Deer befriends hunters in northern Ohio, encounter caught on video

NEW PHILADEPHIA, Ohio - Between them, Steve Hunt and Rick Lehman have been hunting for more than 50 years. But in April on the first day of turkey hunting season something unusual happened. A doe approached them. 

"She walked in and started playing with our turkey decoys," said Hunt.  

It was all caught on Hunt's video camera.  

"I've been part of a local team where we produce hunting videos," Hunt said.  

The video shows the doe inching closer to the men. They were shocked. They say usually if they spot a deer in the wild it runs the other way.

They positioned deep in the woods in southern Tuscarawas County. There say there is no petting zoo nearby and no big farms.

As the curious doe introduced herself by getting closer and closer, the two hunters took their chance encounter even further by petting her and feeding her potato chips from their lunch.  

The men say they never thought of shooting her. To them, this was a sign of sorts, re-instilling the values they carry with them in the field. 

"There's a lot of ethics behind hunting it's not a matter of just going out and killing animals, I don't go out and kill animals, I hunt animals and yes I do eat what I shoot," said Hunt.

"It makes you look at hunting a whole different way," said Lehman.

Hunt says as they walked back to their truck that day, he looked up and thanked God for experience. It ended a hunting trip that turned into a connection with nature they'll never forget.

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