Thursday, December 31, 2009
I still havn't thought of a name for this bird yet....I'm leaning toward something having to do with being accident prone or something along those lines, but just can't seem to think of anything good.....It will come to me soon though I hope. Anyways, the bird chilled in the GH all afternoon, and when I pulled her out at 10:30 PM, she weighed in at 677 grams. Pulled her hood off, and she did her quick bate, and then looked straight down at the glove (we are learning!) I gave my whistle as she started bending down, and she grabbed the couple tid bits that I had on the fist. I then gave her the lure, and proceeded to put them both down on the ground. She started eating pretty quickly, and I offered her tidbits sporadically, which she took from my glove instantly. Once she finished her meal on the lure, I presented a rabbit leg at waist height, and she hopped up to the fist....success! Cut the lights, and hooded her up. Total, we only had that one bate the entire session, and everything went according to plan....may have given her a few too many tid bits while she was on the lure, but HOPEFULLY, she will be at an acceptable weight tom. If she is, then I will try and get her to fly off the fist for the lure, and then hop her to the fist again for the remainder of her rations. 2009 was a year I will NEVER forget....got married, trapped my first falconry bird, had a baby, etc, etc, etc....here is to 2010, with hopes that it will be even better!!!!! All the best to you and yours. Happy New Years!!!!!
Well, the redness had pretty much completely gone away, and I was feeling really good about the whole situation....then I pulled her out of the GH this morning. Not only was the redness back, but her leg had swolen some as well. I'm like WTF!?!?!? She has been sitting in a GH not doing anything, how is it worse now, than it has been this whole time? Of course, I start freakin out. I'm thinkin that it has to be a fracture. I stick her on the pole perch (hooded), and shoot Ryan a text. I tell him the situation, and ask him if I should take her to the vet. While I'm waiting for his response, I notice that she is picking at her anklets pretty consistantly....hmmm....he texts back, and says that being that the swelling is up on her tarsi, it could very well be a fracture....again.....FREAKING OUT! Look back at the bird, and she is standing on one foot...the foot that is hurt. That makes me feel a little bit better, but I'm still going crazy. Luckily for me, Ryan just happens to be very good friends with one of our local avian vets, and though she had a surgery coming up in an hour or so (and was booked up the rest of the day), said she would squeeze me in before hand. Loaded the bird up, and we hauled balls down there, and got her an X-ray. It was pretty intense while we waited for it to pop up on the screen, but when it did...........................NO BREAK!!!!! (BIG @$$ SIGH OF RELIEF). She said that the bird was probably just picking at her equipment, and that's why it swelled up and turned red again. Looking back at her behavior this morning....that sorta makes sense. Anyways, I feel much better now that I know there isn't anything seriously wrong with her, and I will continue with the neosporine and bag balm, until it clears up. She was at 695 grams yesterday at five, so I left her alone for the evening. She was at 684 grams when I weighed her at 9:30 this AM, so she should be good to go this evening. Will be following the same game plan as I had discussed earlier....feed on the lure, and then hop to the fist for the remainder of her meal. I'm still going to hood her in the dark (which isn't getting me ANYWHERE as far as hood work goes), but I would much rather have zero bates during the session, than to work on her hood training, and irritate the leg more. Fingers crossed, everything will go off without a hitch. On another depressing note, her new hood isn't working out either (yep...that's what...hood number 3 or 4....). If she doesn't touch it at all, then it works fine. One little scratch from the foot though, and it's back to wet spots on the hood. Switched her back to the hood that Gary loaned me, and that is working fine for now. Will have to make another one....
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Pulled her out last night, and her leg looked even better. If I remember correctly, she was somewhere around 670 grams or so. Stuck a rabbit back leg on the lure, and after giving her a couple tid bits on the fist to get her goin, pulled the lure out. She bent down and started eating on it, and I gradually lowered both the bird and the lure to the ground. Put them down, and she continued eating off of it. I had cut the back leg "generously", so there was quite a bit of meat on there. Once she had pretty much stripped it to the bone, she started getting distracted. She stopped eating, and was looking around pretty quickly. Reached in to offer her another tid bit, hoping that would get her back into eating mode, but she tried to bate away from me. I guess she was floating around that magic line, and though she was hungry enough in the beginning, filled up too quickly. Hooded her back up immediately to avoid another bate (don't want to impead the healing process), and we shall see what happens tonight. I'm going to use a front leg on the lure this evening, and hopefully she will still be hungry when she is finished with that, and I will be able to hop her to the fist for another front leg. That's the game plan, and we shall see what happens.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Well, since the bird (I really need to think of a name for her....) is down for the count, and there is a lot of snow on the ground, I thought it would be a good day to go scout some fields. Had I planned on doing this, I would have gotten to work early (like on a hawkin day), and would have had plenty of time to drive to some of my new "potential" fields....but I didn't, so it had to be a quick session on the lunch break. Swung by the house, and after putting some more ointment on the bird, grabbed Maggie Mae, and we headed out to the train track field. If you recall, the part of the field I had been hawkin had pretty much dried up on me, so I havn't been here for a cool minute. The habitat is great though, and I KNOW they have to be there somewhere, so we went lookin. The field is pretty darn large, and I had only been in a small section of it (the part that looked the most condusive to bunnies), so I was hoping to find some new sections to fly. Parked at the normal spot, and quickly passed through the area I normally fly. Like I expected, there where no signs of rabbits, so we broke through the tree line, and started heading back into the open section of the field. Maggie is fat.....really fat. She is also pretty out of shape. See, she has been "neglected" for a bit, b/c of the new baby and bird, and though she started out at break neck speed (as usual), she quickly slowed down. Some of the sections had pretty darn deep snow, and she just wasn't prepared for the snow plowing apparently. She was having a ball though, and since I wanted her to stay pretty tight anyways, it worked out well. Anyways, started walking through the open section, and after a good minute, she slammed on point pretty darn hard (she was at full run, and when she stopped, she pretty much twisted herself into a half moon shape). I saw her tail twitch, and gave her a "whoa", and she did it! For those of you who don't know Maggie, she doesn't really like to stay on point. She would prefer to hold it till I get pretty near, and then run in and flush (we WHERE workin on this...but being that I'm an irresponsible dog owner, we havn't recently). Anyways, I was psyched, and when I ran in for the flush, two meadow larks busted out from the snow! GOOD GIRL!!!!!!!! Unfortunately, as soon as they busted, Maggie took off after them. I was not pleased with this, but a tiny nick from the collar was all it took, and she was heeling on my side in moments. Told her "alright," and we started cutting over toward the west side of the field searching for more birds. Ryan and I had checked out an abandoned landscaping sort of place over there, and had kicked up a rabbit and saw tons of signs that day. The back part of that property backs up to this field, and it looked like there where little patchs of briars scattered across the open expanse. Maggie was moving slower by now....pretty much just trotting