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Eagle foot...

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by Light Rail Coyote, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. Light Rail Coyote

    Light Rail Coyote Active Member

    I recently photographed a friend's wedding, and he's got no cash. He's Native American, though, and has an ancient old eagle foot he wants to give me. It's been in his family for 90 years or so, but is actually far older and is very important to him. I understand that it's a great honor for him to even THINK of giving it up to me, but I don't want to accept it if it's not legal.

    Do I need a permit for it?
    Could I get a permit for it?
    If so, how would I go about it?

    Thanks all!
  2. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member


  3. what a great honor :) i wouldn't take any chances. Call or email fish and game.
  4. elkmasterwyo

    elkmasterwyo New Member

    Maybe this so called friend want to visit you in the ol' hooskaw :D
  5. As I understand it ... Nope. No way on earth... Technically he needs a permit... Even Native americans can't posess raptor parts without a possession permit from the feds... At least with our Local tribe... And the waiting list is a mile long...
  6. MHTaxidermy

    MHTaxidermy (307) 640-2602

    theres exceptions for being passed down through the family from over 80 years ago or so, isnt there pltannery?
  7. Omnivore

    Omnivore New Member

    My Ornithologist cousin told me that to buy/sell/own bird parts from avians under the Migratory Bird Protection Act, if it's pre-1913 it's fine as long as you can prove it. However, for birds like eagles/raptors, I think other things (CITES?) may play into it as well.

    What kind of eagle?
  8. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    The Migratory Bird Act doesn't come into play with eagles. They have their own separate law and it came into effect in the '50's or 60's (I apologize, I'm speaking from memory here as I don't have the act in front of me.) Still, only native American Indians who hold a position in the tribe as a religious leader can get permits to own parts of raptors. Just any Indian doesn't qualify. IF the bird was taken before the act (there comes that "proof" thingy) it can be kept within the family but within the domicile. The part cannot be given to anyone else. In the case of your friend, he can lawfully possess it but he can't give it to you or to anyone else outside his immediate family.
  9. Light Rail Coyote

    Light Rail Coyote Active Member

    Thanks for the info, guys. Heartbreaking, but I understand.
  10. michelle127

    michelle127 Michelle and Ron Ream-Life Mbr - NRA,NAHC,DAV, VFW

    Golden eagles were protected in the 60s like 62 and they are grand fathered Bald eagles were prot in the 40s I believe. Eagle parts can be passed between Indians and are suppose to go from generation to generation, but if you can prove it was gotten before the law then it is grand fathered.
  11. michelle127

    michelle127 Michelle and Ron Ream-Life Mbr - NRA,NAHC,DAV, VFW

    They can and do. eagle parts are passed from generation to generation and can be passed from Indian to indian. Today Indians have to get a spiritual person to sign off on part of the application and then get verification of federal tribal enrollment from their tribe (Those two parts are not in the law but was made up as rules between the BIA and US F&W) therefore not allowing non fed Indians to apply or non Indians to apply so that feathers are more available to BIA indians. It sucks because not only is it a violation of the 1st amendment but also a non existent law. So if you get a spiritual person to sign (med man whatever you want to call him) then send the application f&w will return it as incomplete, but you cannot get a tribal signatuer or BIA verifying enrollment, even though there is no requirements fo this in the law. we waited 4 1/2 yrs for an eagle and permit, now we have another in and it has been 2 yrs already. I am mixed blood Indian and My wife is mixed blood Indian and the permit system is a pain.
    To answer the mans question it is illegal for the other person to give it to you and for you to possess but it is also a great honor. However, there was a case just a couple years ago where a nonIndian was give an medicine bundle and carried it with a friends body back to his friends reservation in NM or AZ anyway, the Indian guy gave him the bundle and later the nonIndian was arrested and he was found guilty, however an appellate court reversed it. Because of the fact that tere are more non fed indians than fed Indian we are seeing some good edcissions in the courts, F&W are not happy but many judges are looking at the constitution and allowing freedom of religion. Its a do i want to take the chance and get a 410,000 fine and possible jail time ?

    Most F&W guys don't really know the law, they just arrest and let the courts do their thing.

