This morning I went to Lovell to try and find an injured bird. I got a call last night from Mike Johnson telling me about a hawk he'd seen when pheasant hunting near the Big Horn Canyon Wildlife Habitat. His dogs pointed the bird but as he thought it was just on the ground eating he called them off, came back to Cody and called me after thinking it over. I then called the Lovell game warden, James Hobbs, but unfortunately he was also here in Cody for a regional meeting and couldn't get back home until late. Oddly, the bird was located just about a quarter mile from his house. He did look last night for some time but as it was very dark he couldn't find the bird.
Thanks to a willing Mike Johnson and his amazing German Wirehaired Pointer, KAISER, we returned there today and found the beautiful adult female Northern Harrier within about 10 minutes of arriving on site. The horrible news, hence the title, is that she had been shot and suffered a broken left leg and right wing. Neither was repairable so she was euthanized.
That particular area is the perfect habitat for harriers, we saw two or three flying around as we were driving into the field. Unfortunately some hunters either don't take the time to identify their target or just shoot at any flying bird the size and color of a pheasant. So sad for this amazing bird.