A ‘partridge in a pear tree’ will again be a familiar Christmas refrain in about four months, but what Joshua Breshears found in the pear tree right outside his back door early Sunday morning in Walker still has him shaking his head.

Breshears was in bed half-asleep about 8:00 when his wife Amanda went outside to let their two dogs out.

“She came back in and looked at me. I was just kind of waking up, starting to stir around,” he said. “Then she tells me there’s a deer stuck in the tree. 

“I probably never jumped out of bed that fast on a Sunday. I was expecting to see a deer stuck and moving, trying to get out, but unfortunately, she had been gone for probably about seven hours.”

The doe, which Breshears estimated at 120 pounds, apparently got her head stuck in a fork of the tree and suffocated or broke her neck while dining on pears during the night.

“The past three or four weeks, they’ve been pulling the pears off the tree and breaking the branches off,” Breshears said. “I guess the tree got the better of her this time.”

The doe was bloated, stiff as a board and covered in ticks, so Breshears, who hunts deer occasionally on his father-in-law’s property in Mississippi, buried her in his backyard.

Since then, he’s shown the picture he took to several avid deer hunters who can’t believe how the doe died. 

“They talk about them getting stuck in barbed-wire fences, but no one’s ever seen them get stuck in a tree like that. I never heard of one,” he said. “The pear tree got one without pulling a trigger or drawing a bow. 

“I’ll never see that in my lifetime again.”

Since the animal died on his property and Breshears didn’t keep any of the meat, retired deer program leader Dave Moreland said there shouldn’t be any issues with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

“He didn’t take the deer and eat it, he just disposed of the carcass,” Moreland said. “Obviously if an animal dies in your yard, you can’t just let it rot right there.”