Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Location!

Ryan and I have combined our blogs (see post below for additional info....). The blog is called "Little Mews On The Prairie," and can be found at www.ryanvanzant.blogspot.com

Sorry for the confusion.
-D-

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blog update

First off, i just want to say thanks to all the people who shot me PMs, asking that I keep posting in the old bloggski here. I'm glad at least a few people enjoyed reading it, as much as I enjoyed maintaining it. Unfortunately, life is still pretty stinkin crazy right now, and I just don't have the time it requires. See, I used to do all of my updates at work (inbetween projects of course:)!!), but Magellan has blogs, forums, facebook, etc, etc blocked from access, so the opportunity isn't there anymore. When I get off work, I go hawkin and do family stuff, and don't usually get on the computer at all. This is the way it's been for a minute, and that's why I just didn't/don't have time to keep her updated. Anyways, my sponsor Ryan is sort of in the same boat (as far as having a blog, but no real time to maintain it), so he had the great idea of combining them. The way we look at it, between the two of us, we SHOULD be able to keep some type of consistant blog going. It will probably be more interesting with more than one contributor anyways, so we are going to give it a shot! The inspiration came from Stephen B.'s blog, which is set up in the same manner...Thanks for letting us steal your great idea!!! SOOOOOO, if you all feel the urge, check out Little Mews on the Prairie (www.ryanvanzant.blogspot.com). For the time being, that's where my accounts of hawking goodness will be found.

Since that's the plan, I thought I would get everyone caught up on what's been going on down in my neck of the woods. Right after I made those last posts, but before I put the bird on the permit (we have a few days before the paper work has to be sent in....I was in that aloted time, don't worry.....), the decision was made to send Peachs on her way. She would have been a great hawk, but I wanted a male....wanted one all summer, and I just needed to be patient. Long story about how everything went down, but in the end, I pushed her up a few hundred grams above her trap weight, dosed her for parasites, and said "see ya later!" The cooler weather pushed in, and it was no time at all, before I had a nice little male chillen in the mews. I still havn't given him a name (other than little $hit, which he is refered to as quite often.....), but he will get one eventually. My first post over there will be an update about the season thus far, so I look forward to seeing you all over there. Until next time my friends, Cheers to you all!
-Dan-

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Depressing update

Well, it seems life still does not want me doing a blog....I'm, again, about to be laid off from my job. The company I work for pretty much put all their eggs in one basket, and it didn't pan out.....they will be closing in the not too distant future. So, the job search is back on again. Blogging is now pretty much off the priority list, which should be understandable to most.....Having to time do my falconry birds justice this season is going to be hard enough as it is....free time that used to be available for the blog, will now be taken up with hawkin, being a good dad, loving my wife, and trying to get life back to some what of a managable (sp?) state. Hope everyone has a great season, and I will get back in touch someday.
-Daniel-

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Peaches


Yeah, I know.....It's sorta like my first bird Delicious....just don't ask :). We almost don't even stop to look at her. It had been a long, unsuccessful day of trapping, and we were more into laughing at the podcast, than we were looking for birds. We both saw her at the same time though, and Ryan commented how she looked weird. She looked weird to us, b/c she was the first passage bird we havd seen in weeks! I glass her, and of course can't tell. She then drops off the perch, and hits the ground with a purpose....mousin! I guess it was the angle or something, but neither of us got a good look of her on the way down, so we anxiously watch the spot for her to fly back up. Then, just like that, she flies up to the pole....banded tail just dancing in the air. Ryan hits the gas, and my window is on it's way down. Toss the trap as we go by, and wouldn't ya know....it lands right side up :). Before we can even get the car turned around, she is on the trap, and we are again, anxiously watching a spot. All of a sudden, I see the flip of wing, and I'm yelling "GO!!!" I bail out of the car, and run over to pick her up. The haste was not needed though, b/c she was ALL SORTS of hung up on that trap. Got her hooded, and we took care of the tangled mess back in the car. Went ahead and geared her up right there also, and after getting settled in on the fist, rode the whole way home without incident. She was pretty stinkin jumpy at first, but chilled out after a little bit. When we got back to Ryan's place, we decided to tape her tail, for the ride home in the GH. Spent a minute doing that, and she ended up just knocking it off on the ride back :). I swear, I have never once gotten that blue tape everyone likes to stay put.. Got her home, and she chilled on the block that night. Had a 20 something gram casting the next day, so she had a FULL stomach when we trapped her. That means she's greedy, and I like that! Going to have to stay on my toes with this bird though. Dee Dee was pretty laid back, and I think I was a little spoiled. This bird has an attitude (for a red-tail) and razor sharp tallons to go with it. Anyways, pretty psyched about this coming season! Now, if we can just get rid of this hot weather......

Update

More to come........










Monday, August 16, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Another Crazy Turn

Life is full of them, and I just had another....this time, it's for the better! I finally found a job that I can be proud of.....tommorow is my last day at GRC, and I start a new systems analysist job on Monday. It will take me a few weeks to get into the swing of things, but hopefully the world will slow down afterwards. Trapping season opened down here on August 1st, so I'm pretty psyched about that. Been out most days since, and have been havin a blast. I have some buddies coming to town on Saturday for a visit with a coops on the agenda, and we are going to be out trappin all day! Should be good times, and I may just find the time to post some pictures later on. Other than that, I'm just waiting for this 100+ degree weather to go away, so that I can start thinking about trapping a bird for real. Have my eyes set on a male RT to kick the season off with, and I'm really looking forward to it....that is, unless I get distracted by kestrels in all this heat, and decided AC car hawking is the way to go!!!! That's all for now
-D-

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Kent's video

This is a video my good buddy Kent made of the OFA meet last year.....he got a clip of Dee Dee when she scored her third rabbit....pretty sweet!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Don't ya just love it!

Little known fact, but I lost ALL of my pictures from last season. Yep...pretty much sucks. They where all on my work computer, and when I lost my job, I lost all the pics (LONG story for why I couldn't get them, but that's for another day, and another time....).....if it wasn't already posted on the blog/facebook, then they where gone. Anyways, I have been going around forums and what not, trying to collect as many pictures as I could to commemorate my first season, but had pretty much decided that there wheren't any more to be found. I had given up the search over a month ago, and had accepted the fact that I had all the pictures that I was going to get. Well, I was going through some of Jeff's old posts on NAFEX this morning, and guess what I found?!?!?!?!? Yep, ANOTHER PICTURE!!! With thoughts already turning toward the new RT I will be kicking next season off with, finding this picture just got me more psyched! Hope the moult is flying by.
-D-

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jeff still out there tearin it up!

videoWell, I tried my best to upload these onto photo bucket and image shack (so that I could dump them onto Jeff's NAFEX thread)...they uploaded fine, but just wouldn't play properly SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, I'm posting them here. Again, my video taking skills are more than lacking, but at least the quality is better now (we got that flip camera for Christmas ya know!). Both flights are pretty generic, and I even missed filming the kill shot on one of them, but it shows some of the points that Jeff hits upon in his thread (slipping once your past the birds, etc, etc).
video For anyone still paying attention to this blog, I released Sayda a little bit ago, and she has paired up with a nice looking hag male about a mile from my house (those harris hawk feathers make her pretty easy to spot...). Hopefully she will fare well with her first nest, and keep this territory for many years to come. If she sticks around, I will be trapping one of her branching babies in a year or two, and see what an early trapped RS is like. Until next time my friends.
-D-

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Startin to get that jittery coops feel!

