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Archive for the ‘Rabbit Hunting’ Category

Halloween Hunting

November 1st, 2016

Halloween Hunting

Happy Halloween!  The evening is full of tricks and treats.  Cedar’s first successful TRICK was to catch a rabbit on an afternoon hunt and the TREAT was to have him for dinner.  The whole team, Kelly, Kida, Cedar and myself went out for an afternoon hunt before all the spooky creatures came out in the evening.  We flushed the first rabbit within the first 10 minutes and Kida was hot on the trail.  She’s getting better at following along with the hunt and is definitely keyed into flushing game.  Cedar gave chase after the “HO-HO-HOOOAAAH!” game call but had to pull up due to the thick underbrush.

After exhausting the effort to flush him again, we moved on to another part of the forest.  The dog was on scent and Cedar flew ahead of the crew.  The rabbit flushed, and Cedar hit the brush hard and connected with the bunny!  After pulling Kida back so as not to crowd the hawk, we soon had a bunny in the bag!  A great coordinated effort by “Team Austringer!”

Bonus props to my lovely apprentice, Kelly, for the great assist out in the field and for the great photography!

 

Rabbit Hunting , , ,

Happy New Year 2016

January 4th, 2016

Happy New Year 2016

This past Sunday I had the pleasure of an all-you-can-hunt area with several other favorite personality falconers.  We started early in the morning to ensure a full day of falconry and time for everyone to fly.  The area was large enough for each hunt to take a new, and separate area of fresh hunting ground to kick out the bunnies and squirrels.

Cedar was the second hunt of the morning, and it’s always a challenge to hunt her when you change up the normal routine. Usually we hunt in the afternoon at close places around the house, and that provides for a good routine:  empty crop, no food for a day, and an urgency to hunt before the dark.  So, when we get up early and begin the hunt around 10:30 am, that tends to change up the routine that requires a little more patience.  Cedar was put up in a tree, and took several minutes to cough up her pellet from the previous day.  Raptors usually produce a casting several hours after their last meal, so in this case, she hadn’t cast yet from the previous day and needed to do so before hunting.  She usually takes a few minutes in her first tree before hunting anyway, but today it took *extra* time.

Once that nasty business was out of the way, she took to a higher perch and settled in again, but higher, and with a commanding view of the surrounding area. The first rabbit flush was a quick one, and due to her height, and the obstructing tree branches, she missed a quality slip.  With the additional people in the field, it was also possibility of confusion for her and missed where the action was. Not to be deterred, she moved up in the field ahead of the group and proceeded to await the next flush. The second flush was not too far afterwards, and she took a good swipe, but pulled up and took another perch out of sight. At this time, I’m thinking that the early morning routine is too unsettling and the additional folks in the field are too much for her. I pull out the lure to end the hunt once I found her another 50 yards away up in a tree.  I pulled out the lure right under her, and she wouldn’t come down.  She’s never refused the lure before, so this was perplexing.  She jumped from her branch and wasn’t coming in my direction.  She took a wing-over right into a bush and crashed the brush hard.  I was rewarded with the success sound of her connecting with a bunny.  I laughed at the disobedience for a second and immediately ran to give the assist on her capture. I quickly got a good picture and rewarded her for her efforts!

The remainder of the day was followed by two other successful hunts for the other falconers and we ended our afternoon with gratitude for our hosts for the day.

Hunting, Rabbit Hunting , , ,

Fall Hunting Success

November 29th, 2015

Fall Hunting Success

 

The warmer weather late this fall has been so far welcome from many Michiganders who have experienced some pretty good cold snaps over the past two winters, including additional snowfall.  These days are great for falconry and the small game hunting season.  The rabbits, squirrels, and even the mice are out in the fields, plenty active for a hunting raptor in search of it’s next meal.   When Cedar is out hunting, anything small, furry, and scurrying about are not safe in the woods.  Cedar is hunting really well this season and caught this rabbit 10 minutes into todays hunt.  The expanded brush-beating crew got the assist and enjoyed a good walk in the woods with Cedar.  I hope to have many more hunts together with my family!

Hunting, Rabbit Hunting

Cold-Days, January 2015

January 22nd, 2015

Cold-Days, January 2015

Our recent excursion out to the hunting grounds provided Cedar some success as she caught a rabbit in the thick underbrush this past weekend.  The cold snap in early January finally relented to a more moderate temperature for this time of the year.  The negative wind-chills and single digit temps make it difficult to hunt AND maintain weight for a falconry raptor.  So we’ve been staying in the house at night and eating up a little extra to combat the extreme wind-chills during the day.

I flushed this rabbit way ahead of Cedar and when I gave the game call, I was surprised to hear her flight over my shoulder so quickly. She stooped at the rabbit, only to have him hold in some thick, compacted stick pile.  Once she checked off, the rabbit must have flushed again, and continued through the snow. I found Cedar a few minutes later huddled under a log in an attempt to hide her prey.  She traded off for the lure easily enough and we finished up our hunt on a great note!

 

Rabbit Hunting