DURANGO, Colo. (KDVR) — Colorado Parks and Wildlife helped remove a tomato cage from the antlers of a mule deer buck in the southwest part of the state Friday.

CPW said Wildlife Officer Becca DeVergie found the buck laying in a driveway next to a house near 3rd Avenue and 5th Street.

The tomato plant cage was hooked around one of the buck’s antlers, which would sometimes swing in front of its face, making it difficult to eat, CPW said.

Big buck gets antlers tangled in tomato plant cage
Big buck gets antlers entangled in tomato plant cage (CPW)

The buck had to be tranquilized so CPW wildlife officers DeVergie, along with Luke Clancy, could get close enough to remove the tomato plant cage.

Once they got the cage off, they gave the buck a reversal drug so it could wake up.

“Special thanks to the neighborhood cat in this video that helped give the deer a nudge to wake him up after the reversal drug kicked in. With friends like that, this buck will probably hang around town for a while,” CPW shared.

The left photo is of the kitten as it plays, the right photo is the buck watching the kitten as it plays.

“The deer was given ear tags to indicate it had recently been given the tranquilizer drug. The blue tags have a date on the back that says when it would be safe to eat (30 days after), just in case he gets hit by a car or wanders out of town where a hunter could harvest him,” CPW shared.

Things wildlife have become entangled in

  • Tricycles
  • Tires
  • Garden cages
  • Clothes lines
  • Plastic fencing
  • Lawn chairs
  • Playground equipment
  • Soccer nets
  • Christmas lights

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Helpful tips for keeping wildlife from getting entangled

  • CPW recommends people put away volleyball and badminton nets if you aren’t using them
  • Place lights and other decorations above six feet or attached tightly to trees and buildings
  • Lights that hang low or that are draped insecurely over vegetation can get tangled easily in antlers
  • Report any wildlife entanglement immediately and don’t try to intervene by yourself

Residents on the Front Range can call CPW’s Denver office at 303-291-7227 to report entangled wildlife, or if elsewhere in the state, they can look up their local CPW office. If it is after hours when offices are closed, residents are asked to call Colorado State Patrol at 303-239-4501 and ask for the on-call wildlife officer.