I have been down in norman for the last week or so helping out Ryan with some shows. Since we had a lot of down time, we went searching for coops nests. Little known fact, but this happens to be one of my favorite spring time activities, and I'm psyched for the next few weeks. Gary is the one who got me hooked on nest searching, and it just happens to be a favorite past time of Ryan's as well. Ryan has "the eye" for finding nests, and I have been trying my best to soak up his tricks like a sponge. Any who, last year my neighborhood coops nested north of me, but I have been seeing them mainly to the south this year. Went for a quick drive this morning, and located the pair hanging out in a Sycamore a couple blocks from my house. I quickly located what I "thought" was their nest, and sat back to do a little bird watching. video They sat their preening and soaking up the son for a good five minutes or so, and then the male started bouncing around. He flew back and forth around the female a few times, and then went over and plucked a stick from a branch near her. He took off, and headed in the opposite direction of what I thought the nest was, and pulled up to what looked like a flat topped squirrel nest. Weird huh?! Last year we found a GOOD number or nests, and I have developed a pretty good image of what they look like.....this one just breaks the rules. Sat and watched for another ten minutes or so, and the male made numerous trips back to the nest bringing sticks (about 8 or so). The female just continued preening in the tree, and didn't seem at all interested in helping out. I don't know anything about bird nesting behavior, but I guess I just always assumed that both birds built the nest....maybe they do, but def not today!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Somethins just gotta give

Life is a whirl wind right now. With everything going on, I have found myself with less and less time to spend on the computer, and the blog is having to suffer. The bird is coming along really well, and I have been getting in daily sessions. I'm not sure when I will be able to get back into the groove of things (as far as posts go), but it will happen sometime....Probably once I get a job nailed down, and get back into the rythm of life. If I'm still crazy busy by then, then it will probably just be the sporadic update until next season. Anyways, with everyones hawking season drawing to a close, I just want to wish everyone the best of luck with the moult/new eyasses this summer, and hope everyone accomplished their goals for the season. I plan on flying through the spring, and hopefully will be able to capitolize on the fresh batch of youngsters that are about to be hopping around everywhere. Until next time my friends
-Dan-

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Update

Went out hawkin with Jeff yesterday. He showed me LOADS of good pigeon spots, so hopefully I will be able to give Sayda more slips now. Jeff has been pushin his girls weight up little by little in order to find her top end, and I'm thinkin he pretty much found it. video Her recall was a little slow, but she still did well. Put a few starlings in the bag, and it was good times for sure! As you all have figured out, my camera is pretty weak, and my picture taking/video skills are lacking as well....but I still managed a few videos that didn't turn out TOO bad:). Pigeons where not being helpful yesterday though, and we didn't put any in the bag. We had one slip that was pretty long, but she just didn't see them until she was already out the window. Pulled up to the top of a power pole, and I called her down without too much hesitation. Continued on, and we found a group of about four or five milling around on the ground. They where in a sorta awkward position though, which forced me to slip her a little bit earlier than I had wanted to. video They saw her as she left the window, so she only put in a half hearted attempt at them. Flew up into a tree, and didn't want to come down. Ended up flying across the street, and we had to drive over there to call her down to the lure. She was at 607 grams again, so I was thinking she should do well, but she didn't. Last time, she had had 36 hours between feeds, so she was dynamite. Yesterday, she had less than 24 hours between the feeds, so she just didn't "feel" as hungry, even though her weight was the same. Headed back to the house, and there was THE PERFECT SLIP right at 71st and riverside. Though she had had her full amount of food, I knew it was still in her crop, so I slipped her anyways. She hauled balls at them, and just BARELY missed. Called it a day, and I planned to have her slightly lower for the session today. My math was correct, and she was at 597 grams this morning, so we headed out looking for birds. It was nice and sunny today, and the wind wasn't blowing as hard as yesterday, so the birds where out in force. Unfortunately, the pigeons where not! They where all flying around, and enjoying the nice day, and didn't want to come down and play. Found four really good slips over the course of the day, but they all got messed up one way or another. The first was a group of about ten or so milling around on the ground right next to the road. Flipped the car around, and was about to go slip her, when I truck pulled up RIGHT where they where, and a dude got out to get the mail. WEAK! They all busted, so we moved on. Found another single next to the road, but that one also busted before I could get back for the slip. Headed down to Jonathan's neighborhood, and I found a nice single milling around, and AGAIN, it was busted by a passer by. WEAK! Headed back toward "the pigeon spot", and we found a group of five hanging out in a planter next to a building down town. Went around the block, and we where coming up for the slip, when someone parked on the same side, and then walked right through the middle of them....busted again....WEAK! Ended up just giving her a bagger b/c she had been so patient with me, and I'm hoping for a better session tommorow. I think the weight she was at today was perfect...she was sleeked down and looking out of the car the entire time, and bated LIKE CRAZY at anything with a wing on it. Going to have her at the same spot tommorow, and hopefully Jeff, Ryan, and I are going to have a good car hawking session. HOPEFULLY, they will hawk their kestrels at the same time, and we can get some cool videos of the birds going out both sides of the car at the same time....fingers crossed for some goodness! Though we didn't have any slips today, I wanted to show my buddy a good time, so when we saw a hag coops fly across the road, I couldn't help but toss out a bagger for it. It came down without hesitating a bit, and we got to watch her eat it....pretty neat for sure

Monday, February 15, 2010

OH $hit! She is turning it on!!!!

I'm so proud of my little girl!!!!! It has been a long journey, and there have been a lot of ups and downs, but it's on now! Sayda weighed in at 607 grams when I decided to go fly today. When she caught and carried the starling, she was at 587 grams (so quite a bit more than then), but she was bating and talkin like crazy, so I decided we needed to fly. Headed right across the river first, but we just didn't find any pigeon slips....TONS of starlings, but no pigs. Headed out to west Tulsa around where the dumpsite is and what not, and again....no pigs...just starlings. Found a NICE slip on three crows, but they where mixed in with the starlings, and i just didn't want to take it. Continued on, and we headed down the access road that runs along 44. Tons of pigeons up on the wire by "the pigeon spot", but none where on the ground. Lindz needed to leave for work at 3:30 PM, so around 3:10 or so, I gave up and decided to give her a bagger. Did great on that, but I only gave her half a starling breast on the lure, and then hopped her up for a leg. We where heading back toward the high way (which passes by the pigeon spot), and guess what???? Yup...ten of them where pecking around on the ground. As we where approaching, another five or so flew down, and Sayda started bating like CRAZY. I was like...what the heck....so I decided to fly them. Incase you don't rememeber the setup, I will refresh your memory. There is a building whose parking lot is sorta dug into the side of a hill....it has concrete walls surrounding it. Anyways, the access road to this building runs just to the left of the top of the wall, and the spot that the pigeons are always at is hidden from view when you start driving down the road. Sayda had seen them going down though(plus we have done this slip before), so she new EXACTLY where she was going. Slipped her out of the window, and she cruised in low, and then dipped hard below the wall. The pigs saw her coming when she crested the wall, and all scattered up into the air. Sayda had gone below the wall (so I couldn't see where she was), and then she came shootin STRAIGHT up into the air underneith the group of pigeons. She flew up between 10 and 15 feet into the air, shot her feet out, and slammed the pigeon from underneith...they cartwheeled through the air, and came to rest on the ground. I lept from the car, and jumped down from the top of the wall into the parking lot. They where fighting it out on the ground, and then I see her shoot a foot out and secure it's head. I get about five yards from her, when out of no where, a cat comes shooting out of a bush STRAIGHT for Sayda. I'm thinkin there is about to be a dead cat if I get there quick enough, but the cat closed the distance quicker than I did. I'm yelling and waving, and the cat hesitated JUST for a second. That was all Sayda needed, b/c she released the pigeon, flipped around, and shot a foot out and grabbed the cats nose. It wasn't a committed grab...she just footed it, but that (combined with my arrival) was enough to send that pussy runnin! Sayda flips back around, and starts looking around everywhere in the pile of feathers (I guess she was thinkin this bird would be attached to a string like the others, and it SHOULD still be there....nope!). It was pretty funny...you could pretty much see the wheels spinning in her head like WTF?!?!?!?!? I know I just had that pigeon right here.....all that's left is a pile of feathers.....where did it go???? She footed around the feathers for a good minute or two, before she gave up, and hopped to the fist for a nice reward. SOOOOOOOOOOOOO....I'm gonna count it. I wasn't going to at first....but I'm going to. She earned it. She caught it IN the air, brought it down, and had it under control....there was no way she would have lost it had the cat not tried to jump her, and had I somehow made it to her quicker....it would have been in the bag.....I'm counting it....talk noise if you want, but I'm counting it! So recap...first slip last time...caught a starling. First slip today...caught a pigeon! The ball is finally roling! Didn't feed her too much, so as long as it's not too crazy windy tommorow, I'm going car hawking with Jeff in the morning. Fingers crossed we will catch another one!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Good day

