Pennsylvania Game Warden Heroically Shoots Off Antler Of A Buck Tangled In Netting

A man kneeling in front of a deer in a field
Patrick Scott/Pennsylvania Game Commission

Talk about a ballsy move.

A Pennsylvania game warden is a local hero after using his shotgun to free a tangled deer.

According to Centre Daily Times, game warden Ryan Zawada was responded to a call that a buck was tangled in some netting.

Zawada would’ve typically tranquilized the young buck, but was fearful that the buck could risk a heart attack, and he also didn’t want to risk hurting himself or the buck by getting up there and trying to cut him out.

So what did he decide to do?

The game warden detailed the encounter for Outdoor Life:

“When I got the call, I figured the wire was wrapped around the neck. It was reported that the wire was wrapped around the antler, but I was driving there thinking there’s no way that pedicle wouldn’t have released by now.

There was sign on the ground that had been there struggling for a while, the ground looked like a little rototiller had hit it. So I didn’t want to approach it super close, because if I got within 50 yards it would get pretty wild and almost clotheslined itself.”

He took his shotgun, took a knee, lined up a shot at the tangled antler and fired.

It was a clean shot, and although it shattered the antler, it didn’t harm the deer:

“Even with the shotgun I was very confident that it would be fine. I just aimed high against the wire, well away from its head. And in the worst case scenario, at least I’d be able to donate to needy families in the area.”

The buck was then able to sprint away, freely.

The stage game commission noted what would’ve happened if Zawada missed the antler, and either hurt or killed the deer:

“Under these conditions, SGW Zawada was confident he could shoot the antler off and free the deer.

On the off chance that SGW Zawada would have missed and shot the deer, the meat would have been donated to local families in need.”



A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock