People have their different ways of dealing with stress. For Joe Schmelzinger, fishing with his family in the Thousand Islands is his ticket to getting away from his life problems. Every year, he embarks on a fishing trip to wash away tension and stress. He started this family trip since the birth of his daughter. They usually enjoy the journey and return with plenty of fish to show their friends and neighbors. This year, it was the same story only that a surprise was waiting for them right there in the lake of the Thousand Islands.
The Thousand Islands. Source: Sonatours
Meet the Schmelzingers
Meet Joe. He lives in Canada with his family. He is very dedicated and committed to his family. Apart from his office, the only place you could find him is at home with them. Just as he loves to spend quality time with his family, he also enjoys fishing as well. However, the events at the next fishing time brought something he did not expect. Never in his lifetime did he know that fame was coming his way.
What a Lovely Family
Joe got married to his wife Annette about ten years ago, and they have a 6-year old daughter named Alivia. Alivia is beautiful just like her mother. She also has an angelic smile. The family is popularly known for their kind gestures to their friends and neighbors. They were loved because they treated everyone as one of their own. The perfect time of the year for their annual fishing trip was in the later part of the year.
The Trip Day
The T-Day (Trip Day) was in August 2017. Very early on that day, Joe set out with his wife and daughter for a fishing trip to their usual fishing spot – The Thousand Islands. The Thousand Island is very famous for its unique scenery and fishing games. Little did he know that this little fishing trip was going to put him and his family on the World Map.
Where are the Thousand Islands Located?
The Thousand Islands constitutes an archipelago of 1,864 islands that expands up to 50 miles from New York, the US to Kinston, Ontario. The sizes of the Islands range from 100km square to little-uninhabited rocks. The group of islands is connected through the Canada-US border by the Saint Lawrence River. The Thousand Islands attracts lots of people every year who either come to enjoy its beautiful scenery and the spectacular view of the river or come out to fish.
Best Time to Fish
Visiting the Thousand Islands usually felt like home to Joe and his family. They have been visiting the Islands for many years and have developed a deep love for the place. When we talk about fishing, August was the perfect time in the Thousand Islands because of the ideal weather.
As usual, they had to plan. They decided to get to the place, relax a little and then spend the rest of the day fishing. They would then go home after fishing. Alivia was the most excited. She had waited all year for this day. More importantly, she needed to improve her fishing skills, and this was the right time for her.
During the past years, Alivia always boasted to her friends about her trip to the Thousand Islands. She always told them tales of how many big fishes they caught and how they caught them. Unknown to her, this trip was going to be entirely different from her previous trips. This time around, she would be sharing a very weird story with her friends.
The Journey to the Thousand Island
With the fishing rods and all other relevant equipment in the car, they drove off to the Thousand Island. The journey was smooth and fun-filled. As predicted, the weather was wonderful. The cool breezes touched the warmth of their skin as they got to the Island. They were ready for the variety of adventures that awaited them.
On getting to the Island, they were awed by the beautiful scenery they were standing on. Words were not enough to describe the massive beauty of this island. The family decided to take a rest since they had been on the road for 3 hours. They picked a spot beside the St Lawrence River. Joe and his family decided to lie down on the green grass to enjoy the serenity and calmness of the Island. Before they knew it, they were all asleep.
It’s Fishing Time
They woke up at noon. Alivia woke her dad up telling him it’s time to fish. The sun was already out in its majestic glory, shining its light across every part of the gorgeous Island. This was Alivia’s best part of the day. They all boarded a ship and headed towards the center of the lake. As usual, they found themselves enjoying the breezes and views of the beautiful landscape. Fishing was all on their minds.
An Unusual Experience
While sailing towards the middle of the lake, they realized that they were the only one sailing in it. It was quite strange as it has never happened before. The previous times they came, the lake was always filled with different happy families who came to have fun. Joe knew something wasn’t right as they got to the center of the lake.
