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Error nets the rest of fawn story

Nancy Starcevich holds up the head of a newborn fawn, born when its mother was hit by a vehicle along U.S. Highway 2 near Brule May 30. Photo courtesy of Mike Starcevich

A mistake can be more than a human error. Sometimes, it's an opportunity.

Mike Starcevich called the Telegram office Tuesday to point out a mistake in that morning's paper. The orphaned fawn was rescued in Douglas County on May 30, not May 31 as reported.

How did he know? He was there.

"That was a big deal to us that day," the town of Summit man said.

Starcevich and his wife Nancy had been driving along U.S. Highway 2, stopping at every gas station and convenience store checking for the most recent copy of The Connection, which contained a relative's obituary.

Just west of Brule, 3.6 miles to be exact, they saw something in the center of the road.

"When we went by it lifted its head and we realized it was alive," Starcevich said.

Vehicles were passing within inches of the little fawn, still wet from birth. The couple stopped to help, as did a man in a Minnesota-licensed vehicle. Starcevich moved the fawn to the ditch; the other man pulled its mother's carcass off the road. The Summit man said the doe's heart was still beating.

"That little critter was born Cesarean section by semi on the road," Starcevich said.

They rubbed the fawn down. It couldn't stand and had suffered a few cuts and scrapes. Starcevich called 911, then spent the next 50 minutes beside the fawn, which he and his wife called Lucky.

The neighbor brought paper toweling, old towels and some water for the newborn. When it started raining, the Summit couple got out an umbrella and stood over the fawn. They shared the first moments of its life.

"I've seen life leave the world in violence," said Starcevich, a Vietnam veteran. "This is the first time I've seen life come into the world through violence."

Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Steve Olson found them about an hour after the incident and took the fawn to the Wildwoods animal rehabilitation center in Duluth. It has since moved on to a facility in Garrison, Minnesota, for eventual release.

"Hopefully it will run away from any bow hunters, any gun hunters," Starcevich said.

The couple doesn't use social media, but they have shared Lucky's story with family members and friends, some as far away as Colorado.

"We were just really elated, out of all that mess, that little critter got to live," Starcevich said.

After meeting Lucky, they found the newspaper they'd been searching for in Iron River and went on with their lives. But when they saw the date given in Tuesday's story, Starcevich made a call.

The Telegram apologizes for the error, but appreciates the opportunity to tell the rest of the story.