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Posts Tagged ‘Michigan Hawking Club’

December West-Side Field Meet 2011

December 12th, 2011

MHC West Side Falconry Meet, December 2011

Intro

The West-Side (of the state of Michigan) Field Meet took place this past weekend near Grand Rapids.   It was a great day full of hunting and adventure for those folks who came out to brave the cold and elements that go with hawking in cold weather.  Several falconers even stayed the afternoon to put on a ‘Hawk-Talk’ for the boy scout troop who came to the center to participate in earning an animal encounter badge.

First Hunt: Rabbits with Jaeger

The first hunt of the day took place close to the center with Jaeger, an adult male red-tailed hawk. There were five flushes in a lowland bowl area that had a small stream running through it to make things interesting.  Jaeger passed up all the slips for whatever reason.  Figuring out the hawks and their optimal hunting conditions is difficult for even the most seasoned falconers.  Jaeger’s typical hunting hour is late in the afternoon. Couple the additional brush-beaters in the field, the early AM hunt time, as well as the early morning cold temps, and well, it can make things unpredictable.  I’m always happy when I at least see game and get the hawk out for a few flights.  The hunting team gave it a good try.

Second Hunt: Falcon Flight

Falcons require large, wide-open areas in order to hunt their winged prey.  It takes them some time to get up to a reasonable height in order to stoop on their quarry. So, as the falconer narrated the orchestration of the hunt, the observers got colder and colder.  With the thin air, getting to an ideal height was difficult for the falcon to get up to it’s normal height of around 300ft. for a good stoop. So, the group of hopeful falconers and hawkers waited patiently until the falcon reached a decent pitch for the show. This late afternoon hunt involved a lot of standing around and waiting while the cold breeze chewed on your cheeks. Once the tiercel falcon (the male) reached a decent height, the falconer served up a pheasant for the tiercel and he barreled out of the sky and blasted the pheasant for a ‘bind’ and held on to the pheasant until they hit the ground. It was quite the sight to behold, especially if you haven’t seen it before. The falconer explained afterwards about eating and food rewards while the falcon plumed it’s meal and ate a good serving.

Third Hunt, Rabbits with Indie

From the Falcon flight, a good portion of the group drove over to small wooded area with some drainage moving through it for another rabbit hunt.  Indie was first out of the box and had a large group beating brush to provide several good flushes.  Indie took two good swipes at the first couple of rabbits and flew far ahead of the group.  There was a good brush pile near, so we flushed some additional bunnies which she also took a dive at.  On one of the stoops, she pulled some fur before the rabbit escaped into a near-by warren.  Some days, that’s the way it goes.

Fourth Hunt, Rabbits with Sable

After Indie was done, we took out Sable for a flight at some bunnies.  The group walked to a field and flushed one rabbit quickly for Sable to give chase.  She perched really low in the brush and had a hard time coming back to the glove, or taking a higher perch.  So, I moved sable over to another perch and the group walked a field to flush game.  After coming up empty, Sable moved to another area, where the brush-beating group was moving towards.   A rabbit flushed and Sable gave a dive after it, if even half-heartedly.  The remainder of the hunt, Sable seemed unresponsive and wasn’t following well, so I called an end to the hunt and the group made it’s way back to the center to regroup.

Great Day of Hawking and Hunting

Hunting is an experience that most hunters *I know* simply enjoy the experience of being outside in nature and interacting with the wildlife and the elements.  Hawkers and Falconers take this up a notch by participating in the hunt with their birds and being a partner. Falconers live for the partnership with thier animals.  Today was no exception for several falconers who participated in the hawk-talk for the boy scouts during the afternoon.  I personally enjoy any opportunity to educate folks on the sport of falconry or raptor biology/ecology in general.

