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Quote of the Week

September 2nd, 2009

Quote of the Week:

Overheard in a discussion about trapping Merlins:

“Pulling a Merlin out of the sky isn’t like calling a Red-Tail off of a pole!”

Reminds me of Han Solo talking to Luke Skywalker:

“Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, boy.”

This sounds like the words of an experienced falconer, one who has been trapping birds of prey for many years.¬† So often we get focused on the routine, the regular stuff that an apprentice and a master do during an apprenticeship. We trap Red-Tails, and after you’ve done it for a while, you know the routine, and it seems pretty easy. Easy enough to teach an apprentice how to do. Now, Trapping Merlins is a whole different ball-game. You need different equipment: a blind, dho-gaza trap or mist net, harnessed live bait, usually a bird. You need different terrain: preferably a beach along a migratory bird route. You need patience: *lots* of patience, as you wait for a bird to fly by and locate your bait. You need to maintain a hidden and quiet posture in your blind; once false move and the Merlin may spook and not see your lure bird. ¬†Someday, I hope to embark on a trapping adventure that involves a Merlin or other bird of prey that I have yet to interact with.
If you are into trapping different birds of prey, then you had better be prepared to use different tactics and read up on them.  For more information on Merlin trapping, you should read this trapping excerpt from M. Alan Jenkins. [link]


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