Video: Wildlife Troopers give dog-paddling deer a lift in S.E. Alaska


It’s not uncommon to see deer swimming from one island to another in Southeast Alaska. But last week Alaska Wildlife Troopers out of Ketchikan discovered two Sitka blacktail deer far from shore and evidently quite exhausted, having overestimated their long-distance swimming abilities. One of the deer approached the Troopers’ boat and swam right to the swim step to ask for a lift.

The troopers loaded the shivering deer onto their boat and gave the animals a lift to the next island, where they released them onto the beach.

According to the wildlife trooper narrating the reel, the troopers were in the middle of Clarence Strait, which separates Prince of Wales Island on the west side, from Revillagigedo Island and Annette Island, on the east side, when they discovered the deer four miles from the nearest shore.

The Case of the Dog-Paddling Deer made for some of the best law enforcement recruiting video in America. Watch it here:

See the video at the Alaska State Troopers’ Facebook Page:


  1. Maybe a bear chased it into the water. I miss Southeast. For all its beauty I’m sorry Southeast panhandle has poor leadership, which Anchorage is heading that direction it being on life support. It has a narrow straight chance but a shallow slim one yo turn around by my judgement and observation, If Anchorage gets one more Leftist or moderate Democrat mayor, the town is dead.

  2. Great job Troopers! Its nice to hear about people doing plain and simply good things in these very unstable situations around the world today.
    Great article Suzanne!

  3. Really cool story, and a nice break from some of the heaviness in the news recently. Thanks for sharing, Suzanne.

  4. What a couple of dumb fish and game guys….Sitka Backtail have hollow hair that allows them two things….

    1. The Hollow Hair acts as an excellent float coat and when they get tired of swimming, they can (and often do), just stop and float until rested.

    2. That hollow hair is an excellent insulator and allows deer to be in the water for hours without getting hypothermia.

    Those deer can and have often been seen making swims of ten miles.

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