Hunter finds dead bald eagle still clutching the head of a deer: ‘It was pretty crazy’


Neal Herrman, an avid hunter from Wisconsin, made the ‘crazy’ find on Wednesday. (Neal Herrman)

(NEXSTAR) – An eagle-eyed turkey hunter from Wisconsin made a wild discovery earlier this week.

Neal Herrman had already harvested a bird when he decided to continue scouting at other properties nearby on Wednesday. While on the hunt, he stumbled across something much more fowl than a turkey. “I noticed something white out in the field, just a white spot… I put my binoculars on, and I thought, ‘I’m pretty sure that’s a bald eagle over there,’” he said.

Sure enough, it was. But that’s not all Herrman found. Inside the dead eagle’s talons was the head of a deer.

Neal Herrman thinks the eagle had only been dead for about 12 hours when he found it. The deer, he said, was already showing more advanced signs of decomposition. (Neal Herrman)

“I walked down to it, I saw it had a newborn fawn in its talons,” Herrman said. “I would guess the deer had been dead for three days or so. And the eagle only about 12 hours.”

Herrman, an avid hunter, knew he had to tell wildlife authorities of his find right away. So he drove a few miles out (he didn’t have cell service where he was) and called up brother-in-law Greg Moen, who just so happens to be an employee of the Dunn County Sheriff’s office. Moen then contacted the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, who instructed the bring the eagle to its offices—as well as the fawn head still clutched in its talons.

“When I picked up that fawn, stayed right in [the eagle’s] talons,” Herrman remembered. At the moment, Herrman isn’t exactly sure how the eagle died, although the DNR has promised to “keep him in the loop” if they learn anything.

“Everybody’s got a theory on it,” Herrman said, noting that a buddy of his believes the eagle was likely electrocuted by three-phase power lines located nearby. “Anything’s possible,” he said. “I don’t know.”

In any case, Herrman’s outing provided him with one of the wildest things he’s ever witnessed on a hunt. “That eagle definitely had a death grip on that fawn,” he said. “It was pretty crazy.”

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