around, and WALKING through the deep stuff, so I stopped lookin for birds, and started focusing on bunnies. The ground dropped down a bit, into what looked like an old wash out sort of thing. There where little briar clumps everywhere, and we started expoloring those. Pretty quickly, I started to realize that this is where all the rabbits had been hiding, b/c there where TONS of rabbit droppings EVERYWHERE! Pretty much every briar had crap inside of it, and I started getting that "happy rabbit feeling" that we all know and love. Well, found a nice stick laying around, so I started beating brush as I continued on my way. Wasn't too long, before I kicked up a rabbit, and Maggie took off after it. Got a couple reflushs out of it, and then it escaped into a huge patch of briars. Now, I'm not really sure if Maggie has picked up that she is supposed to be "searching" for bunnies or not....I'm pretty sure she just runs around, and when she (or I) kicks one up....then chase is on! Well, that all changed after today! Went and started kicking around in the big briar the bunny had escaped to, and THREE....that's right...count em...one, two, THREE rabbits popped out the back. Maggie had been on the side perpendicular to me, and when she saw them bolt, she took off! Didn't get very far before she got burned, and came back and started sniffing around the bush like crazy! I guess she got their scent or something, b/c for the rest of the "rabbit" portion of the session, her nose was toward the ground (like it is when we are lookin for birds...)!!! Cut back toward the front portion of the field (that runs along the road), and the briars just got thicker. See...this is what happened...when I used to fly this field, the "rabbit" section I was hitting runs along this same road. It opens up for a bit, and I guess I just assumed that it continued on being open (so I never kept walking). This assumption was correct (in that there arn't many tress, and there really arn't any bushs), but instead of being like the rest of the field and baren, there are TONS of little briar patchs everywhere! It was time to get back to work, so I abandoned my beating stick, and started heading through this part, making my way back to the car. Maggie was pretty much walking by this point (OUT OF SHAPE!!!!), when all of a sudden, she tensed up, and broke straight for a briar patch. Mae doesn't really like to "crash brush" if you will, so I was pretty surprised when she started climbing into the bush (though this one had a lot of honey suckle, so it may have been more "friendly" than the other ones...) Took a short little video clip (as seen here...), and then it was time to keep moving on. Well...she left the bush for a little bit, and I continued on my walk. Well, she broke off, and headed straight back to the bush, and started climbing in again. I was like..."may as well", so I walked back to her, and went on the other side of the bush. I started kicking my way through it, and Maggie left the bush, and started circling the side of it. All of a sudden, a rabbit bolts out the side pretty darn near to her, and starts hauling balls toward a tiny briar patch. Well, Maggie dug down to the reserve energy tank, and freakin turned on the after burners. She closes the gap REALLY quickly, and they both get to the briar patch at pretty much the same time. Maggie doesn't even slow down, and just plows into the side, and you're not going to believe this $hit.........SQUEEL!!!!! I couldn't believe it! I call her over, and she come bounding out of the bush with the rabbit (now dead) in her mouth! I'm pretty dumb founded...I didn't think she had a chance....maybe without snow on the ground or something, but not today. I told her to leave it, and guess what she did????? She left it!!!!! Mind is blown again. I know you don't want your rabbit dogs actually catching the rabbits, but I sure did like the intensity that she chased it with, so split second decision...I tore the head and front legs off, and let her chow down. I left the rabbit body in the snow, and after she finished eating her portion, she started walking over to the rest of the rabbit. Clipped off a few pictures while she was messin with it, but I wouldn't let her pick it up again. I told her to "leave it", and she just sniffed around it. About that time, I decided she was WAY too close (b/c if the bird had caught it, that means Maggie would have gotten her reward, and was now messing with the bird and her rabbit....not cool! Granted, when Dee caught one over her, she respected the hawks space, but I didn't want to give her the idea that it may be ok to come in on it sometimes), so I made her keep her distance. Did a little training at this point...I would walk away and around stuff, etc, etc, and made Maggie keep her distance even when i wasn't around....she did pretty well at this (considering this is the dog that likes to steal food off of counter tops, peoples plates, etc, etc.....lets face it...she has a soft spot for food, and her listening usually goes out the window), and I only had to give her a couple taps from her collar. Not really sure if I did the correct thing as far as enforcing the behavior and what not.....I'm pretty darn sure I shouldn't have let her get anywhere near the body, but oh well.....it is what it is. Can't go back and change it, so we will progress from here. Got back to the car, stuck her in her kennel, and she had TONS of briars in her chest, face, and front legs....apparently crashing into a briar patchs at full speed after a rabbit has it's consequences. Pulled out as many as I could, but will be spending quite a bit of time with some tweezers tonight. Made it back to work ONLY ten minutes late, so I was pleased with the day!
Monday, December 28, 2009
I'm bummin pretty good right now. We make a couple steps forward, but now we are taking a HUGE step back! Tonight was going to be the night that I introduced her to the pole perch. This is how it was going to go down....I was going to have our session and hopefully get some nice jumps out of her, was going to introduce the lure, and then after putting her back up for a moment, was going to get her back out to put her on the pole perch (tid bitting every once in a while once she was calm and chillen). Being how crazy she is, I'm HOPING that the pole perch will be more condusive to her temperment, and hopefully she would calm down a little bit. Well, brought her into the house, and set her on the pole perch to take off her leash/etc to weigh her...that's when I noticed that her anklet wasn't rotating on her leg.....got it rotating again, and I slid it up on her tarsi, to see what exactly was going on. I discover that during her battle with the perch yesterday, she somehow gave herself a little bit of scale damage, so we are now on hold. I completely skipped weighing her, and just fed her part of a back section of a rat. She did well, and since I wanted ZERO bating after our session, cut the lights, and hooded her back up. She weighed in at 695 grams when I brought her back inside, and I greased the heck out of both of her anklets. I then covered the tarsi in neosporin, and she is chillen on the pole perch, listening to the dish washer. She will be spending the majority of her time in the GH until further notice, and our focus will be on healing. Luckily, I caught it early on, and it's probably not as bad as I think it is, but being the newbie that I am, I'm freakin out about it. What really irritates me, is that this whole situation PROBABLY (maybe not....but probably) could have been avoided, had I checked her anklets and greased the crap out of them BEFORE I let her fight it out with the perch yesterday....granted...it could have still happened anyways, but I should have been proactive about it. I KNEW she bated hard, and I KNEW that she was going to be bouncing around a bunch...should have done everything in my power to have avoided this situation. Hind sight also....I should have just stuck her on the pole....shouldn't have even messed with the block...again...I knew her temperment BEFORE hand, and should have started with the pole, and moved to a block/bow once she had calmed down. Hind sight is 20/20 and all that jazz.....fingers crossed that it will look a lot better in the AM. There is no way to make the picture NOT a bummer, but I thought I would get Lindz to stand there and smile...just so that it was a little bit better....the black die on her leg makes it look a LOT worse than it really is...
