Living off the land used to be much more common. Even those who didn’t run entire operations often had a kitchen garden or a few hens in their backyards to supplement their meals.
With cities rising up and houses being built on postage stamp lots, that kind of living is no longer accessible to many.
But farmers still know the gamble that comes with raising livestock or crops. While there’s never a guarantee of success, some definitely have a way with the land and the animals they raise.
Richard and Victoria Gorman in Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand, are those kinds of people. They not only know the lay of the land, they’ve won awards for their farming.
Working nearly 2,000 acres, the couple has made a name for themselves in both the sheep and beef farming worlds.
In 2017, they were named winners of the Westpac Bayleys Marlborough Sheep & Beef Farmer of the Year.
Many other farmers toured the Gormans’ farm, picking up valuable information about the way the Gormans run their operation.
But 2017 was a big year for the Gormans for another reason. They had some visitors on the farm earlier in 2017 that brought them a surprising amount of online attention.
It was late April when two red deer found themselves in an awkward situation. Springtime is rutting time, or the mating season, and it’s not uncommon to see males fighting.
What is a little more uncommon (but not unheard of) is to find males fighting and stuck in a fence, which is how Richard Gorman and another farmer, Jim Burrows, found the two bucks.
Despite the thrashing of the ensnared bucks, the farmers knew they wanted to free the two beasts. If one of the deer swung its head at just the right time, one or both of the farmers could have been injured.
That wasn’t a concern to Burrows, who said he just kept watch to ensure the bucks “didn’t flick an antler at us,” according to Stuff.
Burrows guessed the two had been trapped there at least 24 hours by the time he and Gorman found them, and it was a miracle they’d even passed them as they only went near that part of the property once or twice a week.
“They didn’t show any aggression to us, they just wanted to get away,” Burrows told Stuff. “I don’t think they would have lasted more than three or four days.”
After assessing the situation, they “went and got some wire cutters and let them go.”
Eventually, they managed to break the two apart and cut the fence material that had bound them together. The deer ran off, disappearing into the hills.
The fence line was in serious need of repair after the incident, but thanks to Gorman and Burrows the deer were free to roam at will once again.
The video of the rescue was picked up by different outlets and amassed over 600,000 shares through The Dodo alone.
While wildlife rescues are generally best left to the professionals, these farmers did what they could and thankfully no one was injured.
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