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Local

A hole lot of trouble near Polo

First a fawn, then a tractor, then a tow truck driver – field has an appetite

Phil Fossler was mowing the grass Saturday in a waterway through a cornfield southwest of Polo when the front tire of his tractor lurched into a 12-foot-deep hole. When he shut the tractor down and got off to survey the situation, he saw something brown at the bottom of the hole and assumed it was a field tile; it turned out to be a fawn.
Phil Fossler was mowing the grass Saturday in a waterway through a cornfield southwest of Polo when the front tire of his tractor lurched into a 12-foot-deep hole. When he shut the tractor down and got off to survey the situation, he saw something brown at the bottom of the hole and assumed it was a field tile; it turned out to be a fawn.

POLO – Here’s one you probably haven’t heard before.

A hungry corn field swallows a fawn, then almost gobbles up a tractor before going back for seconds and gulping down a tow truck driver.

If you think this story is full of holes, you’d be right – but it’s all true.

Polo farmer and real estate agent Phil Fossler was mowing the grass Saturday in a waterway through a cornfield southwest of Polo when his tractor lurched, front tire first, into a 12-foot-deep hole.

“All of a sudden the tractor stopped,” Fossler said. “It threw me against the steering wheel. I was going slow – probably only about 2 miles per hour – because I was up next to the corn.”

When he shut the tractor down and got off to survey the situation, he saw something brown at the bottom of the hole and assumed it was a field tile, until it moved.

“Then I saw it was a fawn,” Fossler said. “He was alive and healthy. He was running around down there, trying to get out.”

He called his wife and asked her to bring an end loader from his nearby farm.

Then he noticed the hole got wider the deeper it went and decided to call Ed Dyer of Polo for a tow truck.

“I didn’t want an end loader anywhere around it,” he said.

Dyer soon arrived, took a look at the hole, started back to his truck – and disappeared.

He fell into a second 12-foot hole.

Dyer told Fossler he had dislocated his shoulder and needed an ambulance, which Fossler called, along with Greg Wagner, who knew how to operate Dyer’s tow truck, and the Conservation Police.

Using equipment from Dyer’s truck, they hoisted him out of the hole and took him to the waiting ambulance for a trip to the hospital.

That done, they pulled the tractor out of the hole and used a lasso to rescue the rambunctious fawn.

Conservation officer Steve Beltran said the fawn’s mother was spotted nearby, and the two soon were reunited.

Dyer’s shoulder was put back in place at the hospital, and he is recuperating.

The mystery that remains is what caused the two holes. Apparently, they just came out of left field.

“Right now there’s no explanation,” Fossler said. “I’ve been cutting this waterway for 10 years and nothing like this has ever happened.”

The field, which Fossler recently sold, is farmed by Davis and Keith Poole.

Fossler said they told him they hadn’t seen the holes there, either.

Experts from the Ogle County Soil and Water Conservation Department were scheduled to take a look Tuesday morning, and with any luck, they’ll get to the bottom of the holes, and what caused them.

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