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Progress, but she still hates my guts! This bird is a FIREBALL, and she keeps me on my toes all the time! Her footing is SOOOO fast, and she trys to slip in shots all the time! I have been really good at avoiding her thus far, but her beak is a different story. She is wicked with that thing, and though it's my fault when she gets me, it sure does hurt! Her beak is a LOT sharper than the RTs, and she is really quick with it! After our session today, I was putting the hood back on her, and she flipped her head around and tagged the side of my pinkie GOOD!!!! I like her spirit though, and I think she is going to be a CRAZY aggresive hunter. Anyways, she was around 670 grams today (I got a new pineo swivel from Santa Clause, so I switched up her setup a little bit, and she also got a new hood so she was "around" 670 grams). Total, that's about a loss of 11%, or about 83 grams from trap. We tried being unhooded on the perch yesterday, and that was a disaster! Her tail is already a bummer to begin with, so I HAVE to save whats left....she was just too rediculous. Here is a quick video of her fightin with her jesses (don't mind the commentary....the wife got a new camera, and they where having a "stimulating" conversation about batteries!!!! :)) This bird DOES NOT train like Dee Dee did, and I'm having to take baby steps with her, where I could take leaps with Dee. It all adds to the adventure though, and I'm learning quite a bit from this bird. With these baby steps in mind, I started out the session today with sitting on the perch in mind, as well as to see if I could get a hop out of her. After holding her unhooded for about 5 or 6 minutes to get the "willies" out, I offered her a couple tid bits on the fist, and she reached down for them quickly. Tried putting her on the perch, and she went nuts! Picked her back up, and tried again....took me three of four times before she stayed put, and then I offered her a tid bit on the perch. She ate that, and then I picked her back up, gave her a tid bit on the fist. I set her back down...bated once, and then I got her back on there. Gave her another tid bit on the perch, and then held one out in front of me. She leaned over really far toward me, and took the tib bit out of the fist. Picked her back up, and I gave her a tid bit on the fist. Set her back down, and she sat there perfectly. Gave her a tid bit, and then I held my fist out, and made her lean for another one. She did that with a little bit of hesitation, but once she did, then I picked her back up, and tid bitted her on the fist. Down again, tid bit, held glove out of reach, and she stepped up for the tid bit!!!!!!! I was psyched. Gave her three or four tid bits for that effort, and then I set her back down again. Tid bitted for sitting on the perch nicely, and then I held the tid bit out about half the leash length. She hesitated a little bit longer than I would have liked, but she then hopped to the fist for four or five tid bits. Ended the session on that, and she was at 699 grams when I stuck her on the scale. About 30 grams of food, which isn't bad....I stuck her in the garage, and hopefully she will burn that up quickly. I still havn't switched to rabbit, b/c I forgot about the rest of the rat meat I already had thawed, but once I get her on that, I think we will progress a lot quicker. Hind sight...having her hop off the perch for a tid bit was not a good idea, but I was too caught up in her progress, and got carried away. I don't want to teach her bad habbits though, so from now on, "perch work" will be one part of the session, and hopping/etc will be a completely seperate part....I'm hoing to get her on a routine where I work with her a couple times a day, and that will speed up the learning curve. Can't wait to get back flying.....I need my fix!!!!!!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Offered her a little bit of food earlier this morning, and the same thing happened...ate quickly when I held it up, but wouldn't bend over. We are having a snow/ice storm, so I stuck her in the GH out in the car, with hopes that it would get REALLY cold out there. It worked, and she dropped quite a bit more than she has been averaging per hour. Pulled her out a second ago, and after giving her a little tid bit at head height to get her going, shook the rat half by her face. She bit down hard, and I slowly started lowering it toward my glove. About half way down, she slowly reached up a foot, and grabbed ahold of the rat. Brought it the rest of the way down, and I held it with my hand, as she tore away at it. Got 37 grams out of her meal, and I managed to get her hooded with only three or four bates. Total session was about 25 minutes or so, and the temps are continueing to drop. Hopefully, she will shed that pretty well, and i'm switching her over to rabbit. GOOD day today!
