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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 , , ,