The hunting and game opportunities were very good, even if I was not witness to a successful catch today.  Just being outdoors and providing the opportunities for these raptors is a decent reward for the falconer.  The educational exeperience I was able to provide for some young outdoors people was rewarding as well.  I truly had a great day and am thankful to be able to participate with several other seasoned falconers. Thier insight, experience, and knowledge is one of the main reasons I attend these field meets, so as to soak up and learn every little tid-bit of knowledge that I can. I continue to learn something new each time, with each new hunting excursion and falconer.   I am truly grateful for their kindness and experiences.

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Injured Bald Eagle Rescued

March 14th, 2011

Injured Bald Eagle Rescued

Photo courtesy of mlive.com

* Photo Courtesy of MLive.com

Here a link to an article about an injured Bald Eagle that was captured with the help of members of the Michigan Hawking Club.  News Article

There is also a follow up article about the DNR catching the guy that shot the Eagle.

This is great awareness for conservation efforts that go on around us.  Eagles are protected species and it is due to that legislation that the Eagle numbers are increasing around the state.  It’s so wonderful to see Bald Eagles  more often in Michigan.  Way to go, Michigan Falconers who helped rescue the Eagle and continue to foster it’s rehabilitation and nurse it back to health.

 

Cheers!

 

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Field Meet 2011

February 6th, 2011

MHC Field Meet 2011
Michigan Hawking Club Logi

Earlier this month, the Michigan Hawking Club held their annual field meet in DeWitt, Michigan.  While this was the central location for the club’s activities, the real fun happened out in the fields and surrounding area (Lansing, St.Johns, etc.).  I was able to get out into the field for a better part of the morning with some other falconers and we had some good results.  Our Morning provided two slips for another falconer, with a third slip successful on a rabbit. At least there was one successful hunter for the morning!  My morning with Tahoe was slightly troublesome, getting her out in the open field with more additional falconers was distracting for her.

The afternoon was the usual fun and hawk-talk with folks back at the community center for a great evening meal, along with the fun of the auctions.  Lots of great falconry items that went to a good cause.  Hope to see you at our next falconry field meet or club event!

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Michigan Hawking Club 2011 Field Meet

January 8th, 2011

Michigan Hawking Club 2011 Field Meet

Hi Folks! I thought I’d drop this note early for folks who like to plan things in advance. The Michigan Hawking Club 2011 Field Meet is scheduled for Saturday February 5th, 2011 in DeWitt, Michigan (that’s north of Lansing slightly). Here is the link to the official event page on the MHC Club Site. This is the Michigan Hawking Club’s premier public event of the year which encourages people who are interested in hawking and falconry to come join Michigan Falconers on a day of hunting and outdoor fun! Last year’s event was a great success as we had a great turnout and the facilities were first rate! We look forward to another great day of falconry and hawk talk with the raptor community of Michigan. Hope to see you there!

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Want to Learn More About Falconry?

September 9th, 2010

Want to learn more about falconry?

The late summer and early fall offers several falconry education events at local Michigan Outdoor Expos and hunting fairs.  The Michigan Hawking Club, as part of it’s commitment to falconry, conservation, and education, participates with several Michigan Outdoor Expos.  It’s a great opportunity for the falconry community to educate folks on the conservation efforts that falconers and other raptor enthusiasts contribute to during the course of the year.  It is also a great time for public folks to get an up-close and personal view of the birds that falconers use for falconry. Falconers from all over the state come and talk to folks about the ecology of raptors, the sport of falconry, and share outdoor adventure experiences.

This coming weekend is the first of such events at the Woods-N-Water Outdoor Weekend in Imlay City, Michigan.  The Michigan Hawking Club will have a tent for falconry discussions on Sunday only. Tahoe and I will be there talking to folks about falconry. I’ll be doing all the talking 🙂

Listed below are the fall events where the Michigan Hawking Club has a tent display where are experienced falconers talk with folks who have questions about raptors, falconry, and hawking in general.

Links to the Events:
Woods-n-Water Outdoor Weekend, Imlay City, MI
HawkFest, Lake Erie Metropark, Rockwood, MI
CraneFest, Bellevue, MI

Hope to see you there!

-ChrisM

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