Chad Campbell and pal Bo Warren weren’t having much luck trolling for striped bass about a mile offshore on Chesapeake Bay last Saturday. But, despite poor fishing, they were successful catching and boating a good-sized button buck.Chesapeakebuck3

In an article appearing on The Bay Net Web site, Campbell wrote that when he and Warren investigated something in the water behind their boat last week, they were amazed to discover it was a swimming—and quite exhausted—whitetail deer.

“He was desperate and barely staying afloat,” Campbell wrote. “I’ve seen deer swim a river or bayou before. When you see that, the first thing you notice is that they are powerful swimmers. Their heads and shoulders are out of the water and they make surprisingly good headway.”Chesapeakebuck2

Such was not the case with this wayward buck. He was barely able to keep his nose out of the briny water.

Since the fish weren’t cooperating, the two decided to rope the floundering deer.

“It turns out Bo grew up around cows and was really handy with a bowline. He lassoed the deer on the first try,” Campbell wrote. “(Then) Bo grabbed his neck, I grabbed the flank, and we barreled (him) over backwards into the boat. Before I knew it, Bo was on top of him and had him tied up just like a calf.”

Understanding the importance of catch-and-release deer fishing (especially out of season), the men hightailed it to shore, where they carefully unloaded the weary whitetail, untied its legs and placed it on the beach.

Campbell wrote that they didn’t see the buck get up and run away, but they assumed it took some time for it to recuperate from its long, watery journey.