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Posts Tagged ‘Hunting’

Deer Camp 2015

November 18th, 2015

Deer Camp 2015

Deer Camp 2015 was quite the banner year for our annual deer camp crew. With a full crew of 9 hunters for the year, several were successful within the first two days.  These are some of the best days of fall, hunting out in the wilderness with just the birds and the deer to keep you company.  Of course, the camp fare is second to none as we all enjoy great meals.

 

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Winter Squirrel Hawking

December 29th, 2014

Winter Squirrel Hawking

The Christmas Holiday provided some additional field time this past weekend and on Saturday, Cedar was successful at catching her first fox squirrel this season. Be hunting in the afternoon started like any other as we traveled to one of our favorite hunting grounds near the house. I was doing my job dashing through the woods and shaking trees for squirrels. Cedar did her part and came over to a stand of trees where I noticed a squirrel jumped out of a nest. Cedar rang up in the tree and the Hawk versus squirrel chess match began. Cedar corner the squirrel in the crook of a tree and sat and waited until the squirrel made it’s next move. After about three minutes Cedar decided the game was over and took a swipe at the squirrel in the crook of the tree. Cedar made an aerial maneuver, locked her talons on the squirrel in combat as they tumbled down to the forest floor from canopy. I arrived at the crash site just-in-time to pry the squirrel off of Cedar in order to prevent injury to my hawk. I quickly dispatch the squirrel and Cedar earned her food reward.

 

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Thanksgiving Falconry

December 1st, 2014

Thanksgiving Falconry

Cedar, a morning profile

Cedar, a morning profile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Thanksgiving Holiday provided for some extra time out in the field this weekend with Cedar.  With the extra couple of days of family time, I was able to get Cedar out for some well-deserved field time. On Friday we went out for an hour in the morning for a good walk around the park. Cedar took a good couple of dives after some rabbits but came up empty.  Cedar was successful in catching a couple of mice and the hunt was cut short, as the hunger subsided and the desire to hunt seemed to fade a few minutes after the second mouse was caught.  This is typical for most red-tails that end up catching a few snacks out in the field.

On Saturday, we went back to the same field in the afternoon.  A little less exciting as we missed the first rabbit that bounded out of the shrub I kicked while Cedar scouted for the wily squirrels. An hour later, we were both done and the darkness was fast approaching.

Friday and Saturday hunts were unremarkable, but Sunday’s hunt was amazing. On Sunday afternoon, I went to another location slightly further away.  Before I had parked the car, I had spotted three fox squirrels in the grassy area next to the road.  This was going to be good, I thought to myself.  Cedar alighted into the trees next to the car and took off in the opposite direction I wanted to go.  Squirrel hunting style for Cedar changes as a ‘Hawk-led’ activity, rather than a ‘Falconer-led’ activity (those falconers know what I’m talking about). So she swooped and flapped and dove and crashed brush for over an hour after those squirrels, never landing one in the bag.  A rabbit kicked out of the low, thin cover in the most unexpected place in this field. Cedar barreled out of the trees after the rabbit but was unable to connect.

Our afternoon ended up with an empty game pouch, a tired hawk, and an amazed falconer.  I’ve never seen her work so hard during hunting.  She did catch a good size mouse as a snack and I rewarded her at home with a good meal when we returned from the field.

 

 

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Annual Bird Hunt 2014

October 30th, 2014

Annual Bird Hunt 2014

 Going Home Empty

We’ve been hunting the northern woods together as a family tradition for more than 25 years.   In all those years, there were many times where the weather didn’t cooperate, the timing of the season didn’t work out *just quite right* and yet we were always successful hunters.  This year, it would seem that the harsh winter of 2014 took it’s toll on the populations of Michigan game birds (ruffed grouse and woodcock) and took down many of the birds that we had hunted in past years.  We’ve scouted special hunting areas for years, changed up our tactics based on the weather, time of day, food and cover and ALWAYS found birds. After 25 years of hunting these ‘gooney-birds’ we expect to get better at our craft each year, and we are getting better each year.  This year, however, the birds were not in the same great habitat places in any numbers comparison to previous years.  A disappointment for the season for sure, but these things happen with severe winters.

A Preview of Things To Come

This picture is a preview of things to come if you have ever come across these marks in the forest.  The marks on the trees indicate that these are about to be harvested from the forest for some logging program.  While this saddens my heart to know that we are loosing some great grouse habitat, it will return in a few years time.  The transitional zones of the hardwood forest are always great grouse areas to hunt and it will only take 7-10 years for these areas to recover after logging.  Looks like it’s time to go scouting again along two-tracks for another hunting area for a couple of years.

Profile Picture Update


I’ve made this a tradition, if nothing more than a reason to keep my site up to date.  A fall hunting profile picture that best displays my current Red-Tail and myself in the fall evening.  I so enjoy hunting in the fall in the northern woods of Michigan.

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Squirrel Hawking with Cedar

December 30th, 2013

Squirrel Hawking with Cedar

Three days ago, Cedar had yet to catch a squirrel while out hunting in the woods.  In the last two days, she’s caught two squirrels and has the fine makings of an excellent squirrel hawk. I could not be happier with her performance in the last couple of days, as we’ve had opportunity to go out each day after Christmas to go hunting.  Cooperation from both the weather and vacation days, we are trying to fit in as much Hunting as we can before the weather turns colder this weekend.

On this day, we had some additional brush beaters in the field able to help with flushing rabbits and Terry provided some additional footage of our hunting excursion.  You can view the full set of pictures over on flickr.

* Photography courtesy of Terrance Robb

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