Deer Saved from Pumpkin Pail by Rescuer in Hunting Blind

Residents of Mentor, Ohio, who had been distraught over sightings of a deer with a plastic pumpkin-shaped bucket stuck over much of its face for the past six days, are celebrating the animal’s release by a resourceful local teenager.

Cameron Merritt told WKYC that he hid in a hunting blind until he had a chance to grab the deer. "It's just like a football tackle," he said. "When I grabbed it, we went to the ground and this thing snapped off. It had to be done today. There was stress on that deer because it couldn't eat."

The animal had managed to elude Ohio Department of Natural Resources officials with nets earlier in the week. In fact, the footage of their rescue attempts (at 0:42 below) may be more cringeworthy than imagining the deer’s plight if the pail continued to keep it from getting food and water.

Volunteers took matters into their own hands in another wildlife rescue this fall, when a Facebook campaign to free "Bucket Bear" culminated in the black bear being released from a bucket-like object by three Pennsylvania locals.

Editors’ Note—A few headline ideas we briefly considered for this story:

  • Pumpkin-Head Deer Wanted to Make a Sad Face, But Couldn't
  • Weeklong Sugar High Comes to an End for Deer Stuck in Trick-or-Treat Pail
  • Confused Deer Heard Blaze Orange Was Required During Hunting Season