PHOTOS: Turkey wandering Spokane with arrow sticking out of it - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

PHOTOS: Turkey wandering Spokane with arrow sticking out of it

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Residents living along N. West Point Drive and N. Pettet Drive that run alongside the Spokane River are a little on edge after seeing at least two turkeys with arrows sticking out of them.  One man who lives in the neighborhood spotted one of the injured turkeys while he was walking his dog Thursday morning. He was able to send us photos of the turkey which show an arrow going completely through the bird’s back side. He also told us that another neighbor of his, reported seeing a hen with an arrow sticking out of it as well about a week ago.

We sent our reporter Peter Maxwell on a wild turkey chase to see if he could find the bird. Much to our (and his) surprise, he found the turkey with the arrow and immediately called the Department of Fish and Wildlife, who came out to assess the situation. 

By mid-afternoon, a wildlife officer arrived on scene and said the arrow doesn't appear to be hitting any vital organs and the bird can still fly. In fact, when we found it, it appeared to be wiggling in a way to try and get the arrow out. Wildlife officers expect the turkey will be fine once the arrow comes out. 

Earlier this morning, we spoke with Sergeant Mike Sprecher with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife on the phone and he said the WDFW encourages people to report injured animals, but that it can often be hard to locate the animals if they are on the move. He also said they have to prioritize their work and that sometimes they are not able to respond immediately to calls, especially if there is no danger to the public.

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Here is the full written statement the WDFW sent to us:

"The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is interested in the reports received about turkeys with arrows stuck in them near Pettit Drive.  To date, the reports WDFW has received about the injured turkeys indicated they were still  mobile.  The challenge is in locating the injured turkey/wildlife and then trying to capture it.  Unless the person reporting the violation remains with the turkey/injured wildlife until WDFW arrives, or additional calls are received providing updated locations, it can be difficult to locate and capture any injured wildlife.  An immediate response is not always possible due to competing priorities.  WDFW encourages people to report suspected poaching violations or injured wildlife.  WDFW staff tries to answers all calls/inquiries from the public and the most appropriate action may not always be a physical response to the scene." 

Another issue that has neighbors worried is the possibility that someone may be shooting a bow and arrow within city limits, which is illegal.

The WDFW tells us it is possible that this bird was hit outside of the city limits and made his way into the city. There have been many cases where animals survive for a long time, even behaving uninjured, despite injury from an arrow.

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