Two Georgia men got a bit of a side job while working on a landscaping project last week.
Andy Wooten said he and his brother-in-law were at a property in Putnam County when they heard what sounded like a baby crying, coming from the woods.
The two men walked closer, and Wooten said he saw a deer by the water of the Oconee River.
“That’s when we realized it was a distress call coming from the fawn,” Wooten said. “The deer ran off as we went into the woods to go see what was wrong with the fawn.”
It took the men about 10 minutes to find what they were looking for.
“We were right on top of them. We could hear them but we couldn’t see them,” he said. “I was probably 3 yards away from it and it went to call and gargled on the water in the lake. I went straight to it and called my brother-in-law over.”
That’s when Wooten said he kicked off his shoes and got into the water to rescue the tiny deer.
“I believe what happened is it was probably born at nighttime, close to lake, and fell in,” Wooten said. “Vines were the only thing holding it above water.”
He said the deer’s head was barely above water. Once the fawn was freed, his brother-in-law started to dry it off with a towel they had in their truck.
“We only thought there was one deer initially, but then we heard more distress calls,” Wooten said. “We searched another five to 10 minutes trying to find it.”
A second fawn had climbed onto a shallow spot on the edge of the water. It was standing chest-deep in water with nowhere to go when Wooten said his brother-in-law, Taylor Sinquefield, 26, went into the water to get him.
“He was able to just lift it from the bank and get it out of the water,” Wooten said.
The men then took the fawns to the nearby property to dry them off and let them soak in the sun.
“They lay in the sun for about an hour” he said. “They could barely walk. I’m not sure if it’s because they were newborns, or they were exhausted from standing in the water and struggling to break free.”
An hour later they were able to get on their feet.
With umbilical cords still hanging, they finally got up and started “wobbling around,” Wooten said. He said they began rubbing against the men’s legs, the way that cats do when showing affection.
The men took the fawns back to the spot they found them, for fear that otherwise, they had no chance of finding their mother again.
The following day, the men returned to work. Wooten said the two fawns and mother deer stood across the street, reunited and healthy.
“That was the best feeling,” Wooten said. “They were all back together as a family.”
Wooten said he is a hunter but described himself as an animal lover. He recently graduated from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College with a degree in wildlife management.
The family posted the videos of the rescues on YouTube, and they currently have nearly 3,000 views.