Local man finds deer in unusual location: a tree

Published 6:24 pm Friday, March 18, 2016

Brock Smith was riding with his wife and three boys in a boat down the Flint River when he spotted a shape up in a tree that looked like it didn’t belong.

Smith was just north of the Big Slough Landing when he turned around and floated up close to the shore to see if his eyes were playing trick on him. It turns out they weren’t.

A deer was trapped and hanging in the branches, roughly 16 feet off the ground.

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“I had to turn around and see it to believe what it was,” Smith said. “The water line was around the stomach and his head was lodged around the tree.”

Back in December 2015 and the early part of January 2016, a moderate flood in Bainbridge caused the Flint River water level to rise more than 30 feet. Smith theorized the deer became trapped during the flood and was unable to escape before dying up in the tree.

The cause of death could range from starvation to freezing to death in the water.

Smith climbed up into the tree and dislodged the 8-point buck to drop it to the ground where his wife and boys stood.

“They were shocked, for sure,” Smith said. “My boys kept asking, ‘How did he get up there?’”

Oddly enough, Smith remembers seeing the same buck on his trail camera back in December 2015. Living just three miles from where the buck got trapped, Smith’s camera caught a photo of the 8-pointer when it was still alive and well. He estimates the deer to be around 6 years old.