Took the day off yesterday, and my good buddy Ben and I went climbin! The bird rode around in the GH all day, and we didn't have a single incident. She rode in it like a champ (she usually bounces around like crazy!), and managed to only drop a few grams all day....weak! Got her home in the evening, and I popped the hood off....bate, bate, bate, bate, bate....regains the fist...Nice! She remembered :). Offered her the front half of a rat in my fist, and I THINK she may have looked at it, but not really. Held a rat leg to her face, and she ate it IMMEDIATELY! I let her sit there with the rat half for a little bit, but she wasn't hungry enough to reach down for it, so I put her back up. I am confident that when I pull the hood off tonight and whistle, she will reach down and eat. Once she does that, the game is on!!!!!!!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Headed over to Jeff's house after work. It's ALWAYS good times talkin to Jeff, and yesterday was no exception. We talked falconry for a good minute, showed him my new little girl, and we talked strategy. Jeff is a car hawking guru, and I'm trying to soak up as many tricks and pointers as I can. He was kind enough to hook me up with a NICE braided setup for the bird, and I have decided that black is def her color. She looks like a little bad@$$ sitting there, just waiting to get out and kill some birds! Headed back to my babies, and after cookin a litle dinner, it was time to mess with the bird. Pulled the hood off, and she started bating like crazy! Finally stopped, and I put her back on the fist......she sat there! NICE! Got a good minute out of her, and then she popped off again.....and regained the fist! NICE AGAIN! Offered her the top half of a rat and she would bite at it, but wouldn't commit enough to hold it. I offered her a rat leg, and that was a different story. She bit down on it, and would hold it in her mouth for a while, but wouldn't eat it. Everytime, she would either drop it on the glove, or else drop it while bating. I switched gears, and offered her a tid bit from my finger tip. She grabbed it, and did the hold thing, but then she swallowed it! SWEET! Gave her another 3 tid bits, and then we ended the session. I HAVE to get a new hood. She is biting at it now, so that is annoying.....we will get over that soon enough. This one "fits", but not correctly. It's an arab hood, so it's made to fit a falcon, and her head is DEF not falcon like :). I think that is what's causing the troubles. I think it's just too tight when it goes on...I assume it feels more like something is grabbing her head than the "looser" styles do. I need an anglo probably...where its not pushing on her head as much when it's going in. Ryan made me a nice one the other day (thanks!), but it ended up being too small. I have discovered that she is pretty much a male harris hawk size, but just a TINY bit different. Hopefully, we will get that taken care of in the very near future, and I won't have to worry about it anymore. Anyways, the 8 grams will put us behind a day. She burns VERY slowly, and she still has a ways to come down. It's going to be pretty warm today, so I probably won't mess with her at all. I'm thinkin tommorow might be the day she actually reachs down to the fist for food, which will be one goal completed. Now, as far as a trapping story goes....there isn't really one. My good buddy Gary knew that I was on the quest for a RS, and he let me know that there was a passage that hung out around his house. He figured out what her routine was, and the BC was left for her. Next thing I know, I have a new bird sitting on the fist :)! Pretty uneventful, but that's alright. John (who is doing AWSOME with his new bird!) asked about my focus with her, and it's going to be birds! I will bag her on rabbits, and will def chase some of those around, but my main focus will be birds. I plan on car hawkin the crap out of her in the beginning, and will hopefully get a bird with a lot of confidence on feather that way. Once she is solid, I will transition slowly to field hawking. Hopefully she will do this well, but if she is a little slower at it, I will still be car hawkin her in there, and will use baggies in the field if I see her confidence diminishing. It's going to be an adventure, and I'm so psyched to get back out hawkin!!!! I havn't been getting my daily session, and the outings with the bros (though good times for sure) just arn't giving me my fix! I need to fly!
Monday, December 21, 2009
Introducing......well...........I havn't named her yet. Ryan says I should call her "hideous", but I think she is rather cute! Granted, she is sorta a ratty little thing....most of her tail feathers are tipped, one of her decks is creased, and her tallons are dull, but I'm in love! Once I got her all geared up (anklets, jesses, micro back pack, mini merlin transmitter, and hood), she weighed in at 753 grams. She was hog fat when trapped without a crop, and I have just been bringing her weight down since then. Other than the brief sessions when we where trying to find a proper fitting hood, she hasn't been messed with. Those brief experiences have let me know that she is DEF not going to be anything like the RT though! I'm pretty psyched, and can't wait to get the ball roling!
Friday, December 18, 2009
It was three months ago on Wednesday, when she came down to the trap and became my first falconry bird. She weighed in at 1243 grams then, and she flew out of my life today at a plump 1358 grams (plus a quail). Total, we caught 24 rabbits, 4 squirrels, and 7 "others." She FINALLY flew up into a tree after a really long time, and I tossed out a quail and yelled "HO HO HO".....she dropped like a rock, and slammed it out of the air in fine style. Took a couple videos, and when she was almost finished, made my departure. Good luck Dee Dee!
Fed Dee Dee a whole squirrel last night....well...I tried to. She was too full from the rabbit to actually eat the whole thing, but when I flipped the light on this morning, she hopped down to finish the rest. Dee Dee has gone through a transformation. My nice, well behaved bird, has turned into a possesive, mantleing freak! It's what I want though, and I KNOW she will do awsome back on her own. The rain that they predicted earlier this week, has dissapeared from the weather forecast, and the temps are already above freezing. I will be heading out to the dumpsite on my lunch break, and saying my farewells to Dee. There are TONS of rats all over the place, and there are quite a few spots around it that are full of bunnies (I need to get permission to fly them in the future...just havn't done it yet...) I couldn't have possibly asked for a better first bird! I learned SO much, and hopefully, she learned a trick or two in the process as well. Though my heart sinks as the hours draw closer, I know it's for the best, and I'm excited about starting the next chapter in my falconry endevours. Like you all already know, I will be taking a bunch of pictures, so expect a photo post, along with her final weigh in before the day draws to a close.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Fed Dee a whole rabbit (minus the goodies and all the legs), and she had a nice grape fruit crop when she crashed out last night. She is such a sweet little thing when she is fat! As the days get closer to her release, the sinking feeling in my stomach keeps getting bigger and bigger....
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The dumpster is getting a break for the rest of the year. I'm not sure if I hit the rabbits too hard, and they just moved on, or if the population was low to begin with, but they just arn't poppin there anymore. Flew for a couple hours yesterday without a single slip. Ended the session on the lure, and am going to start feeding her up for the next few days. Hopefully, I will be able to trap a RS, and she will be all fat and sassy by the time I'm ready to release her. If I don't end up trapping one, then I will just bring her weight down again. Either way, a BIG feed up is good every once in a while, and she would be good to go after that. Fingers crossed for good trapping, but we shall see what happens!
