The call comes in at 6 p.m. Someone had seen an eagle on the ground at 10 that morning. He had called Florida Fish and Wildlife, but they did not have an officer in the area. Many calls later, he had finally gotten through to Peace River Wildlife Center, and they called me. Saturday evening. It will be dark soon. He is willing to wait for me. It’s about a half-mile hike back into the scrub off the main road. Really? I don’t think so. Maybe I’ve read too many James Patterson novels, but that sounds like a recipe for disaster.
First thing Sunday morning, I gather my gear and head for the “carefully detailed” location where the injured bird was last reported. “Back the trail (as if there is only one), where it goes around the corner of where the dried up retention pond used to be.” I get there and the first thing I see is three trails. I pick the one labeled A — seems an obvious choice to me. Of course it is the wrong choice. Of course I don’t figure that out until I hike for a good 20 minutes.
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