Jeff met me at my house this morning at 6:30 AM (thanks a TON man!), and we headed back to Sayda's tree. She was still there when we arrived, so we tossed a starling in the yard across the street, and then waited for the sun to rise. This starling was DEF doing it's job, and he flapped around tirelessly the whole time. Pretty much right as the sun was beginning to rise, I stuck another one out there in the yard that the tree was in, just to give her some options (and to guarantee at least one would be flapping all the time). All of a sudden, a bunch of starlings broke out of the tree, and Jeff thought that was a good sign that she was waking up. Sure enough, a few minutes later, she comes flying out of the tree, and hits the starling we had set up across the street. She was REALLY jumpy, and after letting go and recapturing the starling a couple times, abandoned it, and flew across the street to the other one. Couldn't really figure out why she did this, but now that I think about it....that starling was under a tree.....she felt more secure on that one (even though she was still out in the open....)....that, or else me getting out of the car bumped her off of the first one, but I don't really think that's what caused it. Anyways, grabbed the starling she didn't end up with, and stuck it back in the car, and then I meandered my way to her, and secured the starling. Quick dispatch, and then I traded her off to the lure. I had A TON of food on there from yesterday, so I let her eat a tiny bit, and then I hopped her to the fist for a starling leg.....over all, she just didn't get much food. Later I discovered this was DEF a good thing, b/c she weighed in at 643 grams when I stuck her on the digi. FAT GIRL! All's well that ends well I guess, and hopefully she will have a huge casting, and be down to weight tommorow. Went to Bartlesville with Jonathan the rest of the day, and we hawked bunnies with Kent. His harris had a NICE flight that was at least a hundred yards or more. He closed the gap quickly, and we heard the squeel of the rabbit. Unfortunately, he got kicked off, but remounted and put in a pretty good chase after it. Had more slips, but that was def the most memorable of the day. Headed to a dif field that has only been flown once (Dee Dee caught a rabbit there), and we flew Shaung for a bit. There are cedars EVERYWHERE, and the rabbits have def figured out how to utilize them. Shaung had some nice chases, but didn't manage to connect. Took a break for lunch and to do the whole reset on Shaung, and then Jonathan headed out to a dif field and scored a bunny (like...number 35 or something....heck ya!!!!!). While he was doing that, I went car hawking with the VanZant family, and Gizmo scored some more starlings for the tally board. Had a really neat flight where she whipped up under a deck chasing a bird, and then they both came out the other side....Gizmo tight on it's heals. Once they broke the cover though, the starling skied up, and the kestrel pulled off for a fence perch....still a pretty tight flight! Imped the last three bad tail feathers on Sayda, and then we headed on back to T-town. Good day for sure, and I'm psyched for the upcoming week of hawkin.

Friday, February 12, 2010

1st Kill! Bitter Sweet

Sayda weighed in at 587 grams at 11:30 this morning. I was pretty psyched on doing some field hawking, so I called my good buddy Judah to see if he wanted to come along. He said he was down, so I went and drove around the neighborhood while I was waiting for him. The starlings where out and about, and it didn't take long before I found the perfect slip. There where two starlings in the grass next to the road, and another about to hop up there from the street. I drove up next to them, and Sayda was slicked down and watching....once we passed, their heads went back down. That's when I slipped Sayda. She came out the window pumping hard, and dropped like a rock onto the unsuspecting bird. Right at the last minute, the starling lifts its head and lets out a panicked scream. It was too late though, and the scream was cut short by Sayda's feet slamming it's head into the grass! Sayda's head immediately goes up, and I flip the car to the side of the road. I whip the door open, and fly out of the door..........and she is no where to be seen. Sayda hates being out in the open, so I half expected this to happen. I pull out the receiver, and start walking around looking under all of the bushes. Can't find her, so I do the walk about, and zero in her location. She was either in the back yard of the house she caught the starling in, or else one of the houses on either side. I knock on the first two houses, and no one answers. I hop back their and peek around really quickly, but don't do good enough of a job to find her. Knock on the third house, and I see a kid moving around inside. He doesn't answer the door though, so I don't go check out that yard. I wait her out for a good hour and a half...maybe two hours and the signal stays exacltly the same. FINALLY, she flies up into one of the trees, and I attempt to call her down. The problem is, I couldn't really get anywhere near the tree she was in, and the call was just too far for her. She had a nice crop, and she didn't really want to do anything. She ignores me, and eventually flies off. It takes me a good thirty minutes or so to track her down, and I eventually glimpse her in the top of a tree. She flies off before I can even get out of the car, and I loose sight of her. I'm messing with the telemetry, when I hear a bunch of blue jays making noise. I drive over to them, and I find Sayda sitting up in the tree. For the next three hours, I sit there and watch her. She won't come to the fist, ignores the lure, AND ignores the live lure. About an hour or so before dark, she decides she is done preening and chillen, and she flies off again. I track her down again, but can't get a visual on her. I drove around in the same circle probably three hundred times...I knew what street she was on, but I just couldn't find her. Once it got dark, my good buddy Jeff showed up, and he brought his marshal receiver. It has a pretty sweet function where you can set in on near, regular, and far (or something like that), and in no time at all, he had her zeroed into a specific tree. Lucky for me, it's a tree in a front yard, and we will be back there at 6:30 in the morning to try and get her down. It's supposed to get pretty chilly tonight I think, so hopefully she will be hungry enough...if not, then we may have to wait till after she casts. SOOOOO....we finally caught something. It ended up pretty bad, but we caught something. Guess I'm going to have to limit her to pigeons and crows from now on, but now that she has caught something, I'm hoping it got the wheels spinning. Going to stay away from areas with back yards for a good minute too :). What's interesting, is that she is at the exact same weight that she flew off the first time...like EXACTLY. Now that she is responsive, I have been pushing her weight back up until she messed around...I guess I found the top end of her weight! LOL. Still psyched about the way she reacted to the rabbits yesterday, so I may do a little more field hawking than I had planned on. Anyways, fingers crossed I get her back in the morning

