Hawk shootings between Grant, Imperial under investigation
By Jan Rahn
The Grant Tribune-Sentinel
Federal game warden Mike Damico of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating the illegal shootings of hawks that have been found in Perkins and Chase Counties between Grant and Imperial.
The injured hawks have been picked up by Raptor Recovery of Nebraska.
Damico said the injured hawks recovered were still alive and visible, however, he questions how many others are undiscovered because they’re dead in fields.
Besides the rash of hawk shootings, he said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wonders about eagles and owls that are also being shot at.
A year-and-a-half ago, a $1,000 reward was offered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife for an adult golden eagle that was shot near Madrid. The bird was found in late March 2008.
The more recent hawk shootings have been going on for quite some time, said Damico, stating it is a violation of state and federal law to shoot any migratory raptor.
Damico requests help from the public and asks anyone with knowledge or information to call Nebraska Wildlife Crimestoppers at 800-742-7627.
Injured raptor—What to do
Remember these important guidelines if an injured raptor is found:
• Approach the bird from behind, if possible.
• Cover the bird completely with a towel, blanket, jacket or any light-weight item.
• Quickly restrain the bird under the covering.
• As the bird calms down, gather the covering together, being careful to keep the bird covered completely. Be sure the wings are folded against its body.
• Transfer the bird to a well-ventilated cardboard box as soon as possible.
• Contact Raptor Recovery Nebraska (402-994-2009) or the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (402-471-0641) immediately.
• Do not attempt to treat or feed the bird yourself. Many well-meaning attempts have resulted in further injury or the death of a bird.