Monday, December 14, 2009
I was in a hurry today....I'm not gonna lie, I had trapping on the brain, and just didn't really want to get out and fly....I'm SOOOOO glad I did! Stuck her on the scale at noon, and she weighed in at 1065 grams, and then I headed back to finish up the work day. Got to "bum central" at around 3:15 PM, and after cutting up her tid bits, and loading up the lure (I wasn't prepared today!) I beeped her up, and it was time to fly. As soon as I pulled her out of the GH, she started talkin. Unlike normal though, she continued talkin, and it only got louder when I struck the braces on the hood. Tossed her up in the tree, and she IMMEDIATELY flew over to the bush we usually start on (still talkin). It was pretty windy, and when she went to fly to a different tree, she caught a gust, and it took her toward the open section of the field (in the front). This is where I was heading anyways (I just always walk the tree line on my way there....you never know...may kick up Peter), so I walked out to the mowed section, and made my way to where she was. I kick around in the first couple clumps of trees, and since my goal was to walk the ridge and then head to the back field, I looped back to the beginning of the ridge, and started walking down it. I guess I kicked up a rabbit (it was really windy....didn't hear it bolt), and she came rocketing out of the tree like she was starving! She passed over my head, and slammed the ground about five feet next to me (higher up on the ridge). She missed, and I see the rabbit shoot off toward the top of the ridge, and disappear out of sight. As soon as Dee hit the ground, her head popped up, and she remounted and started BURNING up the hill, and disappears over the top. I start running up the hill, and she is no where to be seen. I didn't hear a squeel, so I didn't think she had caught it at first....but after a minute or two, she didn't pop back up. This was my heads up that she had caught it, so I start walking back and forth, looking all around the top, and down the side of the steep hill (which is on the other side of where I kicked up the rabbit). I know that she had to be in the near area, so I start making my second pass down the ridge. That's when I hear the jingle, and I find her under some rag weed, and she is sitting there waiting for me 24th rabbit!). I go in for the dispatch, and this is where it gets interesting.....she had ZERO momentum when she remounted off the ground....pumped the rabbit down, and slammed it so hard, that she popped some of the guts out of it's side (She is trying to imulate Shaung apparently....). I really wish I could have seen the end of the flight, but I just couldn't get up to the top as quickly as Dee did :).....I bet it was sick lookin though! Total hunt time....15 minutes. I traded her off to the lure, and then hopped her to the fist for both front legs, and a back. Feed her the goodies at the car, and then off we went. I was psyched...the way she was acting, I believe one would have described her as being in "yarak", and she was DEF getting a kill today. This was the first rabbit she has caught on the remount which was also cool, and she gave me enough time to drive around lookin for RS's afterwards. Gary had a passage in his back yard this afternoon, so we are going to start watching that one as well. It's just a matter of time, before one of them is mine!!!!
Went trapping today! Don't really want to get into it, b/c it was pretty frustrating, but I managed to find a passage bird IN THE MOST PERFECT TRAPPING SITUATION EVER......with no bait in the BC! ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG. Sat there and watched her for a good twenty or thirty minutes while she was scanning the grounf for a snack, and she flew off about ten minutes before the bate arived.....GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. I will go out again today to see if I can locate another. Jonathan said there is one that comes and talks to Shaung all the time, so maybe I can go grab that one...we shall see
You ever have those days where you don't catch anything, but you consider it one of the best hawkin days you have ever had????? Well.....I had one of those today! Slept in for a bit, and then headed out to the squirrel spot to look for my new hunting partner. Pulled up, and got Dee Dee out of her GH (still hooded though), and she started doing her little chirping thing...before long, the passage RS that I have been watching came in to investigate. I put Dee up, and go hide in the woods (b/c I had already placed the BC, and sat around watching the bird for a good 20 minutes. He/She head bobbed, leaned, switched branchs for a better view point...everything....and then flew off! GOSH!!!!! Guess it wasn't feeling the mice, so i will try something different next time. Got the kitchen pass from the wife, so I headed down to Bartlesville around noon. Met up with Kent when I got there, and we went and checked out a new field. IT'S AWSOME! We kicked up 4 or 5 rabbits for Kent's bird, and in the brief 15 or 20 minutes that we flew Dee (in a different section of the field), we kicked up another couple of rabbits. There was rabbit poo EVERYWHERE, and once we figure out there habbits and what not, I see us consistantly getting tons of slips. Kent's bird flew well, and got it's first wild kill. It was a rat, but the situation was good, and the bird directly associated the kill with Kent. Pleased with this, we headed over to Ryan's house, and went to find some ducks. A gentleman (gosh! I'm so bad with names!!!!) who is interested in falconry joined us for the session, but all the ponds where frozen over. Found a couple Gadwalls sitting on the ice at one of the ponds, but they busted before we could get the bird in the air. Headed back behind the mall, and it was time to fly Dee. We headed to the back section, and the rabbits where poppin off EVERYWHERE. "New guy" managed the first couple slips, but no connections where made. Looped around along the tree line, and then we decided to head off along the neighbor hood side. Kicked up a rabbit in the wide open, and Dee starts pumping after it HARD. She is going into the wind, but catchs up quickly (strong bird!!!!). The rabbit is running down the two track, so we all had a nice view when she came down and slammed the crap out of the rabbit. They both twist, but somehow, the rabbit gets away (stupid dull tallons!). We get another flush pretty quickly, and that rabbit runs down the two track also....STRAIGHT TOWARDS ME! Dee crashs the ground, but comes up empty footed, and the rabbit is heading straight for me. Now you know I'm always trying to get my own score, and this was the setup if I had ever seen one. I take my stance, pull all the way back, and swing like my life depended on it! Ninja dodges the stick my half an inch, and shoots BETWEEN MY LEGS! It was SOOOOO close! Continue on, and we manage four or five more slips before we call it a day. One of which she got REALLY close, and probably would have gotten it, but we rushed the flush. Pretty much all of her flights where into the wind, and she chased them all down. She is getting so damn strong it's rediculous, and Ryan even commented on this fact. Even though she screwed off and caught two rats during the session, it was still good. Most of the flights where in the open, so they where all easily seen, and she missed b/c she got juked, not b/c they made it to cover. This is really good, b/c IF I do end up keeping her, this is good practice for when we go hunt jacks in January. The day was really exciting, and I headed out of B-ville one happy falconer.