Janet Murphy, of Hermantown, Minn., noticed the doe which normally frequented her yard had a large, plastic container stuck on its head, preventing it from eating and drinking.
"I’m just thankful it could get some air in there," Murphy told the Duluth News Tribune.
Murphy contacted the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and was told that she should just let nature take its course.
"I would let nature take its course, but this was manmade. This was a plastic container on its head," she said.
A frustrated Murphy posted her plight on Facebook, and someone suggested she contact Wildwoods, a wildlife rehabilitation organization in Duluth, for advice and assistance.
A Wildwoods volunteer came to Murphy's home and left her with a a 10-foot catchpole -- a long, metal rod with a cable noose at the end that can be put over an animal’s head and cinched -- reasoning that because the doe seemed comfortable around Murphy she would be able to use the pole and get the jar off.
About four days after first spotting the deer, Murphy had her opportunity.
“I came home, and it was lying on the edge of the woods," said Murphy. "I thought, 'Well, I’ll try it.' I got the catchpole and started approaching her. She stood up and kind of backed up into some trees. I extended the catchpole as far as I could. The cable on the catchpole went around the bucket.
"When I started securing it, she started jumping just like in a rodeo," Murphy said. "Up in the air and down. Side to side. She got on the ground and started to roll."
Murphy persevered, and finally got the jar off the stricken animal. "I pulled straight down on the ground, and it popped right off."
The doe walked off into the woods, returning to Murphy's yard later to eat from a deer feeder. That was the last this good Samaritan saw of the doe.
"I haven't seen her since. I hope she made it," remarked Murphy.
-- Kelly Burgess
Image courtesy of Janet Murphy and Wildwoods via Facebook