Here Comes the Prize
From afar, they could see a large number of fishes swimming under the water. The sight of this prompted Joe to fix the bait quickly. He waited to get to the point where the lake was much deeper as they were bigger and better fishes there. They were all excited as the fun was just about getting started.
On getting a little further, Joe cast his fishing rod into the water. He waited for a while before putting it out. Joe was not an expert at fishing, but he was very good at it. He started fishing a few years back. During the past, he had caught a lot of big fishes and today was not going to be an exception. He was determined to find the biggest fish possible.
The Fishing Competition
Joe wasn’t the only one who would be fishing. He competed with Annette and Alivia. A prize was awaiting the person with the biggest and impressive catch of the day. They usually do this to not only improve their fishing skills but also to make the activity fun. Every member of the Smeichenger was ready with their fishing rod with their eyes on the prize. However, what they were going to catch was beyond their imagination.
The Appearance of a Mysterious Object
All of a sudden, the sky became darkened by heavy clouds. This was followed by spikes of lightning and claps of thunder. It was about to rain. Their fun was about to be over as they had no choice but to turn back. As Joe tried to steer the ship around in a bid to escape the impending rain, he saw something strange in the waters far away.
Turn of Events
The wind became fiery in its movement and smacked against the side of the ship repeatedly. The volume of water was increasing, and this prevented the boat from moving forward. Despite the change of weather, Joe was determined to find out what that strange object was. He continued to steer the boat towards the object. As he got closer, he was held in disbelief with what he had just seen. His wife and daughter kept screaming at the top of their voice.
Bambi in the Middle of the Lake
Joe could see the object quite clearly now. It was a deer. The deer was struggling frantically to survive and stay afloat, but the water currents kept pulling it down. It was strange and surprising to find the buck alone. The question that wandered through Joe’s mind was… how did this deer find itself here? How did it reach the middle of the lake? Where is its family? For a minute, he was dumbfounded.
Call for Help
It was clear that they need to save the deer. Annette explained afterward “We were driving along, and all of a sudden, my husband saw something in the water popping its head up, we did not know what to expect. It was a deer swimming in the middle of Lake Ontario.”
A Jaw-dropping Sight
The sight of the helpless deer got all of them feeling sad. Alivia who was deeply worried about its safety said: “That thing didn’t even have floaters!” The incident got them so shocked that they had no idea of what to do in the first place. They watched the deer struggle to save its life before it struck them that the deer had to be rescued and they needed to act fast.
Time to Act
There was no time to waste as the deer had started to drown gradually. They seemed to be the only ones on the lake, and they automatically became responsible for saving the life of this deer. Annette explained that they knew they needed to help the deer immediately as they saw it.
Lost in the Sea
Something had to be done. The deer was lost in the lake and away from its family. Joe said, “He was far out there. We were probably in 70 feet of water.” He also continued saying, “It was lost in the lake and even headed the wrong way.” The Schmelzingers had to think of a way to save the poor deer’s life.
Ready, Set, Action!
This was a one in a million experience, so Annette decided to film the sight with her phone. The video became very popular in no time. People found it hard to believe despite the footage. They saw all the pictures and had no choice but to accept it happened.
The Rescue Mission
Meanwhile, Joe steered the boat toward the deer. He planned to get close to the animal and grab it with his hands. As he got closer, he reached out his hands to carry the deer. However, the deer was scared and did not want anyone near him. Saving the deer seemed like a herculean task. Joe had to think of a new plan.
The Spooky Deer
During her father rescue attempts, Annette decided to do some research to understand what caused the deer’s present condition. She discovered that sounds easily get deer scared, and they could impulsively leap into a lake if humans or predators scared them unexpectedly. This is most likely the same occurrence that happened to this deer.