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Today was sweet! Woke up around 6:30 AM, and Dee weighed in somewhere in the mid to upper 1060's. Tried to fly the squirrels behind work, but Dee was still asleep (she just sat there with a foot up, and watched them run around....). I had woken her up when I put her on the scale, and she fell back asleep while I was cutting the meat up. Stuck her in the GH, and she had her head tucked back before I could shut the door. I LITERALLY think that she was just still asleep, and had ZERO interest in hunting. Stuck her back in the GH, and I went and met up with Gary. The starlings had been poppin everywhere earlier in the morning, but they where no where to be found, once we started hawkin. Drove around for a cool minute, but we only managed a few slips....he chased hard, but just didn't manage to connect today. Like always though...it was car hawkin, and I had a GREAT time! Dropped Gary's car off to get some work done, and we drove around for a little bit with Dee. We found one pigeon slip, but it was pretty far, and she got burned. It wasn't a very graceful exit from the car, and they saw her as soon as she left the window. That was sorta a bummer, but then I got the call from Kent, and we headed over to "Bum Central." I havn't seen Kent since before NAFA, so it was def good getting to chill for a session. He said his boy was still a little high, so we decided to fly Dee Dee first. She had cast in the GH, so I was pretty confident she would fly well. Started out the normal way, and we hit the little honey suckle bush in the front (well...I do...Kent and Gary are to the side of me kicking around in the woods...). Dee flies up to the cedar above the bush, and then Gary flushes a rabbit. She takes off in that direction, but she wasn't anywhere close, so she just takes a perch further up. We continue through the woods and come to another briar filled clearing. Gary flushs another rabbit, and she pumps in pretty quickly, but pulls up into a short tree. She starts lookin down pretty hard, and so we start kicking around the brush around her. All of a sudden, she drops off her perch, and starts heading for Gary's head. I'm thinkin "oh $hit!", and am about to shout out a warning, when she flips to the side, and slams into the side of a small cedar. Dee...you suck! Stop rattin! I pull her out of the tree, and sorta fumble around about what to do. I have traded her off of a rat before on the lure, but i was thinking i could just pull it down in my glove for a moment....came to my senses quickly, and I tosser her and her prize down to the ground. I then trade her off to the lure, and we continue on hunting. We cross over to the section with the HUGE rose bush, and we kick around in there for a minute. No rabbits are hanging about today, so we head back straight behind it (which, conincidentally, I havn't ever done. Guess what! There are some GREAT spots back there. We break out of the tree line, and find some honey suckle coverd brambles. The road curves around, and cuts through this section, and Kent and Gary head over to the left side of the road. I start heading toward the right side, when Dee takes off burning hard....apparently, Kent and Gary had been walkin toward each other, and a rabbit kicked up inbetween them.....it shoots across the road, and is about to enter the bush, when Dee shows up, and drills it into the ground. Run in and pull them out of the bush, and stick them in the middle of the two track. Had an alright trade of (not the best...but not bad), and I hopped her to the fist for a front and back leg. Jonathan calls at this time, and apparent his bird had disappeared. We head to the expanse, and after a little telemetry work, find her safe and sound. Fly Kent's Harris hawk for a cool minute, and his bird chased pretty darn well. Had a couple REALLY nice ones, and Kent was pleased by the end of the session. Flew Jonathan's bird for a little bit after that, but then we had to head back for Gary's car. Over all....GREAT day! She was in the 1120's when i stuck her on the scale, so she may not be on her "A" game tommorow....we shall see what happens. Maybe Lindz will want to go to Bartlesville tommorow!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Today was LONG! I got to work this morning at the usual time, and when I took my coffee break around 7:30, there where FIVE squirrels running through the pecan trees....they taunted me all morning, and it's going to be pay back tommorow! Why you ask? Well....I'm takin the day off. Yep...that's right....no work, no plans....just hawkin....ALL day! It's gonna be sweet. I'm gonna hit those trees first thing in the morning, and I'm planning on having my first cup of coffee over a dead squirrel. I have been wanting to fly this spot for a COOL minute, but I had previously believed the situation unsafe...I have since come to a different conclusion (after a little first hand investigation), and it's going down in the morning! After that....more hawkin....the rest of the day! Gonna be freakin sweet! Anyways, back to today. Finished up with work at three, and I was walking into the woods by three fifteen. She was high today, and you could def tell by her behavior. She DID NOT want to follow! The day started slow...walked around for a good forty minutes or so, and didn't kick up a single darn thing. Apparently, this bored her, b/c she decided to float up above tree line, and disapprear off into the distance A COUPLE TIMES (come on Daniel...do you not see a freakin trend! High bird = rabbit hawkin NOT squirrels! If you fly in the dense forest, she disappears!). I spent a lot of time looking for her...the longest stretch was a good fifteen or twenty minutes. Finally, I wise up, and call Dee Dee down to the fist once I find her.....i hood her for about ten minutes, and take a much needed break to calm the nerves (I was pissed!). I don't know if this is true for birds in general (I know of a few that this works on, but I don't know how wide spread it is....), but this is Dee's "reset" button....after unhooding her, I flew a different bird the rest of the day! She followed along perfectly and TIGHT....probably tighter than she has thus far. We where heading to "big red's house" (that's the squirrel we chase EVERY time we come out her....ninja squirrel has some MOVES!!!!), and just like always, she flies straight to the top of "the tree." I kick around in the branchs below it, but nothing moves. Weird...he is always here.....Don't really know what to make of it, so I start kicking around in the "general" area. All of a sudden, she takes off through the trees, and SLAMS a small tree just in front of me. I see "Red" scurrying down the tree, and I quickly cut him off at the base. He heads about half way up, and then bails to the next tree. Dee comes shooting through the branchs from the side, and Red dodges her by A MILE (he skipped between freakin like 8 branchs in the blink of an eye!). Red crosses between 3 or 4 trees in a breath's worth of time, and I'm thinkin he is LONG gone. Dee wasn't feeling that though, and flew a few trees past Red....landed, and then shot straight back toward me. Red wasn't feeling that, and he started cork screwing down the trunk. Dee dropped straight down, and BARELY missed nabbing him off the trunk. Red hit the ground, and started heading back in my direction, and I did my best to cut him off. My best efforts where rewarded with Red skipping to the side and disappearing into the underbrush....Nicely played Red! We shall meet again soon! I'm not going to lie...I pretty much gave up right there. This is a HUGE stetch of woods, full of squirrel nests, and acorns EVERYWHERE....but there are never squirrels to be found...."Red" is pretty much the ONLY squirrel I move consistantly. I continue heading North, and start getting into some sections I hadn't visited before. I come across a TON of clearings FULL of briars and all the stuff rabbits LOVE, but like all the other spots in this area....no rabbits. Not even a single pellet. I did find a TON of coyote skat, so I guess that explains it....but you would still think there would be one or two....anyways, I loop through the "new" section, and then I start cutting back toward the two track. Dee drops off her perch, and starts skimming through the woods at about 8 to 10 feet of the ground. She almost gets out of sight, when she shoots straight up into the air, and lands in the top of a tree. I start running in her direction, and when I get to her, she is looking straight down the tree. It's a really large tree, and there are no vines to shake, or anyway to move a squirrel. I start making a circle around it, and for some reason, the squirrels makes a break for it. It had been tucked away somewhere at the top, and I notice it as it is shooting down the trunk of the tree. Dee Dee drops off her branch, and does MAYBE a half turn around the trunk, and then SLAMS it off the side. She flares her wings and floats down to the ground like she had dones it a thousand times (Number 4!). I run in like a darn track star, and put the squeeze on it almost as soon as they hit the ground. I let her foot on it for a minute, and then we have a perfect trade off to the lure (and I didn't cover it up this time either...I have been doing that, but not today.....and she STILL traded off perfectly! PROGRESS!). Since I am flying early in the morning, I hopped her to the fist for the rest of the tid bits, and she should be at killer weight in the morning. Kent's coming down, meeting up with Gary to fly the kestrel, and Dee is going to be exceptional...I can just feel it!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
