Outdoor Files: Game and Parks responds to injured crane

Injured Crane

I was recently at the right place, right time. Just happened across a Game and Parks Wildlife Biologist responding to a public call about an injured crane.

Attending to wildlife is an occasional job for our biologists and conservation officers. Justin Haar from our Kearney Game and Parks office, located this bird March 30th in a road ditch between Kearney and Odessa. Injuries or deaths can occur when birds fly into power lines. This crane could not or would not stand, so the problem seemed to be one of a leg rather than either wing. The crane was transported to Louisville, headquarters for Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, an entity that does wonderful work in caring for hurt wildlife with the goal of releasing animals back into the wild. An examination found that the bird had been shot. Not necessarily in Nebraska where the act would be illegal. However, other states do have hunting seasons on the cranes. A single pellet was found in the bird’s knee causing pain and nerve discomfort. The pellet could have migrated to that spot over time. Recreating the ‘how did it happen’ scenario is speculative. The pellet has been removed and efforts are being made to bring the bird back to full health. Feeding is a little difficult as cranes typically only eat standing up and at last report this bird was not inclined to do that. But hopefully this wildlife tale will have a happy ending.

In permit news: Game and Parks will start accepting applications for a bighorn ram tag next Monday the 16th. A nonrefundable 29 dollars must accompany the application. The application window ends August 3rd and the winning name will be drawn later that month. Apply at a Game and Parks office or online at That’s also where you can get turkey permits.

The youth only shotgun season started last Saturday. This Saturday the 14th, the shotgun season opens for all ages and continues through May along with the archery season. Nebraska is one of the best states nationally for turkey hunting. We encourage veteran hunters to introduce new hunters to this exciting pursuit.

Until next time, I’m Ralph Wall reminding you time outdoors is time well spent.

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