  12. Light Rail Coyote

    Light Rail Coyote Active Member

    Given the information above, I guess I'll have to pass. I feel bad, and I don't look forward to telling him that I cannot accept his gift, but it also makes sense that certain species are protected. I just wish there were more exceptions to the law for situations like this.
    Thank you all for being so helpful. He and I will work out a different arrangement.
  13. rickey logan

    rickey logan Active Member

    Its simple Light Rail Coyote, just marry the dude yourself and it'll be yours anyway!!!!!!!!
  14. AH7

    AH7 New Member

    The bottom line is that we all have info on this subject, but you HAVE to call your local people!

    With that said, eagles (both bald and golden) are ridiculously tricky. They are super protected and I believe that protection is actually also part of the migratory bird act (along with a HUGE number of non-migratory birds!). As a professor, I have permits for all raptors, but need a special exemption for eagles in particular, and although I can keep all of the other bird parts for the university, eagles must be sent to a handful of specific museums around the country once I am done working on them!

    So the short answer is that I HIGHLY doubt you can get that eagle material. IF he can prove the date, then there might be an exemption, but even then, I doubt it. AND you certainly should talk to your local F&W people before taking any of our advice! If I were you, I'd stay clear!
  15. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Great Skulls, I find your comments interesting as I've done several bald eagles here in my shop over the years. Two of them went to federal National Wildlife Refuges and one went to the state department of natural resources. I'm not familiar with a "handful of museums" you speak of but I'm sure those three don't meet that criteria.
  16. Redeagle

    Redeagle New Member

    There's a jewelry store in a nearby town that still has an old mounted golden eagle on display high up on a shelf towards the back of the store. I'm sure it was mounted many, many decades ago- back before they became protected and when artificial bodies were still constructed with excelsior and wound with string.
  17. jasonb

    jasonb I think I'll keep her

    Funny little fact, Bald eagles are not even indangered, and not to mention some of the dumbest birds I have ever seen, the stupid things will dive onto a road kill rabbit after the crows and ravens take off because of an on coming car or truck. I understand the whole "religious" thing with the native Americans, but to me they are just another pretty bird.

    An old rancher out here told me that Bald Eagles are nothing more than glorified Magpie's, and we hate Magpie's.LOL
  18. RainWarrior

    RainWarrior Member

    There are only 3 things the Eagle and Migratory bird repository will issue bird of prey items for:
    1.) Education
    for places like schools to teach children and labs for research museums etc
    2.) Falconers (those who hunt with birds of prey) someone who has a hawk permit can only have hawk feathers from their own bird upon the birds decease they can no longer keep any feather or part of that bird. A person with a eagle can not have hawk feathers vice versa
    3.) FEDERAL native Americans. I'm an enrolled native american of a state tribe WE do not even qualify for religious items they can not be gifted or transferred or even possessed unless you are a member of a FEDERAL native american tribe.

    What it comes down to is when enrollment occurred you did not need to be native american to possess eagle feathers or other items enrollment cut off was about 1940's give or take for most federal tribes. Up till the 50's there were bounties on eagles. Then the law passed protecting them and in 1978 Federal tribes gained the right to have sacred items but if you hadn't already enrolled then too bad your religion is still illegal. So... there were a few years in there where it was illegal to have them no matter who you were and before the law passed you didn't need to be a federal native to have them so how do you sort the legal eagles? Its the small things in life, I'd get rid of it.
  19. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Rainwarrior, unless something's changed, just because you were a "card carrying" American Indian still didn't give you the right to have eagles or their feathers. You needed to show that you were a "religious leader" within the tribe before a permit was issued.

    It doesn't change the fact that it's a farce. The repository has hundreds of dead eagles in storage that will likely freeze dry and be discarded someday because individuals "didn't meet" their criteria.
  20. I wish they would pass a law that would allow you to legally dispose of raptors that are killing your poultry. Everything I own is under netting to keep the raptors out and even then I have lost several pheasants that decided to roost on a wood duck box too close to the netting and ended up getting hit and killed through a foot of flexible netting. It is almost always Great Horned Owls that kill at night but during the day it is always Coopers Hawks, you cant keep anything smaller than a Rouen or Goose on the open pond without losing it. If they were crows I could kill all I wanted to protect my birds but since they are Raptors they are "Majestic" and must be protected at all costs even if there is one sitting on every other telephone pole on my way in to work.