It got COLD! Since I have been out hawkin so much, I havn't really noticed the temperature this year as much as usual...today was different! Winds where blasting out of the North, all the little creeks and puddles where frozen over, and the sunny skies from earlier on, had turned to a gloomy grey. I had pulled up to "bum central" at around 3:45 PM, and the bums where out in full force. The cold snap had them scurrying around through the forest, and they all where looking for things to add to their homes, and I quickly headed off through the woods in the other direction. I was weaving along the edge of the tree line, heading toward the open spot in the front, and I came upon the first big "bush" that I like to hit. I hadn't kicked up a rabbit from this one before, but I made my circle around it....Dee was up in the cedar right above the bush, and I see a rabbit shoot out the back. Dee was already stooping toward the ground before I could say HO, and she crashed into the ground like a ton of bricks! It was one of the loudest hits I have heard so far...it was nuts! She was a little bit sharp today considering the drop in temp, and she was READY to catch a rabbit. We made our way to the open section, and I hit the first clump of trees, but didn't get any slips. She is sitting on the edge of the woods, and she purposefully flew past me into the field, and landed in a dead tree by the third clump. She immediately looks at the ground, and stays focused while I make my way over to here. This is a big clump of trees, and I usually have to crawl inside to flush the rabbits out, but I did my usual once around with my fingers crossed, and a rabbit flushed out the side (heading toward the big hill)! She has the wind at her back, and you could tell she over shot it hard....she tried to twist in the air, and nab it as she passed, but she was coming in WAY too hot. Hopped her up to the fist, and since all the creeks where frozen, I headed all the way to where the hill starts, and I found a HUGE rose bush! Dee was still out of sorts from that last slip, so she was a little bit behind me. I flushed a rabbit as I was nearing the bush, and I start yellin my head off.....she ignores me (little hoe!). There wasn't really anywhere for the rabbit to have gone, so I called her over, and stuck her up in a tree directly over head. I kicked around in it for a good minute, but the darn thing had just disappeared. we leave the bush, and she takes a perch in a tree right on the fence line of the high way. There is a little two track that runs through the field along this fence line, but there is a decent sized gap between the road and the fence (on the other side of the fence, it's mowed grass and then the highway....). I start walking through there, and I get a slip in seconds. It's a race toward the fence, and the rabbit squeezes through just as she slams into the the chain link. We continue on, but we dont find anymore slips. We get to the end of the big field, and we duck across to the other side (ya know...covered in briars...i hacked my way through it for like an hour the other day...)anyways...start headind down the line, and we don't kick up a single darn rabbit...we get all the way to the spot where the bush juts out into the center, and i'm gettin worried...it will be dark in ten minutes or so, and I really want her to score...anyways I start following it out, and she takes a perch on the tree she scored out of last time....I get about half way down, when she starts lookin straight down at the briars below her. I guess one had been holding tight and it decided this was a good time to sneak off into the woods. She drops off the perch, does a wing beat, maybe two, and then folds her wings and stoops hard into the ground...SQUEEL!!!!!! Hell ya! Dispatch, victory pics, and perfect trade to the lure (#22!!!!). Since she was sharp, fed her both back legs (cut generously) and all the goodies on the fist, and she had a nice crop when she had finished. Going to get even colder tonight, so she should be good to go tommorow.
It was raining and crummy yesterday again. It was misting most of the morning, and it was steadily getting colder. I'm not sure if the squirrels could tell that a big front was moving in or what, but they where out in force when I took my lunch break. Headed out to my squirrel spot behind the health center, and I started off the day heading through the open section in the front. I'm not sure why there arn't any rabbits in this part...there are briars everywhere, and it seems like it's good rabitat, but none have been seen thus far. Always have to check it though, and after doing that, we continued on through the woods. Nothing was moving, and I'm starting to realize that the "city" squirrels are on a different schedule than the "woods" squirrels. I don't give up that easily though, so we head to the section where she have had some flights so far. Like clock work, we hit the spot, and she flew up to the top of the same tree she chased in one last time. She is peering around VERY intently, so I move in, and start beating around the dead tree. The squirrel that lives her is really large...and though it may be the lighting or something, appears to be VERY red (as opposed to the brownish orange that one usually sees). This squirrel has picked up on the game pretty quickly, and after two really nice tries from the bird, it manages to bail to the ground, with me hot on it's heels. There are TONS of dead limbs on the ground, and once I start running, i pretty much stop looking at the ground. I slam my legs into NUMEROUS branchs, as I stumble through the woods after them, but get burned pretty quickly. She crashs the ground in front of me, and I guess it was enough to turn the squirrel, b/c it heads back to the tree we started in (though I don't know this at the time). She ladders back up, and i start kicking around in the area that I THINK the squirrel went to, but can't move anything. She starts looking at "the tree" again, so I walk back in that direction. When I get withing 15 yards or so, the squirrel bails out of the tree. It seemed like it was falling in slow motion, and Dee started closing the gap really fast. She gets there JUST after the squirrel bounces on the ground, and crashs HARD. This took place out of my sight line, but I hear bells jingling like crazy, so I'm hoping she is wrestling with a big fat squirrel! I get there to find her empty footed on the ground, and I'm a little dissappointed about it. Oh well...time to head back to work, so I call her to the lure, and we head on out. I need to find squirrel spots that are better...this one slip a day nonsense is getting really frustrating. I have gotten permission on a few different ones, but they arn't condusive to quick hunts, so I need to find another spot close to work. Rabbits are sorta the same...the dumpster WAS being productive, but it hasn't been lately, and I know the bird must be getting tired of it. So the search is on again...need to find some gravy spots, and start getting consistant kills again. Kent is coming down to hawk on Friday, so maybe I will find some gems before then.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Well, I headed out to the dumpsite yesterday to see what we could find. Dee was really focused, and was following along VERY tight, and it didn't take long before we got our first slip. I had just started walking throught he woods, when Dee took off from her perch, and shot over to the top of a cedar. She was looking pretty intently at the ground, so I headed over there and started beating around. Couldn't find the rabbit for a cool minute, but then all of a sudden, it busted at my feet! The rabbit took off through an open section, and Dee was hot in pursuit. She crashed the brush hard, but the rabbit used some quick moves, and escaped her grasp. We continued on through the woods, and she flew far off into a REALLY thick section, and started looking around in one of the trees. She must have seen a squirrel, but there was no way I could move it (with the amount of honey suckle vines growing over EVERYTHING). Headed out of the woods, and we walked the sumac line, that borders the open field, and the "woods" section. No rabbits where kicked up, so we headed back to the front, and kicked around on the otherside of the two track.....Nothing. Went back across the two track, and came up the front section across the creek.....no rabbits. Hit the section we normally go to first....nothing. Guess all the smart rabbits where holed up staying warm, and the one we kicked up must have been the special ed rabbit. Anyways, called her down to the lure once the light faded, and I took her on home. She will be at killer weight this afternoon, but it's raining......I HATE RAIN! May try and do a little car hawking, but the birds arn't out in this weather either...so it would probably just turn into a driving session. She will be pretty keyed in though, so maybe I will go looking for some ducks.....
