhausted, in a backyard in 108 Mile Ranch … [trapped] with about 30 feet of Christmas lights completely entangled around its antlers, around its body and around its back legs.”
The deer had been rubbing his antlers on the tree trunk when he got caught, and once an entrapped deer panics, it often tangles itself further, he explains.
Zucchelli says he was able to tranquilize the frightened deer to allow him to be freed about 90 minutes later with an ear tag,as it appeared to be in good health.
The yellow ear tag indicates released wildlife so COs can log and check their status in a database, he notes.
He explains that once tranquilized, a deer is a danger for human consumption for up to 10 days, so the ear tag also cautions hunters to call the Conservation office at 1-877-952-7277.
However, since this is not a rare occurrence, Zucchelli says, adding it could have been worse.
“If we can avoid having the Christmas lights up early … the deer are rutting at that time, so they’re rubbing their antlers on those trees in residential areas.”