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Wisconsin Hunter Finds Dead Bald Eagle With Its Talons Stuck In Deer Skull

Whiskey Riff
Whiskey Riff
 2022-06-26
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Neal Hermann

A Wisconsin turkey hunter stumbled upon one of the more absurd scenes that mother nature has ever painted.

This past season, Neal Herrman shot a turkey at daybreak, and then he moved locations to Dunn County and began scouting for his next hunt.

However, the turkey he shot wasn’t the only dead bird he saw that day.

According to Outdoor Life, he also found a dead bald eagle with its talons stuck in the skull of a dead deer fawn:

“I was easing along, looking for turkeys, and happened to glance out into a cut cornfield and spotted something white.

I couldn’t figure what it was, so put my binoculars on it, and it looked like a bird of some type. So I walked over to take a better look.

When I got close I saw it was a mature, dead bald eagle. And its talons—both feet—were locked solidly into the skull of a mostly decomposed fawn-size deer.

For sure one of the crazier things I’ve come across while out hunting. Eagle is in the Department of Natural Resources hands now.”

There were no tell tale signs for what caused its demise, but there is speculation that the birds talons got buried so deeply into the deer’s skull that it couldn’t pry them loose.

The bird could have potentially died while trying to free its feet, or perhaps starved to death by being unable to hunt with its claws permanently stuck in the deer carcass.

“A DNR officer thought that because the deer was so deteriorated it was likely a 2- or 3-day old road kill, and the eagle had picked it up at a nearby well-traveled road.

A vehicle strike may have injured the eagle as it flew off with the decomposed small deer, but I didn’t see any damage to its wings, legs or anywhere else.

And I don’t think it was dead for more than a day.”

Hermann, whose day job is making custom turkey calls Hooks Custom Calls, has seen a lot of things in the woods but he knew this was something he needed to report to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

After getting permission from the DNR to move the bird, Hermann and his brother in law placed the dead eagle in a truck and delivered it to a nearby DNR office.

Getting permission from DNR to be in possession of the bird was a smart move on his part.

The species is federally protected under the Bald & Golden Eagle Protection Act which provides criminal penalties for persons who:

“Take, possess, sell, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, at any time or any manner, any bald or golden eagle, alive or dead, or any part, nest, or egg thereof without a permit issued by the Secretary of the Interior.”

Given the circumstances the DNR was able to grant him permission to relocate the bird to their possession.

DNR biologists will run a series of tests on the bird to see if they can gain more insights on the potential cause of death.

Comments / 22

Sandie Dieringer
06-27

I take that back, lol. I see it now. Poor deer is just a baby. Eagles are so beautiful. I'm surprised it's talons pierced the skull like that. I literally watch Eagles grab squirrels a lot! I wonder why their skulls don't get pierced. Heartbreaking for both. Such is the circle of life...Eagles mate for life. My deepest sympathies the the wife and kids. Lol 😢🤧❤

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Gene Gustafson
06-27

Or got hit by lightning strike, as there has been a lot of storms in the area and it's possible it was in close range to a lightning strike and died from this incident.

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3
Brandon Alloe (My Upvotes > Biden Votes)
07-09

A young fawn would have a softer skull. I think that happened is the bald eagle died from exhaustion trying to fly away when it couldn't because it's talons were embedded in the deer. Both animals died. One from brain damages and the other from exhaustion.

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