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Update


Well, Sayda is doing well. I have been working her everyday, and we are easing back into car hawking. She is actively looking for starlings, and she is back to chasing hard. I have continued with the baggers, and it seems to be working well. Drove around FOREVER today, but couldn't find any slips. It was pretty weak, so I decided to take her to the field and see if we could find some rabbits. She did really well, followed a little bit, and I was able to kick up two rabbits for her. She didn't see the first one, and the second occured while she was on my fist. I tossed her at it, but she just wasn't ready. She flew up into a tree, and was looking around everywhere. I went down and started kicking around, and I managed a reflush after five minutes or so. She took off hauling, and chased it clear across the field. When I finally made it to her, she was up in a tree looking intently toward the ground. Good day, and I tossed six or seven starlings for her in there for her to chase. I let he catch two of them, and it really got her focus off of me, and into hunting. Both trades where good, and I was pleased with the session. I'm going to do the same thing tommorow (look for slips, then field hawk if I need to), and I will end the session on a drag bunny if we end up field hawkin. It was really good gettin out into the field! We got half of Sayda's tail imped the other day. It is blatantly obvious that her manueverability is much better now, Im hoping this will translate into "she barely nabbed it" instead of "she barely missed it!" Here are a few pics...they are harris hawk feathers.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Little update

It's been pretty crazy for the last few days around here. Sayda and I have continued on with the plan, and we have just been reinforcing her on starlings. I can tell her focus has been switching back to where it needs to be, and we are about to be out hunting again. I was wanting to get out today, but it seems to be snowing pretty darn hard right now, so the birds won't be out and about feeding. I had a little "user error" issue with my starling cadge, and all 7 of them escaped, and are now flying around in my attick. Little things are noisy as heck, and now I don't have a baggie for today's session. That's pretty weak......

Friday, February 5, 2010

Excellent

Sayda did great today! Decided to get out a little bit earlier than I usually do, and it DEF paid off. Ran up to Quick Trip for a little java to kick start the day (around 9:15 AM), and the birds where out in force! Being that Ryan went out and caught SIX today (heck ya!!!!!), I was thinking the falconry gods maybe smiling this morning.....so I grabbed the bird. Sayda and I jumped in the car, and off we went. I drove around for ten minutes, and probably passed up 15 slips...it was CRAZY....there where birds on EVERY single street! She was actively scanning for game way more intently than I have ever seen her, and she was bating at every bird that flew past. I FINALLY found my perfect slip, and I held her back until I had just passed the starling. That's when she slipped, and she blasted out of the window and hurtled herslef at the starling. She closed the gap in moments, and she shot her foot out JUST as the starling was leaving the ground. Unfortunately, all she managed to grab was the starlings tail, and she returned to the fist with two tail feathers in tow. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO close! In the minute it took to get back to the house, I probably passed five or six PERFECT slips! I stayed strong though, and ended the session on another bagger. I'm psyched! We are back on track, and we are moving forward. I'm pushing her up another five grams or so, and it will be the second day in a row that she is higher. If I'm going to see a behavioral change from higher weight, it should happen either tommorow or Sunday....so I will be keeping a close eye on her to make sure we don't end up in a telemetry chase. If she does well though, then I will keep her at the same weight, and fly her there for five or six days. If she is still cranking it out, I will push her up another five grams. Going to incriment it up until she starts screwing around.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Another quick session

Goals are still the same......get her focus back on little black birds milling around outside of the window. Set up the first bagger, and we drover around for about five minutes. She was sleeked down in the car, and it seemed to me like she was actively looking for things again. Slipped her out the window, and she did great. She still doesn't like being out in the open on kills, but she is starting to get better. I let her drag this one up under a bush, and she seemed much more comfortable that way. Perfect trade off to the lure, and then she went in the GH for a reset. Got the lure and everything ready again, and we drove around another five minutes. The rain had picked up some by this point so I had to use the wind shield wipers a few time...something that normally sets her off into a bating fit. She did great today though, and didn't bate once! I was pleased, and after driving around, slipped her on the second one. She did great again, and this time we stayed out in the open. Once I got right up on her, she seemed to calm down quite a bit, and started plucking furiously. Let her eat a bit more on that one than the first, and then we had another perfect trade to the lure. Total, she got about 54 grams of food, and she is nice and fat on her pole perch right now at 623 grams. She understands the car hawking thing, and I feel pretty confident I can get her back every time now. I'm going to continue getting her confidence really high on baggers, and push her weight up little by little. Once we are back to the point where I think she is ready to be hunted again, I will bring her down a tiny bit from whatever higher weight we are at, and just see what happens. Many thanks go to my GORGEOUS wife, who helped out with the baggers today! You are a gem!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Quick session

Today was pretty quick. Headed down to Jonathan's neighborhood with pigeons on the agenda. I found a nice group of about ten or so milling around on the ground, with another two about 20 yards away next to the road. Flipped a "B", and was about to start heading back toward them to slip on the two loners, when they SCATTERED! I have seen that desperate scramble before, and when I made it back to where they where, discovered a passage coops on the ground with a struggling pigeon. Sufficet to say, those pigeons where not coming back to the ground for a long time! Continued on, and found a group of three starlings pecking around right next to the road. Took Ryan's advice, and I sat there until I was sure that she saw them. Pulled up next to them, and she pulled up into a tree immediately. Called her back to the fist for no reward, and then I just bagged her. I'm not going to hunt her again until she is automatic out the window....if it takes ten baggies in a row, so be it. We WILL get her focus back on hunting, even if it kills me in the process.

Yesterday's session

Was not too darn shabby. After talking it over with Ryan, it was decided that I needed to do some really long calls, in order to asses her condition. Since we where going out to the field, I thought I would be a good day to reinforce the whole rabbit thing. Thawed out one of Dee Dee's rabbits, cut up all my tid bits grabbed four or five starlings for fun, and headed to the field. Little known fact (smile), I get pretty scatter brained when I get excited, and I ended up leaving the rabbit and my tid bits at the house. Pulled up to the field, and all I had where starlings and my lure. Well, dispatched a bird really quickly and got my bits ready to go, and then we headed into the field to see what we could see. I decided to go to the Lowes field, just b/c there are quite a few rabbits, and there are a few pretty open sections. I was hoping to get a slip or two for her, but they just weren't in their usual spots (makes sense...the rabbits had moved in all the other fields....not sure why I expected these rabbits not to.....), so I just started tossing birds. I'll start at the beginning though.....stuck her on the roof rack of the subi, and I called her about fifty yards to the fist. Her response was def less than desirable, and she was VERY distracted. Tossed out a starling (hoping to get her head back into the game), and she just watched it fly.....weak! Continued on through the field beating brush, and did another call to the fist (maybe 100 yards or so). Again, VERY hesitant. Tossed her back up into the tree, and then I started beating around the base of it. Tossed another starling, and this one flew pretty darn weak (it must have been one of my bait birds). Anyways, it flew up to the branch of the tree next to the one Sayda was in, but she AGAIN just watched it. Getting a little irritated by this point, but we continue on. Call her to the fist, and she flies in, and then checks up into the tree above me. Continue on, and then she blasts out of the tree heading back toward the tree she had just been in. I'm thinking we are loosing focus, but to my surprise, she bypasses her tree, and smashes into the one next to it....the one the starling had landed in! I see her parachute down to the ground, so I run over to find her under the tree holding the bird. She makes a few hops till she is right at the base of the tree, and I gave her a moment to start plucking. Once she did, I made my way in there and offered her a tid bit. She dragged the starling right to me, took the tid bit, and then scooted between my legs and started going CRAZY on the starling. I liked this, b/c it seemed to me like she felt safe with me "protecting" her. Trade off to the lure was flawless (at least I did ONE thing right with this bird!), and then I hopped her to the fist for a leg. Over all....not too bad. Even though I wasn't "directly" related to the kill (in that I flushed, she stooped, and connected), she did fly away from me and grab it, which is good. I have been workin on getting her focus away from me, so we shall count this as a good session.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Prepare to have your mind blown!

