By Michael Abeyta

EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Most days start the same way for Robbie Berry, he takes his dog Gracie for a walk. But on Wednesday he noticed something a little different.

“We noticed there was a deer walking along the edge of our parking lot. We were just kind of checking it out and a passerby said, ‘Did you see the deer?’ I said, ‘Oh yeah, he’s right there at the end of the parking lot,’ and he said, ‘Oh no, there’s one stuck in the river.”

deer rescue 2 Gave Him A Good Pull: Man Tells Story Of Rescuing Deer From River

(credit: Seth Levy)

The Eagle River runs behind his home. Robbie took Gracie back home and his girlfriend Taylor called first responders. Then he headed out to assess the situation.

deer ice rescue 6pkg frame 348 Gave Him A Good Pull: Man Tells Story Of Rescuing Deer From River

Robbie Berry (credit: CBS)

“I could see he was stuck up to his neck and it was a pretty bad situation,” says Robbie. “I knew something had to be done pretty quickly.”

deer rescue 1 Gave Him A Good Pull: Man Tells Story Of Rescuing Deer From River

(credit: Seth Levy)

So, against his better judgment he decided to take action.

“I evaluated how thick the ice was and kind of just gingerly made my way out there. I got down, I got my hands behind his antlers and gave him a good pull,” said Berry.

deer rescue 3 Gave Him A Good Pull: Man Tells Story Of Rescuing Deer From River

(credit: Seth Levy)

After a lot of effort, he got the big guy out, “Yeah he was pretty heavy I’m not going to try to hide that… he was a big animal.”

In hindsight, Robbie says he knows he probably shouldn’t have gone in after the deer because he could have hurt himself or the deer, but at the moment his compassion and sense of humanity took over.

deer rescue Gave Him A Good Pull: Man Tells Story Of Rescuing Deer From River

(credit: Seth Levy)

“I chose to go in there and see what I could do myself and luckily I was able to get him out.”

It’s important to stress that you should not intervene with wildlife no matter how dire the situation seems. You should always call Colorado Parks and Wildlife. That’s their job and they are experts. In you can’t get ahold of them call local first responders like Robbie did, because they work closely with CPW.

Michael Abeyta is a 4th generation Coloradan and a Multimedia Journalist for CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 5 & 6. He is on Twitter! Follow him @AbeytaCBS4.

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