(NEXSTAR) – He aims to please.
A game warden in Pennsylvania recently came to the rescue of a deer that had gotten stuck in Berks County by literally shooting it free from a piece of netting.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission shared the incredible story on Facebook earlier this week. State Game Warden Ryan Zawada responded to the scene after a local resident called to report that the young buck’s antler had become tangled in a net at the site of a former vineyard. But Zawada quickly realized that tranquilizing the panicked deer could have adverse effects.
“Given the deer’s state of distress upon arrival, SGW Zawada was nervous that chemical immobilization was not a safe option to remove the deer from the net,” the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) explained.
Instead, Zawada decided his “best option” was to pick up his shotgun and blast the deer’s antler apart, allowing it to escape.
“After the shot, one antler lighter, the buck ran off unharmed,” the PGC said.
On Facebook, the department shared photos showing the exact moment that Zawada fired his shot. They also posted an image of the buck’s detached antler, still tangled in the net after the deer ran off.
“Well done, and amazing job to the person who photographed this sequence of events,” one Facebook user wrote. “You can feel the intensity through the photos.”
“He has always [been an] exceptional shot,” said another user who claimed to know Zawada. “But this shows how much he cares about the wellbeing of the game. Great job Ryan.”
As astounding as Zawada’s actions were, it wouldn’t mark the first time that a game warden was forced to free animals using unconventional means. In Jan. 2021, for instance, a game warden in Kansas was able to separate two deer who became locked together by shooting off a part of an antler with a handgun.