Around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, a deer appeared in the dog food section at a Wal-Mart in Wadena, Minnesota. A brave man wrestled the deer to the ground and helped authorities remove the fresh venison from the store.
“It came in through the garden doors, it must have been eating the flowers or something,” Stephanie Koljonen, a shopper who photographed the situation, said. The Wadena Police Department confirmed that a deer did wander through the store.
Susan Holub Horstmann immortalized the incident on social media, posting “Walmart in Wadena!” with a photo of the deer subdued by a burly man.
The brave shopper who subdued the deer was Tom Grasswick, fittingly from Deer Creek. He joked that he was trying to save a few bucks when a little buck jumped right into him.
“It felt like I got slugged or something,” Grasswick recalled. He said instinct led him to subdue the deer.
“I figured I was bigger than the deer so I’d win that wrestling match,” he joked.
After tackling the young deer, Grasswick and others covered its eyes in order to lead it outside, where it was set free. No one was injured.
Horstmann’s photo has gotten 144 shares on Facebook, and quite a few great comments.
“Fresh venison in the meat department!” quipped commenter Craig Weigel. “The deer really like that Ol Roy dog food,” another joked.
Deer in Wal-Mart stores have become something of a common occurrence in 2017, as the wildlife make their own protests (against Trump or the liberal media, take your pick). In March, a deer wandered into a store in Pikeville, Kentucky. Local professional wrestler Adam Newsome took a photo of the deer around 8 p.m. on March 19. The deer did not cause any damage, and officials were able to get it out safely.
Last November, a man who appeared to be drinking liquor inside a Wal-Mart in Short Pump, Virginia, also pushed a cart with a dead deer inside it.
“It’s just one of those crazy Walmart pictures,” Denise Collier-Bailey, a mother with her teenage daughter who saw the deer in the cart, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “If I hadn’t been there to witness it myself, I wouldn’t have believed it.”
Collier-Bailey reported seeing the deer carcass around 7:15 p.m., roughly the same time as the deer incidents reported in Minnesota and Kentucky.
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries spokesman Robert Lee Walker Jr. explained that the man might have been trying to check the deer in, as required by state law. “It appears that the hunters were trying to follow the law by checking in the harvested deer but were not at an approved check station,” he hypothesized.
The spokesman added that carting a dead deer into a Wal-Mart is not the correct way to register a kill, however. “That’s obviously not what we encourage hunters to do.”
Deer may break into Wal-Marts at any time, and they are rumored to have a fine taste in dog food. But wherever a buck strikes the superstore next, it’s likely to happen between 7 and 8 p.m. Depending on your desire to witness live venison, the late afternoon seems to be the time to shop at Wal-Mart.