Brett Thompson and a buddy were were out fishing about two and a half miles from shore in the Tacoma Narrows when they spotted the yearling.
"I saw what I thought was a log floating by, but it looked kind of different and I thought to myself for a second and I looked and I noticed it had ears," Thompson said.
The deer was caught in a strong tide that threatened to sweep her farther out to sea. Thompson pulled out his cell phone to shoot some video, which shows the deer swimming amazingly well.
But Thompson figured her chances of ever reaching the shore on her own were slim, so the men came up with a plan to help.
"We had some ropes ready in the boat, making sure if she did start to go under we could lash her to the side of the boat or grab onto her," Thompson said.
Worried the deer would get over stressed if they got too close, Thompson had his friend use their boat to slowly herd the animal toward sunrise beach, which appeared to be the closest shore.
The plan worked, and 45 minutes later the deer reached the beach.
"It was a pretty neat experience. We felt pretty good about it," Thompson said.