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Trapping Success : Introducing ‘Sable’

September 20th, 2011

Trapping Success : Introducing ‘Sable’

My third trapping adventure started out on Sunday morning a little late, but I joined my sponsor for an early morning outing anyway.  We decided to drive East again, as it’s much easier to see birds out there. We checked out a few local east-facing woods before hitting the freeway.  We served once close to a ramp, but were unsuccessful at trapping that bird.  A few minutes later, we were back driving eastbound on M-59.  Trapping Hawks, much like hunting is mostly dependent upon being in the right place at the right time.  There is some skill in choosing weather, time of day, and location, but still the most deciding factor is luck.  I drove many back roads on Friday afternoon / evening, saw 12 Red-Tails and successfully trapped two of them.  Upon weigh-in, they didn’t quite meet the weight requirement, so I enjoyed setting them free once again after careful inspection and a light dusting of poultry dust.

Our next serve turned out to be a great trapping location off M-59.  We did a quick turn out to verify an Immature Bird, and after 2 seconds with the field glasses on her, I said “Immy – GO!”   There she was, sitting in the sun on a snag, facing east with a meadow/field under her to watch for tasty mice frolicking in the tall grass.  She was a big beautiful immy, and might have appeared so with the sun on her, puffing feathers out for maximum warmth.  We did a quick turn-around and looked for a good way to serve the trap. Luckily there was a dirt driveway that we turned into off the main road and we were able to serve out the window quickly and quietly as we bumped along the potholes. Amazingly enough, the immy didn’t bump and seemed quite tolerant of cars.   By the time we turned around, the bird was gone. Where did she go?  She had bolted from her perch and hit the trap hard. I raced up with a towel and noticed a large bird with tremendous feet; I covered her up quickly as she scurried to the best of her ability but failed to get away. I started shaking, getting hopeful for a big bird; her size was bigger than what I had trapped earlier in the weekend and the feet were noticeably bigger.  We quickly re-located her to the car to get the nooses off her talons as she was quite tangled up.  After taping her feet up, hooding and socking, she weighed in at 40 oz.  Perfect!

We drove around for another hour looking for more immys and found one on a back road and served the trap.  After ten minutes of no sign of movement, we picked up the trap and headed home for jessing and dressing. After trapping my second bird on a Sunday morning, I’m absolutely *convinced* 😉  that mornings are better trapping times.  You can find birds sitting comfy in the sun somewhere, still warming up and waking up, much like I have observed my previous birds in the mews. There is a window that faces east and they regularly would sit in that window and catch the early morning sun.

I named her Sable for no particular reason, I just liked the name.

** Please leave  a comment!  I’m interested in hearing other trapping stories either successful or ‘educational’.



Date: September 18th, 2011
Weight: 40 oz. / 1134g
Keel: Moderately sharp
Crop: full, ate meal recently
Trap: Hit quickly; by the time we had the car turned around, she was down off her perch.
Feet: Large, Dark, dirty; some scabs and injuries indicate possible squirrel attempts
After Dusting: No noticeable parasites or flat flies

First Time on the Glove

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  1. Sue
    September 20th, 2011 at 15:23 | #1

    Awesome Chris, she is coming along nicely. I have every hope she will be as tolerant, possibly more, than Tahoe, and she was a nicely manned as you could want. Cool days and hot hunting ahead.

  2. September 20th, 2011 at 18:55 | #2

    Congratulations! Good luck with her training!

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