Away from Danger
Time was running out. Joe was trying to decide on the next course of action to help the poor animal. He asked his friend Guy Peterson, whom he had invited to join his family for the picnic, for help. Joe’s friend plunged himself into the lake, swam towards the deer and brought it closer to the boat. Joe collected the frenzied animal from his friend and welcomed the deer into the safety of the boat.
The Situation After
Now the little deer was pretty much safe on the boat. Joe explains the situation, “As soon as the deer got into the safety of the boat, he bounded off my arms, went straight for the floor and simply laid there.” He added that “We wrapped him up in a towel to dry him and keep him warm. It didn’t make any attempt to run away.”
Duty Is Far From Over
With all that being done, their mission was still far from over! After they had rescued the deer from the lake, they had to get back to the shore and find a way to return it to the place where it had come from. The group headed back towards land to find his bevy. They wrapped the deer in a dry towel and ensured that his racing heartbeat was back to normal before setting out.
Where’s Your Catch?
They arrived onshore to meet an expectant crowd. The crowd seemed quite excited to know what they had brought back from their fishing hunt this time. They expected lots of fish like they usually come back with from their annual family fishing trip. This trip, things were entirely different. Annette recalled someone from the crowd shouting, “Did you catch anything from your fishing trip?” She continued, “And my husband lifted the deer and said, ‘Just the little deer!”
A Hero is Born
The crowd, who had expected a boatload of fish from the family, was shocked. They were not expecting to see them come back with a deer from the middle of the waters. Who would have expected anyone to come back from a fishing trip with a deer anyway? Although the family didn’t have any catch to show off to the crowd, what they had brought from the trip made everyone see them as a hero. The exhausted deer was finally back to dry land. Now, what would the family do with the deer?
Back To Shape
The deer was on its way to full recovery. The family on the other hand still had to solve the problem of what to do with the deer. The family had never been in a situation such as this. Then, Alivia came up with a solution she thought was right. She asked her parents if they could keep the deer as a pet. However, Annette and Joe objected to it. Her parents knew that the deer belonged to the wild and that was its home. They resolved to take the animal back to the wild once it was healthy and in good condition. To the surprise of everyone, the deer quickly became relaxed around the family and comfortable in their home. During this time, Alivia and the deer developed a great bond. Alivia spent most of her free time playing with the deer. Soon the deer started to drink milk. They fed it using a feeding bottle. At the back of their minds, the family knew that no matter how much they had grown to love the animal, they still had to return it to the wild.
Now that the little deer was in good health, having fully recovered from the shock, It was finally time to send it back to its home. However, there were filled with uncertainties. Would the deer be able to find its mother or group? What if the deer experienced some other type of tragedy out there? All these fears made the Schmelzingers rethink their decision. So what will they do then?
The Schmelzingers decided to welcome ideas from other people. They asked for opinions from their friends and neighbors. After all, was said and done, the family made a resolve to set the little deer free in the wild. They believed that the deer’s instincts would guide it through that phase. On that fateful day, they set out to take the little deer back home. With their vehicle parked somewhere in the middle of the forest, they let the deer out into the woods.
What Guy Says?
Joe reluctantly relaxed his grip on the deer to finally let it go. Initially, the little deer was also reluctant to leave its newfound family, but the love of the wild soon took over. After a brief hesitation, the deer swiftly ran towards the thick and lofty trees. However, the Schmelzingers didn’t leave immediately. They stayed and watched the little deer disappear into the embrace of the wild.
The strange story not only spread across the town but also became famous all over the world. Joe’s friend Guy Peterson had this to say, “To even see a deer in the lake, you would never think that, you know?” He added, “Many my buddies are saying to me, ‘Are you going to go hunting in the woods and find a fish? And of course, who would have thought to see a deer in a lake while fishing.”
A Memorable Experience
All in all, the experience was a beautiful and memorable one for the Schmelzinger family. Little did the family know that when they set off to the lake that year to do some fishing, they would come back with a deer and not a boatload of fish. For the family, this fishing trip will surely be inked in their minds forever.