A military veteran saved the life of a bald eagle last week by using a semi-automatic rifle.
Jason Galvin and his wife noticed an eagle ensnared in rope around its leg hanging 70 feet above ground from a tree, near Rush City, Minnesota, WCCO reported.
“I thought it was dead at the time,” Galvin said. “I took a closer look with binoculars and saw that the head was moving, and I knew it was very much alive.”
Although Galvin and his wife Jackie contacted emergency authorities from the police to the fire department to the Department of Natural Resources, each one turned the couple away saying nothing could be done.
“Everyone had the same answer,” Jackie said. “They had known about the eagle there for 2 1/2 days and they couldn’t do anything. Safety measures were compromised. It was a liability issue.”
However, the couple did not give up. Following government authorities giving the Army vet permission to use a firearm to shoot the four inches of rope that was dangling the eagle, Galvin used a .22 long rifle to break through the branch and the rope.
“At a certain point I was like,‘You know what? It’s going to die. I’ve got to get that thing out,’” Galvin said, adding he was nervous about shooting in the direction of a bald eagle.
“It took an hour and a half and 150 shots. I had to bust down and expose the rope and chip away,” he said.
The bird fell from the branches thereafter and was taken for medical treatment at the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota. The eagle, named “Freedom” by nearby neighbors, is expected to make a full recovery.
Dean Weingarten at Ammoland.com, notes that Galvin use a rifle borrowed from a friend, who had a better scope than he had on his own.
“Jason borrowed the rifle he used from a neighbor, because it had a better scope than his did. That would be illegal in Washington State, where the Universal Background Check [UBC] law was put in place last year,” Weingarten points out.