A young mulie buck survived a jump from the I-15 overpass above Helena’s Sixth Ward train depot onto a boxcar last week, but had to be destroyed after being further injured by a leap from the boxcar to the ground.
Linda Frost, spokesperson for Montana Rail Link, said no employees saw the buck make his leap of faith. However, once they noticed the stranded animal atop the boxcar, employees called for help from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Game Warden Randy Arnold took the Jan. 2 call, and asked Warden Dave Loewen to accompany him.
“I figured this presented some additional manpower issues,” Arnold said.
From the ground, the game wardens could see that the buck had a broken front leg. But deer can survive with that — the main problem facing them was how to get the buck from the boxcar to the ground.
“We were kind of pressed to get the best way to get the deer off the boxcar,” Arnold said.
They worried that tranquilizing the deer to lower it to the ground, or wrestling it down, wasn’t going to be effective and might be too stressful on the animal.
“We decided that the only way to get him off of it was for it to jump on its own,” he noted. “We wanted to give it a chance.”