Killer Eagle

drops. A rancher tells of driving his Jeep within 25 yards of an eagle sitting on a dead sheep. It was February, 30 below zero, and the bird was less wary than usual. It finally flew, and then made an arrogant swing at his Jeep.

We use a direct approach whenever possible. We stop the Jeep within reasonable distance: reasonable as far as eagle shooting is concerned, that is. We shoot from the Jeep, across the hood, or get out and bellyflop if we want to gamble our target will sit that long. They usually fly, but it does not pay to try a quick shot unless you are very close.

A favorite trick of coyote hunters also fools the wily eagle. We call it the fall-out-blind-side method. After spotting a sitting eagle, we drive on, trying to appear completely unconcerned about him, all the while working closer.

When the distance is right, one of us jumps out on the side opposite the eagle. By creeping along with the slow-moving Jeep and making a quick bellyflop, we are in shooting position when the Jeep clears. There are a few seconds before Mr. Eagle realizes that strange object on the ground was not there before, which is the allotted time to line up sights and squeeze off a good shot. This method produces the most eagles. The shot is from a reasonably-solid rest in prone position, so the percentage of hits is always better. I use an army surplus field bag stuffed with extra gloves and other paraphernalia. It is light and easy to handle, yet it makes a solid rest.

Eagles soon become so wary that neither of the first two methods will work unless it is extremely cold. Only stalking is left. It is hard work and requires a lot of patience and know-how. After one learns to effectively stalk an eagle, he can surely slip right up and twist the tail of an old "ridgerunner" buck! After a sitting eagle is located, we drive right on by and look over the terrain to find the best place from which to make the stalk. We usually take turns at stalking. The stalker gets out when the Jeep is behind a rock or hill and the other hunter drives on. He has time to do a little hunting on his own, as it will take quite a while to make the average stalk. It is also necessary to get

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