All of this just happened within the last 30 minutes or so....So I have the starling trap out in the back yard right....I had caught 10 or so thus far, and I peeked out the window to see if they where attracting anymore. What do I see sittin up in the tree in my back yard...a passage red tail. This was weird for sure, considering I have never once seen a red tail in my neighborhood....red-shoulders, coops, bald eagles, mississippi kites...see those pretty commonly, but never red tails. So I sit there watching it watching the starlings, and I think to myself...hm...that bird looks a lot like Dee Dee. Soooo, wild hare....I open the door, whistle, and throw my lure to the back edge of the yard (and duck back into the house).....and she flies down and grabs it!!!!!!!!! No *ucking way! Dee?????? So I open the door, and slowly start walking closer (gotta get a freakin picture or else no one will believe me), and she makes one hop with the lure, and then bails up into the tree. I run inside yelling to Lindz "Dee's back, Dee's back"! Look outside again, and she is gone. Lindz is like "do you think it's really her" giving me that look like "your freakin crazy". I don't think she believed me...anyways, so I'm talkin a mile a minute, geekin out, and freakin out, and she tells me to use my energy and go scrape the ice off of her car, so I head out front and start working on it. Suddenly a shadow crosses across the ground, and she lands in the big pine tree across the street! I grab a starling and hinder it for her, and then I toss it out in the middle of the yard yelling ho ho ho. She was on her way before it even hit the ground. She smashed it, and immediately carried it up into the neighbors tree two houses down. She tears is appart in about four bites, and then sat up there for a good ten minutes or so, before flying off. Hands down, the coolest thing I have ever experienced in my entire life. I was sitting around all bummed after our $hitty session this morning, and now I can't stop smiling! No other sport, activity, hobby, adventure, ANYTHING....nothing compares to falconry! My spirits are renewed!!!!!

Def need that confidence booster

Well....she sucked today. She was at 574 grams when we headed out to look for some birdies, and it took us a minute to find a good slip. Luckily though, one of the tride and true pigeon spots came through, and she made a REALLY nice slip on them to start the day off. There is a building that is sorta "inset" into the side of a hill, and the parking lot is surrounded by walls on two of the sides. The side road that I was driving down runs along the top of one of these walls, and she had a nice height advantage when she exploded out of the window, and folded up into a bullet. She hit the center of the group of pigeons, but I'm not sure if all the wing beats confused her, or if she just missed, but she ended up empty footed, and flew off the ground to the roof of the building. Called her to the fist, and we continued on our way. She started getting really bouncy in the car, so I'm thinking that she is getting anxious for a kill. Next slip is a group of about ten or so starlings milling around some trash bags that had been set out the back door of a pizza hut. These birds paid ZERO attention to us, and I just knew this would be our kill. Dropped the window, ho ho ho, and she flew straight up into a tree. She didn't even try...I mean....straight out the window and up. Half the birds didn't even flush from the trash they where eating. THIS was the slip I was waiting for, and nothing. Stupid bird! I'm confused....MAYBE she has decided she can't catch starlings, and that's why she only went hard at the pigeons. Well, I decided it was time for a bagger, so I found a nice spot, and planted it for her. Did our approach...she was head bobbing the whole time...window down.....she shoots up to a power pole........WTF? Call her down, and we try again. Approach, head bob, window, straight up to a tree! I'm pissed by this point. Try again....she flies up to the roof of a building. I get her on the fist, and pretty much have to throw her on top of it. It's like we are back to day one....GRRRRRRRRRRRRR. This is what I think has happened (and I'm going to get a big @$$ "I told you so" from Ryan)....she is hunting the fist now....She WAS hunting birds earlier when her confidence was high from all those baggers, but ever since we have started hawking and getting multiple slips (and I let her confidence wane from not giving baggers), she has been getting her reward from coming to the fist, not from catching birds. We MUST switch that focus back to the birds....I was so worried about getting her back after each slip, that I let her train me. She figured out that all she had to do was fly out of the window, and then she would get called to the fist for food. No more calling to the fist...only lure....and I have to get her confidence back up.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

First snow of 2010!


