Joe Schmelzinger, his wife Annette, their six-year-old daughter Alivia, and friend Guy Peterson planned a fun day on Lake Ontario, but their day of fishing quickly turned into a rescue mission after they spotted something out in the water that didn’t belong.

“He was definitely way out there. We were probably in 70 feet of water,” Joe recalls. “It was headed out into the lake. It was headed the wrong way.”

So, what was it?

“…It was a deer just swimming in the middle of Lake Ontario,” Annette said. “Our first reaction was, we gotta help this deer.”

When they realized what was happening, Annette grabbed her phone and began to film Joe trying to save the deer, who made their rescue deed difficult by trying to swim away.

Joe didn’t give up and finally was able to pull the water-logged deer onboard. The exhausted baby deer collapsed.

Joe and Guy took the deer to woods nearby to release it. But it was still pretty scared and initially hid under the truck before heading out into the woods.

Watch This Incredible Rescue:

Guy summed up the experience with some humor: “To even see a deer in the lake, you would never think that, you know? A lot of my buddies are saying to me, ‘Are you going to go hunting in the woods and find a fish?’”

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