MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A family fishing trip turned into a rescue mission on a northern Minnesota lake this weekend.

It happened Saturday morning on Lake Winnibigoshish. Jim Fitzpatrick and his family were fishing a few miles from shore when they saw something strange in the water.

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When they got closer, they found a young buck struggling to make it back to land. It was swimming in the wrong direction, so the group decided to use their boat to herd the deer to shore.

After more than an hour, they finally got to a shallow enough area where the deer could walk up on the grass and lay down to rest.

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Fitzpatrick says things could have ended a lot differently on such a large lake.

“You can sometimes get waves that are 3 or 4 or 5 feet high. So it can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, and had the deer encountered that type of waves it probably would not have survived,” he said.

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Fitzpatrick and his family say it’s common for wolves to chase deer in that area. They think the deer ran into the lake to escape and became disoriented.