A large buck lost its antlers but regained its freedom after entangling itself in a Sewickley resident's tree swing.
Shortly after 7 a.m. Feb. 21, Sewickley police Patrolman Frank Lesniak and Captain Rich Manko responded to a home in the 1500 block of Grandview Avenue where a resident saw the deer struggling to free itself from the swing's rope.
Lesniak said they arrived to find the deer and rope high up in the tree limb. Every time the officers approached, police said the animal tried to run but instead swung itself around the tree.
“We were trying to rope him to the tree so we could cut the rope, but the rope we had was so thin. We would have gotten kicked by the deer,” Lesniak said.
Police asked the Pennsylvania Game Commission for assistance.
Game Commission officers arrived a short time later and used a saw to cut the deer's antlers, freeing the animal to dash away into the wild.
Jerry Feaser, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said the agency is involved in about a half-dozen deer rescues every year.
Sawing off the antlers is a standard procedure in deer rescue, and officers also have sawed antlers to free elk that have gotten stuck in tire swings, he said. Feaser said deer are entering the season where they will begin losing their antlers.
“Antlers, unlike horns, grow back every year, so antlers will grow, fall off and regrow. In this way, it was probably the best way to quickly release that animal from the entanglement,” Feaser said.