New Brunswick — It happened again. James Mazerolle, 26, of Harvey Station was on his way to Québec for the first time when he got confused and ended up stuck in the gate of a deer fence on the side of the highway near Edmundston. Mazerolle has been trapped for 3 days and emergency crews have yet to come rescue him. According to Mazerolle, who has been living off of snow and a pack of Jack Link’s Beef Jerky from an Irving gas station, local wise man Tim Little had given him a hand-drawn map with vague directions from Harvey Station to Québec, as it was Mazerolle’s first time away from home and he had no map or phone.
Mazerolle said that the crudely drawn map depicted a crooked line from southwestern to northwestern New Brunswick, with only the words “You want to stay on the Trans-Canada at an easy 120. Keep going up, cross the border, then you’re laughin’.”
Mazerolle set out on his first roadtrip intending to stock up on cheap beer in Québec and see sights that a man from Harvey Station could only dream of. After 2 hours of nervous driving, Mazerolle pulled over to relieve his bladder on the side of the road, the map half-tucked into his jeans’ back-right pocket. A trick breeze blew by and grabbed the map, carrying it into the woods. As Mazerolle scrambled to catch it, he got caught in the ingenious design of the deer fence gate. After 10 minutes of struggling, he gave up trying to free himself, assuming passersby would help him. That help never came.
With no phone, Mazerolle could only hang limply, watching as his father’s car was towed away for the snow plows. Ever the optimist, Mazerolle just considers himself lucky that the weather has been warmer this past week.
“At first I thought, ‘Dear lord. This is the end of me.’ Then I kind of got used to it. It was relaxing, just me and nature and some deer now and then. A man could get used to life away from Harvey Station.”
Mazerolle is no longer surprised that nobody has pulled over to help him, or even looked at him. “I’ve heard all about the rest of New Brunswick. Busy city folk that don’t have time to look at the trees. No one sees me here. Nobody knows I’m missing because they’re used to me going hunting with no contact for days at a time. I’m hoping a moose comes by, and I can stick a shoe on its antlers or something and it can go get help.”
Indeed, The Manatee‘s reporter himself pulled over to relieve his own bladder and only then noticed Mazerolle tangled in the fence, looking like he was trapped halfway through a cheese grater.
According to the latest data from Statistics Atlantic, at least 3 people a year have been stuck in deer fence gates over the past 6 years. There have been no fatalities, as each one was eventually freed when a deer, intent on returning to the woods after braving death crossing the highway, forced its way through and unwittingly set the captives free.
After the interview Mazerolle asked The Manatee‘s reporter for help getting free, but due to our journalistic integrity guidelines, the reporter had to decline, as he would have been interfering with the story. Anyone interested in getting a glimpse of Mazerolle’s plight can find him on the right side of the highway after the final exit to Edmundston before Québec.