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The Rescue Mission

Hunting, by definition, is the practice of pursuing any living thing such as wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade.  A successful hunt is made possible by the hunter’s efforts to preserve the environment in such a manner that it does not extinguish.  I had the opportunity several years ago to practice the preservation of life first hand.

It was early June and my husband, Lee Howard, and I were returning from a day of offshore fishing at Holden Beach, North Carolina.  As we cruise the Inter-coastal Waterway our eyes were drawn to the edge of the marsh grass where a white spotted fawn stood.  The baby was nearly chest deep in the rising tide.  Lee concluded that the doe and fawn had wondered out of the nearby woods to feed during low tide.  Once the tide turned, it made the journey back to dry land too difficult for the baby.  The depth finder on our boat read “3 feet”.  Lee jumps out of the boat pulling it in tow as we approach the crying fawn.  He quickly scooped up the baby and passed it into my waiting arms.  I wrapped up the exhausted fawn in my beach towel and hoped its mother was still close by.  Every few minutes the fawn would let out a soft cry as I scanned the wood line looking for the doe.  I finally spot her head extruding from the tree line.  She is more than a couple hundred yards away but she is watching me hold her baby.  I carefully clutch the bundled fawn and I climb from the boat onto a residential pier.  I begin the long walk towards dry land as the fawn continues to cry.  As I reach the gate at the end of my walk I can hear the doe moving in the pines.  I don’t see her but I know she is close.  I unwrap the fawn and place its tiny hooves on the ground.  I let go and the baby bolts forward into the pines never looking back.


Since then I have worried that my impulsive decision to handle the wild fawn may have caused its mother to reject it.  However, I feel that Lee and I made the right choice to pull the fawn from the rising tide and return it to land.   Perhaps that fawn has now grown into the handsome trophy buck you’ve been looking for.

Story by Katie Howard

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