Well, the weather guys didn't lie this time, and Tulsa got hit with (what we call) a really big snow/ice storm. Unless you are from an area that has ice storms, most people don't really understand what I'm talking about. Thursday it started raining pretty good, and that turned into freezing rain and sleet pretty darn quickly. By Friday morning, EVERYTHING was coated in a good inch or two of ice, and that's when the snow started. I'm not really that sure how many inchs we got, but it had to be at least 6 or more. Oklahomans are natoriously bad drivers in snow as it is, but throw in a nice base layer of ice to boot, and getting out for a drive is suicide! Lucky for me though, I have a subi that just loves getting out in the snow, and I can manage to weave my way in between all the idiots. Sayda was still too high to go fly (I planned it that way), so I spent the day just hanging out with friends, and playing in the snow. Saturday morning she was at 577 grams, so I stuck her out to weather in the snow. She has only been around snow on one other occasion, so I made the decision to give her a starling wing to work on at the beginning, It didn't have hardly any meat on it, but the bone and feathers put her around 582 grams or so. Got online to update the old blog and to get caught up on e-mails, when I discovered a message from Kent....it basically had to do with snow, hawking, good times, and I should come. I had quite a few chores to take care of around the house, and even though I said it sounded like good times, didn't intend to actually make it down to Bartlesville for a session. Well....Jonathan gave me a ring about fifteen minutes later, and after SOMEHOW getting the nod from my beautiful wife, swung over to Jonathan's to pick him up. Shaung was bouncing around in the GH the entire way down to B-ville, so I was expecting a pretty darn exceptional session out of her. I suggested he think about trying for a double while we where on the way down there (being that we where getting down there pretty early, and had tons of daylight), and we also talked about how Kent's young bird is turning it on like crazy now, and just needs that one connect to get the ball roling. Like I said in a previous post...his bird chased harder the other day than I have EVER seen him fly, and it is just a matter of time before we get that squeel. Anyways...made it down to Bartlesville, and we met Kent, Ryan, and Scott out at the usual rabbit field. After saying our hellos, talkin a little $hit, and gettin the birds all beeped up, we headed into the back section of the field to fly Kent's bird. This is my first "real" snow hawkin session, and I was pretty darn psyched. The problem was, we wheren't kicking up any rabbits. They where no where to be found in the "usual" spots (which makes sense), and we walked for a good fifteen or twenty minutes before getting a single slip. We had worked our way through the two big rose bush sections in the middle, and where in the process of crossing the two track toward the lower one (with the rock pile) when Ryan spied one running ahead of us. He yelled ho ho ho as we watched it make it to the cover we where heading toward, but I can't remember if his bird went for it or not. Lucky for his bird though, we had a crew out today, and we where not about to let this little guy get away. Ryan took one side (and could actually see the rabbit sitting there), while I flushed through the center, and the rabbit bolted out of the side into a smaller bush. We waited a moment to get the bird back into position, and then Scott and I flushed the rabbit back toward the original bush. I had a huge cedar blocking my view, but apparently he dropped off the cedar like a rock, and grabbed the bunny by the rump. Ryan said he walked up to the head like a pro, and bunny number one was in the bag. He let him eat on it for a minute, and then finished him off with a back leg. Everyone was psyched for Kent, and the day had started off with a bang. Let's just say it continued on like that!!!!! Got his bird put up, and it was time for Shaung to fly. Jonathan pulled her out, and she immediately shot up to a nice, high perch. We decided to follow the tree line that runs along the north edge of the field (front section), and is boardered by the wide open section to the south, and we took off in that direction. We hadn't walked more than five minute, when I spied the first bunny. He made a little movement, but then just froze in place...sorta scooting it's body down into the snow. From my angle, it looked like a little guy, and I said we should pass him up (joking of course). Well, Shaung had different plans, and comes powering out of the tree, and slams into the brush right on top of the bunny. SQUEEL!!!!! Number one is in the bag. Being that we had only been hawkin for five minutes, and that was the only flight that had happened, we continued on. Traded her off, and she took a nice perch above us. Walked MAYBE 10 yards (tops!), and Kent kicks up a rabbit that tries to head for the briars where the first rabbit was caught. Shaung drops like a rock and nails it before it could make it half way there. Number 2 in the bag! Everyone is laughin, good times are being had, and it had STILL only been about ten minutes into the session.....so we continue on. Walk another fifty yards or so, and Shaung is sorta holding back. We are thinking she has to get her "reset" after that last rabbit, so Jonathan calls her over to us. Well...since we had stopped moving, our presence must have been too much for the rabbit that was hiding in the grass right next to us. When Shaung was about half way to the fist, the rabbit bolts, and she tucks into a dive and slams it on the ground! Rabbit number 3 in the bag! Still....Shaung has only had three flights, and didn't get near enough excersie, so we continue on. We decided to head on out through the open section since there arn't any perchs, and that will motivate her to get some actual flying in. We meander through the field, and eventually make it to the otherside in the group of bushs that run along the road. Everyone makes their way through them pretty darn quickly, but I KNOW there is a rabbit in there...there is no way there isn't. It looks JUST like the stuff we had been kicking them out of, and as the morning showed...they where holding so tight that you darn near had to stab them with your stick to get them moving. I continued working the section, and next thing I know, a rabbit bolts out of the side! Shaung comes powering off of a telephone pole, but pulls up at the last minute and land on another pole. I go in for the reflush, and she starts pumping hard off of the perch, and tuck into the perfect tear drop, spinning as she drove toward the ground, giving me the perfect view of her brilliant white under side! She smashs into the ground and SQUEEEEEELLLLLL!!!! Rabbit number 4 is in the bag!!!! I may be a little off on my tally, but I'm pretty sure that made rabbit number 31 for the season, and I'm pretty psyched for them both. Headed back to the car tired from tromping through the snow, but pretty darn psyched from having experienced such a stellar day of hawkin. Clicked off some victory photos, and then it was back to Tulsa for Jonathan and I. Dropped him off at his place, and there where starlings and pigeons on the ground. It was 4 o'clock by the time I made it home and got Sayda loaded up, and I guess it was just too late by the time we started hawkin. Most of the birds moved on too their roosts, and I only got a couple slips for her....neither of them where ones I should have taken. The birds where jumpy enough as it was, and neither of the slips where true dump shots. She ended up getting burned on both, and pulled up on both slips. The only thing I accomplished yesterday was lowering her confidence...that's all. Fed her enough to get her through the night, and she was at 578 grams when I weighed her at 7:30 this morning. I'm going to swing by Gary's house to grab one of my baggies, and if she doesn't score during our session this moring, then I will bag her to keep her confidence up.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

So darn close!!!!

Well....as you all have figured out so far....I make "plans," but I very rarely actaully stick to them. There where just too many darn birds everywhere to pass up for a lure session. She was at 570 grams this morning when I was about to head to work, so I passed up on that and headed out to do some hawkin. First slip was a nice dump shot on a group of 6 or 7 starlings, but she somehow managed to miss. A ton of crows came in, so she shot up to a tree at the end of the street. Ran over there and scared the crows off, and then she came right down to the fist. Continued on, and I found a ton of slips, but none of them where the "gimmies" that I was looking for. FINALLY, I found a lone pigeon pecking around in the dirt stocking up on grit, and it didn't seem to be bothered by me driving back and forth next to it. Flipped a "B" at the end of the road, and came back by for the slip. The pigeon was right next to the road, so I swung out left to give her a better chance. Well, I'm not sure if it was the car doing something abnormal or what, but as soon as Sayda left the window, the pigeon looked up and bolted. She made a half @$$ed attempt at it, but then checked up into a tree. Called her down to the fist, and I decided to end the session on that. The clouds where beginning to mist on us, which is a sign that the big storm was about to hit, so I just didn't want to push it. Fed her half of a pigeon breast, and then I fed her the body of a starling when we got home. She should be REALLY high tommorow, but that works out well considering EVERYTHING is going to be covered in ice, and there won't be any birds on the ground to chase. She trades off of kills like a champ, but she is still hesitant to come long distances to the lure. I will probably do four or five long flights to the lure tom evening, and then depending on the weather, may try and get out Saturday. If not, then a Sunday session will be in order. I NEED to get a kill with this bird ASAP, or else I may start pulling my hair out :). It's just a matter of time though, and once the ball is roling, I'm pretty sure the head count is just gonna sky rocket. I'm psyched!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

AAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHH

It appears this little girl has a super small weight range that she behaves in. Took her out for our session around 11:30, and I couldn't find very many pigeons on the ground. The only feasable slip on a pigeon was over concrete, and I don't take those. Continued on, and I found a group of about 40 or 50 starlings on the ground. She was head bobbing pretty hard, so I decided to let her go for them. She barreled out of the window hauling balls, but most of the took off when she was about half way there. I was thinking that she would give up, but she didn't! She came in really low, and then shot straight up in the air underneith one of them, and tail chased it straight into the air about 10 feet and shot her foot out. She BARELY missed, and checked off onto the ground. I whistled, and she started looking around everywhere. I reach for the lure, and she busts. She ends up in a tree across the street, and I start swinging the lure. She starts bobbing her head and leaning hard, and I'm thinking she is about to come on down. About that time, I hear a RS scream, and a passage comes hauling in from the side, and knocks her off of the branch. She takes off flying, and goes into a soar about 300 feet in the air. She cruises around for about five minutes, and then comes down into a tree. I haul over there, and she was gone by the time I got there. Pulled out the receiver, and I track her down to a clump of woods between a park and an apartment building. I "see" her up in the tree, and toss out a live lure. The bird doesn't even look at if for fifteen minutes or so. About that time, it busts, and I realize it was the passage that had knocked Sayda out of the tree LOL. I'm still getting a really good signal from the area though, so I keep scanning the trees, and discover her up in a differnt one. She bolts before I can get very close, and flies to the other side of the wooded area. I drive around, and find her on a low branch about ten feet off the ground. I start walking toward her with some food on the fist, and I kick up a rabbit RIGHT where she was looking. She takes off pumping like a bat out of hell, and she slams the brush right behind it, but comes up empty footed. I hop her back to the fist after that, and we head on home. SOOOOOOO 579 grams is still too high, and I'm thinking I need to have her at the 570 grams like she was at yesterday. Even though she flew off again and that pissed me off, her crashing after that bunny was a good sign for the future. I'm going to skip the jump ups tom, and just do five or six calls out of the trees for the lure. Hopefully, we can strengthen up her recall a little bit more, and then maybe go hawkin on Friday