Monday, December 7, 2009
I'm SO glad I have been keeping this blog! Why you ask.....lost the log book...ya I know....Daniel? Losing something? NO WAY! Yep, have no idea where it is. As a result, I'm makin this quick post, so that I don't forget her weight. She was at 1065 grams when I went home for lunch at noon, so she should be ready to role when I go hawkin at 3. Gonna hit the dumpsite, and hopefully they will be poppin off like crazy. Fingers crossed!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
It was pretty cold this morning, and it was slightly over cast....The wind wasn't blowing too hard, and it would have been great weather to fly. I was on daddy duty this morning though, while momma was trying to get some sleep, so I didn't get to take advantage of it. At 10:00 AM, she weighed in at 1056 grams, and was ready to go. I ended up chillen at the house till about 12, and then I headed out to "lowes"...I am renaming this spot "bum central," b/c they have a little village back there, and are EVERYWHERE! The weather was no longer nice, and it was spitting mist and drizzle pretty consitantly. IT WAS COLD! Anyways, got her beeped up, and we headed into the woods. Kicked up the first rabbit within a minute or so, and she went crashing into a huge honey suckle bush. Hopped her back to the fist, and we continued on. Our comotion brought a lone bum lady over to investigate, so I briefly explained what I was doing, and headed off toward the open section. There are a pair of two tracks that run through it, and there is a long briar patch that runs along the roads in the middle. At the end of this is where the roads converge, and there is a HUGE rose bush at the end of that (When Greg/Tasha/Jeff came hawkin, this is where we chased that one rabbit back and forth for a good minute.....). I start pushing through the briars making my way down the roads toward the rose bush, and I get a slip pretty quickly after entering them. It juts across a little open section inbetween the bushs, and Dee comes crashing in from above. The rabbit makes it to the safety on the other side of the clearing, and Dee is left tangled in the vines. She gets back up in the tree, and we push up toward where the roads join together. As I am reaching the edge of the briars, two rabbits come bolting out of the brush, heading across the two track, toward the huge rose bush on the other side. I think they surprised Dee, b/c she hesitated for a moment, before taking off toward the rabbit that was the furthest away. She came up empty, so I beat around in the big bush for a minute. Managed to move one of the rabbits a little bit in the bush, but she couldn't crash to the ground to get it. More bums where coming around (mental note...don't go to bum central on Sundays...they all stay home apparently), so I headed off toward the pond, to see if there where any ducks on it by chance. There where none, so I kicked through the briars that ran along the banks. Kicked up a rabbit, but Dee was out of position, and it escaped into the underbrush. I came to a deep "valley" sorta thing that was fu\illed with honey suckles. They covered the entire canyon, and on the other side, there looked like there was a big open field. I hadn't been to that section, so i started weaving my way through the honey suckle, trying to get to the other side. After making my way through the maze of vines, I get to the other bank, and discover the whole hill was covered in head high briars. I begin chopping my way through, and after 15 minutes, finally make it to the other side. Dee Dee flies over, and she lands in a tree top right above me. I make one step out of the briars, and a rabbit pops off in front of me. Dee comes crashing in, and I hear a little squeel, but then nothing. I get over to her, and find her sitting on the ground, with feet full of fur! She walked around on the ground for a minute or two, and then finally gave up, and hopped to the fist. She is VERY wet by this point, and she noticably feels heavier on the fist. She pumps back up to the top of a tree (a little slow, but she gets up there).. There is a big rose bush that is off away from the main row of them, and I start kicking around that for a bit. A rabbit shoots out the side of it, and breaks toward the open field. Dee comes out of the tree pumping hard, and SLAMS into the ground with a really loud thud. She missed....must have gotten juked or something. Since she was so wet, that could have had an impact on her maneuverablity...anyways, got her back up into the tree, and I kicked around for a little bit longer. Moved two or three rabbits through the really thick briars, but it was so thick, she had no chance of getting to them. I started getting toward the end of this section of the field, and there was a thin strip of briars that ran from the main section of the patch, out into the middle of the fields. I walk to where it connects with the main portion, and a rabbit kicks out the back side of it. She crashs after it, but misses again. She wouldnt let go of the grass and the ground, so I ended up picking her up, and after she calmed down, tossed her up into the tree. Headed in the direction I thought the rabbit went, but couldn't get a reflush, so we headed back to where we where. Started following the briars out into the middle of the field, when Dee takes off of her perch flapping CRAZY hard. She stays really high, and actually starts getting higher as she goes along the briars. She then cuts hard, and does a wicked wing over straight into the briars, and crashs all the way to the ground!!!!! It was a REALLY thick section, and the only way I can explain it is b/c of the extra water weight she had. Anyways, I hear the rabbit squeel, and I start heading into the briars. The rabbit is still screaming, so I can tell that she only has it by the back end, and when i finally get to her, that is exactly how it was. I dispatch the rabbit really quickly, and then after trimming some of the briar back, pull her out. After stomping down a section in the tall grass, I lay them down, and snap off some victory photos. Have a good trade off to the lure, and then I hop her to the fist for a front and back leg. Made the long treck back to the car, where I fed her the heart and lungs. She didn't move a muscle when I stuck the hood on her, and she was fat and happy when I put her in the GH. She weighed close to 1200 grams when I weighed her at home, but she was still soaking wet, so that isn't really a true weight. I will stick her on the scale before bed, and I should get a better idea of what she weighs. I'm thinkin she should be in the upper 1050's for our hunt tommorow, which should be really good.