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PANGUITCH — A buck surprised a sheriff and a driver after it ended up in the trailer the woman was hauling.
About 3 p.m. Sunday, a woman driver hauling a travel trailer called the Garfield County Sheriff's Office saying she had hit something while traveling on Highway 89 just outside of Panguitch. When Conservation Officer Micah Evans arrived, he noticed a hole about 2 feet in diameter in the front of the trailer, a sheriff's office spokesperson said.
"To me, it looks like someone pushed a 50-gallon drum through her trailer," he said.
The hole was about 4 ½ feet off the ground. When Evans first arrived at the scene, he told the shaken driver, "I think whatever you hit is still inside your trailer." No blood was on the trailer.
"I'm thinking the animal is pretty well hurt from the size of the hole. So I peek around the kitchen counter, and I see this 2-by-3 little set of buck deer antlers sticking up over the top of the kitchen counter, and it's standing up," Evans said. "Well, this is not something I see everyday."
As he opened the trailer, he expected to find a dead or injured animal, but saw a three-point buck in good health.
"I can hear the jaw moving, and I can hear the tongue working," Evans said. "It was either licking its front leg or licking something that spilled on the floor. And as I'm looking at this animal, I'm thinking, 'Man, how the heck am I going to get this thing out of the trailer?'"
Standing in the doorway, Evans took a picture with his camera of the buck. The flash went off and the buck sprang toward the doorway, Evans jumped out of the way, then the buck leapt over a barbed wire fence and ran away, according to the sheriff's office.
"The second the camera flashed, the deer turns toward me, his eyes are kind of big, looks toward me, tilts his head down and antlers first comes running out of the back of the trailer full tilt toward me," Evans said. "I kind of let out a little high-pitched scream because I'm between the deer and door. I jump out of the door and run toward the back of the trailer."
"All involved were a bit stunned by this strange occurrence," the sheriff's office wrote in a press release. "Sheriff Perkins on the scene jokingly said to the woman, ‘We're going to have to fine you for hunting without a license,' to which the woman replied ‘But I didn't kill it.' "
Contributing: Pat Reavy