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Cedar’s Release

April 1st, 2017

Cedar’s Release

Today, I released my hunting partner back to the wild.  After five years of hunting for critters and walking through the woods together, it was her time to enjoy the natural world again. It was a bittersweet moment for us as we watched Cedar do her victory lap around the field before finding a safe perch in a pine tree for the evening.  I have no doubts that she will enjoy the wilderness once again and continue to be a survivor. 

 

Here’s the Video of Cedar leaving the glove for the last time. 

General Info ,

Summer 2016 Update

July 26th, 2016

Summer 2016 Update

As the summer draws to it’s peak heat indicies, my activity level with falconry is also reaching a zenith. This summer has been a time of change and growth on a personal level, as well as another challenge to my falconry career: getting ready for the next stage of falconry life. The next level for falconry for me comes at a time when change is a constant and being ready for the curveballs life throws at you becomes a mindset. All the preparation and readiness mindset in the world cannot prepare you for everything, but it can give you the ability to adapt better. Here’s a few things that I’m working on in preparation for ‘The Next Stage’.

 

New Mews

With time and resources both at a premium for me right now, it’s become a challenge to construct a new mews. I need a new mews for the next level, so I’m in the process of converting an existing shed into a mews. The next stage for me is the next bird. “What is the next bird?” is a fair question here, but truthfully, I don’t know. It will be a bird of opportunity and when the time comes. I believe that God has a way of working through others, and provides each of us with the right thing at the right time. So when the right bird is ready for me, she will find me, I just have to be ready for her. There’s no sense in going trapping for a new falconry partner if you don’t have all the amenities arranged.

 

Apprentice

For the first time in my falconry adventures, I am taking on an apprentice. At first blush, this seems like a simple thing to do, being a falconer of 7 years, and varying levels of experience. It’s about time I passed on all my falconry knowledge and skills, right? However, taking on an apprentice is not something I take lightly, nor would I want to undertake the training of a young falconer haphazardly. This experience is going to take additional focus and a re-examination of my own skills as a falconer AND a teacher. The teacher in me always strives to give my best to my students.

 

Hunting Companion – Small Munsterlander

I’m going to add a four-legged companion to the hunting party this year. With ‘Wink’ (old English Setter, beyond his years) out of commission for bird hunting, I’m adding a Small Munsterlander puppy to the team, ‘Kida’. This is another feat that is no small measure of consideration, but I’m getting some extraordinary assistance from my apprentice. The training of a great hunting dog is another undertaking that should be given the greatest consideration. The additional training as a falconry dog will be an extra change for Cedar, as she is not used to hunting with dogs in the field. This too shall take some adjustments. Great Teams were not formed in a day, so we are going to work together on training as a team in the hopes of having some great falconry adventures together in the coming season.

Administrative Duties

I continue to work hard for the falconry community in Michigan and continue to provide assistance in special areas as necessary for the betterment of the sport in the State of Michigan. This sometimes involves long meetings on Saturday mornings, but it’s with some terrific folks and the topic is captivating. The outcome of our team’s work will provide the falconry community in Michigan additional confidence in our partnership with the authorities.

General Info

Rolled Leather Anklets

June 22nd, 2016

Rolled Leather Anklets

I was introduced to rolled anklets the other day and worked out a pattern. The full templates are attached at the bottom of this post as a downloadable PDF.  The patterns are drawn to scale.

Raptor Anklet Patterns (Downloadable PDF)

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Outdoorama 2016

February 29th, 2016

Outdoorama 2016

Outdoorama has always been my favorite event for many reasons.  The Outdoorama show venue out in Novi is well done and has been a proven outdoorsman crowd pleaser for many years. I also got my first introduction to the Michigan Hawking Club at this event many years ago when I started out as an apprentice.  The educational fun is also a big plus with many folks stopping by the Hawk Club booth in order to check out our raptors and to learn more about falconry in Michigan. Many folks are surprised to learn that the sport of falconry is alive and well in the state of Michigan and that people actually practice falconry.

Education , ,

HawkFest 2015

September 20th, 2015

HawkFest 2015

This past weekend was the annual 2015 HawkFest at Lake Erie MetroPark in Brownstown Township, Michigan.  This annual event celebrates the migration of raptors from Canada as they cross the ‘land-bridge’ from Ontario to Michigan and continue their way to their winter resting grounds.   If the migration is timed correctly, and the weather is good, the migration of hundreds of thousands of hawks can be observed.  The weather this past Saturday was not the greatest for bird watching, raptor migrations, or outdoor nature events, but after the front cleared out the humidity and the rain, the afternoon turned out to be an enjoyable Saturday afternoon. The hawk flights picked up in the afternoon and raptors could be observed readily in the afternoon hours.  Several Osprey, Bald Eagles, and smaller accipiters could be observed from the main viewing area.  A small kettle of Broad-Winged Hawks formed over the nature center for a few brief minutes as nature enthusiasts looked on with binoculars.

A few club members, including myself spent time out in the trapping/banding blind catching Coopers Hawks and Sharp-shinned Hawks.  Each year, licensed bird banders trap, band, and collect measurements on the migrating raptors that traverse across the river to keep moving on from their northern territory.  The biggest migrating hawk by the numbers is  the Broad-Winged Hawk.  Members of the Michigan Hawking Club an other local nature organizations come to the HawkFest to share their love of raptors with others and enjoy all of nature’s gifts.  In addition, many members of the Michigan Hawking Club donate their time and expertise in Falconry to come to the event for the day to provide Hawk Talks to HawkFest attendees.

The picture below, taken by Krystal Hoag shows Cedar and myself presenting falconry lore to a few of the onlookers attending the event this past Saturday.  There were many folks who took in the celebration of raptor migration and on Sunday the Club Booth was well attended.  This is one of the tenants of the Michigan Hawking Club, to provide educational programs and ‘HawkTalks’  to interested attendees.

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