On Sunday, Jan. 31, Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) officers in assistance with Elko City Police Department, Elko County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) arrested Dana Morley McIvor for six counts of unlawful possession of raptor and raptor parts and one count of unlawful kill of an eagle. Other charges are being considered by other state and federal authorities.
The incident stemmed from reports of reckless driving on I-80 and the arrest was made in the Walmart Tire Center in Elko after McIvor consented to the searching of his vehicle. McIvor reportedly resides in Red Rock on the Navajo reservation.
“McIvor admitted to keeping the raptor parts for ceremonial purposes,” said Quinn Hesterlee, NDOW Game Warden. “He had two recently killed eagles and a hawk in his possession that were seized for evidence. Two wings from two separate recently killed hawks were seized as were 124 separate eagle and hawk feathers.”
Hesterlee said that it appears the feathers came from at least two or three separate birds and that the total value of the seized raptors and their parts could be worth as much as $10,000. A Savage .17 caliber bolt action rifle and spent cartridges were also seized at the time of the arrest.
Eagle feathers are often sold and traded illegally to be used in Native American celebrations and for profit in international markets. In Nevada, as in other states, a USFWS permit is required to be in possession of raptors and raptor parts.
The USFWS provides feathers for Native American celebrations and are available through the National Eagle Repository. NDOW routinely works with the USFWS to transfer killed and euthanized raptors to the repository. Each year NDOW coordinates getting numerous birds from Nevada to the repository for this use.
“It’s unfortunate that these amazing birds get killed each year for their feathers when there are perfectly legal ways to obtain them,” said Hesterlee.