Spring can't come soon enough for this young whitetail deer, struggling to stand on a frozen Montana lake. The effort to rescue this exhausted yearling was covered by Robin Loznak, chief photographer at the Daily Inter Lake, a newspaper in Kalispell, Mont.
Last November, Loznak heard about a deer trapped on the slick ice of nearby Middle Foy's Lake and drove out to the scene, where he saw several workers from the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department trying to get to the animal. "The ice was only about an inch thick, so no one could walk on it," Loznak explains. "It was so smooth, the deer just couldn't get his footing at all."
Once the local game warden got permission to go onto private property to get closer to the lake shore, the rescuers brought in a small boat and started cutting their way through the ice to get to the deer, about 25 yards away. After about an hour of work, Loznak says, the deer was finally captured with a dogcatcher's noose and pulled to safety. A few hours later, he was told, the young deer struggled back to its feet and bounded away.
Loznak captured this image with a Nikon D1H digital camera. "A lot of newspapers are going totally digital these days," he says, even small journals like the Daily Inter Lake (circulation 17,000). Using a 300mm lens, he took about 15 frames from his closest position on the shore. "This one was the best," he says. "With his head sticking up, he looked more curious."
Many other photography experts around the country seem to agree. The photo was soon picked up by the Associated Press wire service and was chosen as the winner of MSNBC's The Week in Pictures contest for that week. The photo was later named the Showcase Photo of the Month for November 2002 by the AP Managing Editors.
Loznak, an 11-year veteran of news photography, has been with the Daily Inter Lake for five years and has worked at two other papers in Pennsylvania and Oregon. In 2001 he was named the Region 9 Still Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association. These days, Loznak also has been building his freelance portfolio, working with a Laguna Beach, Calif.-based digital photography service called Zuma Press (zumapress.com).
For more information about Loznak and his images, visit his web site at robinloznak.com.