VIDEO: Winneshiek County men save deer from sinkhole - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

VIDEO: Winneshiek County men save deer from sinkhole

Posted: Updated:
Eric Smorstad, Gavin Nimrod and Bryton Meyer pull a buck from a sinkhole on a Winneshiek County farm. Eric Smorstad, Gavin Nimrod and Bryton Meyer pull a buck from a sinkhole on a Winneshiek County farm.
DECORAH (KWWL) -

Three high school friends home from college this weekend helped pull a 10-point buck from a deep sinkhole on a Winneshiek County farm.

Eric Smorstad, Gavin Nimrod and Bryton Meyer came home after watching a high school football game just in time to help Eric's dad, Gary, and a neighbor with a sinkhole.

While haying on Friday east of Decorah, Gary Smorstad's neighbor's tire tractor had slipped into a sinkhole. They pulled the rig out.

“We went to look how deep the hole was and there was a 10 point buck staring at us,” Gary said. “Kind of surprised the both of us!”

“What in the world is he doing in there?” he said with a laugh.

They told the three young men, who went and bought a rope and clip and drove a truck out to the sinkhole to pull out the deer.

The rescue is captured on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzVJX-vnOfw&feature=share.

"It was hard to see; only three or four feet wide and maybe ten feet deep," Nimrod told the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. "We made a loop, caught an antler and kept his head up. We decided to tie another rope; Eric and Bryton held my legs and I went down and re-tied it."

From there, they just pulled until the buck's antlers, head, and finally front legs were above ground.

"He stopped fighting and looked around, like he was grateful," Nimrod told the DNR. "Then he got his legs under him and took off. The rope caught on the side and busted the clip off and he was gone over the hill.

"We were hooting and hollering. Up until then, winning the (2012) state football championship was the best thing that ever happened to us. Now, this is."

As the rescue began, the friends propped up Meyer's phone on the pickup to capture it all -- because they weren't sure anyone would believe them.

"Before the video was out, people were looking at us like we're nuts," laughed Nimrod. "We told them, 'You can't make up a story like that.'"

And for Gary, more accustomed to deer eating his crops, he hopes the rescued animal returns the favor.

“Yeah I did a good turn for him now, the boys did him a good turn,” he laughed. “So maybe they can leave the corn and beans alone. That'd be best.”

KWWL's Amie Steffeneicher contributed to this report.

Powered by Frankly