FINALLY....have time for an update


Gosh.....the phrase "life catching up to you" has never been so darn appropriate as it is right now. I have been CRAZY busy, but it's about time to update the old bloggskie. Sunday was our first hunt. I don't have my log book with me, but I believe she was around 585 grams or so (maybe 580....I will have to check...) I headed to some industrial areas just across the river with hopes of finding tons of birds. Luck was on my side, and they where out in force! The first slip was a bust....three starlings on the side of the road not paying ANY attention, but she wouldn't go for them. Why didn't she go you ask? I have no clue....we continued on. Next slip found five starlings up against the side of a building. The window went down, and she shot out like she had been doing this for years. Four of the birds busted, but the fifth one just didn't see Sayda coming. She closed the gap in a heart beat, and I'm thinking this bird is toast. Well, last second, it sees her coming, and tries to fly straight up the wall. Sayda flairs, and follows the bird up on the rise, and JUST BARELY misses snagging it. I mean LITERALLY...just misses. I see her foot shoot out, and miss the bird by half an inch or so. GOOD BIRD! Call her back to the fist, and we continue on. Find another three starlings pecking around in a thin grassy strip on the side of the road, and Sayda blasts out of the window and slams the ground. I bail out of the car like a bat out of hell b/c it looked like she got it, only to discover that she had SOMEHOW missed it. I'm a little dumb founded, b/c I'm pretty sure she hit it on the ground....must not have though, b/c no startling is going to pull away from the Sayda girl, that's for darn sure! Well, I'm pleased with the day....first hunt, two great slips, she pumped hard, almost connected, and I was going to end the session on a bagger (gotta keep that confidence high!). Well, I start heading to where I'm going to toss the starling, and what do I see on the side of the road....yep....five starlings takin a bath paying ZERO attention to what's going on. I pass them, no heads look. I drive passed again....no heads look. I can't resist. Pass for the third time, and I slip her out of the window. She blasts out like a rocket and...................................pulls up immediately for a tree. I call her down...no response. Pull out the lure, no response. I rush to the subi to pull out a live lure, and turn around to toss it AND...............she is gone. WTF!!!!!! I'm kicking myself at this point....I broke the number one rule in falconry, and didn't stick to my plan. We had a perfect session up to this point, and I should have just bagged her and called it a day. Instead, I was too focused on getting that first kill, and I pushed the bounry line too hard. I got greedy, and it bit me in the a$$. To make a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG story short....we telemetry chase her for the rest of the afternoon, and I finally get her back about four hours later (25 grams heavier b/c she was buggin the whole darn time!). MANY thanks go out to Gary for dropping what he was doing to try and help find her, along with thanks going to Jeff for his concern and willingness to help out as well. Biggest thanks go to Jonathan though, who was there with his receiver in a heart beat once he learned the situation, and we had her tracked down in no time. What I fed her combined with the bugs she got (that I didn't know about), made her nice and high, so no session on Monday. That worked out well though, b/c it gave me the opportunity to meet up with Ryan and Steve, and we spent Monday and Tuesday installing cameras in a bald eagles nest. It's pretty hard to describe the feeling you get when you pull over the edge of an eagles nest, and climb inside. It was pretty darn sureal, and I was psyched that I got the opportunity to do it. Once we got everything wrapped up and made it back to town on Tuesday, it was time to do a little car hawking. Ryan has a gorgeous little female kestrel, and we where gunning for starling number two. Since there arn't really any car hawkers in Sandsprings, I have sorta laid claim to it, and we headed there to see how the starlings where doing. First slip was on the side of the access road running beside the Wally world. She shot out like a rocket, and slammed into the starling on the rise (maybe three or four feet in the air). It looked pretty darn solid, but the starlings SOMEHOW managed to escape. Got another slip soon after which she got REALLY close on, and another one that was pretty good as well. Later on, we pulled up to a stop sign, and there was a lone starling pecking around on the side. Four or five cars drove by, and it didn't lift it's head once. We finally got a break, so we pulled along side and slipped her out the window. She jumped off his fist and immediately turned into a bullet. She dropped out of the window and just smoked the little bugger! I ran out and grabbed them, and we drove to an out of the way spot to take some hero shots. What was REALLY cool about this starling, is that it had a huge white spot on it's head. I havn't ever seen that before, and I thought it was pretty tight. Well, it was starting to get late, but we thought we would try and get a slip or two for Sayda. Drove around for a bit, but it was just too late for them. Roosting birds arn't hawkable, so I decided it was a good day to introduce her to pigeons. Up until this point, the only birds she has come into contact with where starlings, but being that she is showing tendancies to want to carry, I decided I needed to switch focus to pigeons for those fist few kills. Sayda showed ZERO hesitation as she pumped out the window and nailed the pigeon, and at 575 grams (or was it 570...I will have to look), she was acting the way she should have been. I approached and she didn't try and carry at all....GOOD BIRD! I wanted to reward that, so I offered her a tid bit, and she jumped right off the pigeon for it....BAD BIRD! Gonna need to stop doing that. She hopped back on it pretty quickly, and that's when it happened. My stupid a$$ knows she is footy little thing, and I KNOW she gets pretty amped up on kills. Well, I rushed her, and went in for the dispatch, and she nailed me HARD!!!!!! This footing made Dee Dee's stuff feel like love taps, and my hand was completely covered in blood by the time she let go (which took a cool minute). Stupid apprentice!!!!! All in all though, Ryan was pleased with her behavior (this is the first time Ryan has been pleased about ANYTHING related to Sayda in a cool minute...), and it was nice to get the "good job nod" from him (about the bird...NOT the footing incident...that he laughed about!). Fed her enough to put her at weight for our session today, and if the slips are happening, then I'm hoping for our first kill today. We have a BIG storm moving in, so if she scores, I will feed her up nicely, and aim to have a session on Friday....if not....I will feed her enough to put her at weight the next day, and we will do a hundred or so jump ups in the garage.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Saturday's Adventures


The day started out pretty gloomy. Had the rain held out, the plan was to meet up around ten or so, and we where going to get down on some serious hawkin. Well, the weather didn't want to cooperate, so we didn't end up getting to the field until around 1:30 or so. We had a big crew for this session...Ben and his family where in attendace, Tom, Kent, Jonathan, and of course...myself, where all in attendance, and some bunnies where gettin chased today. When we got there, an interested couple asked if they could come along, so being the accomidating people that we are, welcomed them along. We started out at one of Jonathan's fields, and let me just tell you....this field was rediculous!!!! I thought we already hawked in some pretty thick stuff, but this field was on a whole different level. The briars where all head high at least, and they where WIDE!!! Rabbits where found in great abundance, but they kept slipping away from the Shaung at the last minute. Eventually, we made it to the edge of the field running along the high way, and one of the rabbits made a bad move. Instead of cutting back through the briar patch, this rabbit thought the best course of action was to leave the thick cover, and shoot across the grassy mowed section. Shaung had been observing from high atop a bill board, and she dropped like a rock and slammed the rabbit into the ground. Squeels where heard, out of shape falconers where running, and there was much rejoicing from all. Jonathan let her eat a bit on the kill, and then he traded her off to the lure, but not before we clicked off a few hero shots. After that, we headed off to one of my fields to fly Kent's young bird. I decided it was a good day to try out the Rosa Parks field, and I was psyched that we could finally fly a bird in there. We took the scenic route to get there, but we FINALLY made it to the parking lot, and we headed off into the field. I'm not sure if it was the moist conditions or what, but we didn't manage NEAR as many rabbits as I normally do when I'm running the dog. Still though, we had a great session, and probably managed at least 8 or so slips. Hands down, Kent's bird flew harder than I have ever seen him fly. He only pulled up on maybe one slip, and the rest of them he crashed for pretty hard. He damn near caught three of those rabbits, and it blew my mind that he didn't end up scoring. Still though, it was a good day, and we ended the session with some feather reinforcement. I'm thinkin this bird is about to turn on, and then bunnies LOOK OUT! It's going to be sweet!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pretty good

video
Well, my predictions where off, and she was at 595 grams again. We did a moving baggie, and she did pretty good. Let her eat quite a bit on the ground, traded to a well garnished lure, and then hopped her to the fist for the rest of the starling. She will be nice and fat tommorow, and I'm going hawking with all the buddies. Going to try and hunt her on Sunday (I think), and hopefully we will get some nice, easy flights for her.

