BARRE — Paul Guglielmi was taking his daily bicycle ride Sept. 24 when he noticed something odd in the field near his house.
“They were pretty far away and I thought they were small cows grazing,” he said. “They weren’t acting like deer. My neighbor said the same thing.”
Guglielmi called a nearby farmer and told him that he thought a couple of his cows had gotten lose.
“He checked it out,” he said. “By that time the deer were down, fallen over from exhaustion.”
The two large bucks had entangled their antlers during a fight.
Department of Environmental Conservation Officer Nathan Godson arrived to the field, which was at the corner of Drake Island and Gillette roads.
“They had their heads to the ground and one was pinned to the ground,” he said. “At first we planned to shoot them. But we wanted to save them.”
Guglielmi drove a tractor to the field and Godson used a pole to slip a winch around the antlers.
Once the deer were secured tight, Godson climbed into the bucket of the tractor. Guglielmi handed him a Sawzall and Godson went to work.
He cut the antlers almost completely from the largest buck and one side of the smaller buck.
The larger buck got up first and stumbled a few times, lay down and then took off.
“It took him about 30 minutes,” Godson said. “The other took off and got to the woods after stumbling.”
Godson, who has been an officer for five years, said he had never done anything like that but was glad to have saved the deer.
“It seems a little early for them to be fighting,” he said. “They were both nice deer, both large eight-points.”
Guglielmi said he believes he has seen the larger buck before, a deer he hit and lost while bow hunting last year.
“The larger deer had a defect on one side,” he said. “I’m pretty sure it’s the same one I hit in the shoulder.”
Sometimes when a deer is injured, it causes deformities in the antlers.
“I”m glad he made it,” Guglielmi said. “It was fun. They were both exhausted and barely breathing. It was good to see them go off.”
Three days later, in West Seneca, two highway department workers came across a pair of bucks entangled in Cazenovia Creek. One of the bucks lay dead in the water while the larger buck frantically attempted to free himself.
The workers used a saw to cut the antler from the dead buck. The surviving buck stumbled through the water before making it ashore and disappearing.
The video of that rescue is on West Seneca Police Department’s Facebook page.