E-mail update

I will no longer be available on my work e-mail, but can always be reached on my yahoo account. All the best
-D-

First Free Flight!

Well we FINALLY got off the darn creance! It's about time...I know! Got home after work, and she weighed in at 595 grams. The plan was to do a few calls to the fist, and then fly her out of the car window. I was wanting to do it with the car moving, but yesterdays circumstances just wouldn't allow for it. Did a call or two to start out, and her response was just so so. She never tried to fly off or anything, but she didn't have that keyed in focus that we have been having (makes sense...she was QUITE a bit higher than we have been flying at...). Flipped the creance off of her, and did a few more flights across the yard. I didn't want to push my luck, so after that, we flew out of the window. I think she is starting to connect the game call with food, and when I started saying ho, she started looking around pretty intently. She saw the starling, and almost went after it immediately, but then she noticed the cat that was watching from across the street. She kept looking back and forth between the starling and the cat, but after a few moments, flew out and grabbed the starling. She missed on her initial slip...not really sure what happened, but then she flipped back really quickly and grabbed it. She is going to need to improve on her aim pretty quickly :). She was looking around pretty good, but I was able to approch without any carrying attempts. Let her calm down for a moment, and then I traded her off to the lure. I dragged her pretty close to the base of a tree, but I guess she still felt too exposed, b/c she dragged the lure the remaining five feet under it. Once there, she immediately started tearing at the lure, and when she was finished, I "hopped" her to the fist.....I say "hop", b/c it was pretty much the full distance of the yard. Yesterday sorta confirmed some behaviors that I have been noticing, but hadn't figured out the direct factors that contributed. I had been thinking that she is just REALLY darn nervous when she is out in the open, and just doesn't feel that secure without the cover of trees. This further confirmed my theory, and this is going to prove problamatic, being that most of our car hawking slips are going to be out in the open. I am going to have to get her REALLY solid on the whole situation in the next few days, b/c I DEF don't want to create a carrier. I will have to talk stratagy this afternoon, and I'm hoping for a great session today. After the session, we sat on the pole perch unhooded for the rest of the evening, and Sayda slept that way through the night. This morning, she weighed in at 607 grams, so that should put her around 585 grams or so this afternoon, and I think (if we have a great session), I'm going to feed her up pretty darn good afterwards....probably enough where we won't have a session on Saturday, and then MAYBE go hawkin for the first time on Sunday....I am going to have to call Ryan and talk game plan though.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I need to grow some!

Kent shot me a line early yesterday morning about doing a little hawkin, but it just didn't really seem like it was in the cards. Took the old lunch break, decided not to work Sayda (Complete side note...Sayda NOT ONLY means "fortunate" or "extremely lucky" in arabic....but it ALSO meants "huntress"....crazy coincidence huh!?!?!?) till later in the afternoon, and got back for "Beer Wednesday" around one. Killed a few brews in VERY short order, and then I got a call from my new buddy Tom. It didn't take more than "we should go hawkin sometimes soon" before I was out the door, and meetin up with him. We loaded his Peregrine up into the subi, and we where off to Bartlesville, and arrived around three or so. Kent was already in the field, and we joined in on the brush beating. He had already walked some of the areas to the south, so we decided to hit up "the" rose bush, but didn't manage a flush. It was decided that the rabbits had been hanging out in the more "open" area to the north, so we headed off through the field. Long story short....we had quite a few REALLY good slips, but his little guy just wasn't commited. He kept pulling up, and just didn't really commit to any of the slips. Looped through the back section, and he FINALLY started making some decent goes, and actaully decided that crashing for rabbits may be a good thing. Had a couple slips in a row where he just barely missed, and I think his new found motivation may have come from the approaching darkness, and he wanted something warm before the day drew to a close. No rabbits where scored though, and Kent had to go meet up with the "hay guy," so it was time to train some birds. Tom pulled his bird out, and did a short creance session with her. She is BEAUTIFUL, and I'm looking forward to seeing her slaughter some stuff one of these days. Sayda's turn to fly, and she was all business. Didn't try to fly off at all, completely focused, instant response....it was gooooooooood! I could have easily flown her free...but i just didn't. Tried giving her a starling out of the car window.. Unlike yesterday, when she hammered one from the same distance, she was really hesitant today, and it took some coaxing. There are a number of factors that could have been involved....first...the starling previously was in the back yard, and she is really comfortable back there. Second, being that this was the first time out of the car window, I should have done it a lot closer....she did 40 yards or so previously, but I should have pulled it in about ten or so (since it was a new spot, and a new situation). Also, there really wasn't much cover where I placed it, but she just didn't seem like she saw it in the beginning....probably should have made it blatently obvious for this first time out the window. Lastly, I just flew her on the starling the other day...no calls to the fist or anything, and yesterday....we did a lot of calls to the fist for quite a few tid bits. She may have gotten to many, or I may have brought her focus so much on me (combined with the tib bits), that she just didn't have the motivation to go grab it, when easy food has been coming from me. Over all though, it was a good session, and she has finally figured out the name of the game. Now that she has, I'm going to push her up a little bit in weight. Got home, it was time to work on the pole perch. Tied some meat and tirings on the top to keep her focused, and stuck her on there. Guess what!?!?!! She worked on that, and then sat there WITHOUT BATING for a good couple of hours. Maggie was eating all of the dropped food below the perch and she didn't even bat an eye at her. She ended up sleeping up there last night, and was happy as a lark when I hooded her back up this morning. SUCCESS!!!!! Still have a ways to go before we no longer have to walk on egg shells around her, but it is progress. Our first wild kill is so close I can taste it!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A little high

She was still high from the session the other day, but low enough where I wanted to do SOMTHING with her, so we did another starling. Unlike the other day when she needed to think about it, her response was instant. She made a 40 or 50 foot flight to it, and grabbed it by the head. She didn't try to carry this time, but she still did a lot of looking around (that made sense though, being that she was so high). Trade off was better than last time as well, and I hopped her to the fist for the head and a leg. Now that she is "sorta flying," her burn rate has adjusted, and I'm still keying it in, but I'm thinking she should be about five grams lower than our session the other day, and I plan on flying her in out out of the car window. I'm going to see if I can get my buddy to hold the "T' perch, and stick tid bits on it for me. That way I can stay in the car during that phase, and we can get a lot of back and forth calls between the two of us. We shall see how it goes. If she won't respond to his whistle though, then I will have to do it the slow way....hopefully everything will work out.