Posts Tagged ‘pointers’

Early November Hunting

November 6th, 2009

Early November Hunting


If anyone ever tells you that being the falconer is easy hunting, you would be hard-pressed to find any falconers who would agree with that.  This week I have been hunting some terrific woodland areas, areas that I would consider to be prime rabbit country.  There is everything there for them:  food, cover, housing, and water.  I have even observed rabbit sign all over the place.  Everything from holes, sitting places, dung, and even bark-gnawing.  However, in these meadow areas, I have yet to see a lagmorph in this prime country.  This is why it’s so frustrating when trying to enter a newly trained hawk on the desired quarry:   you can never guarantee the abundance or even appearance of the target game animal.

It’s been a tough couple of days trying to put some game under the hawk to test her hunting prowess.  More so just to ensure that Tahoe understands what we are out in the field for; hunting.   To find game and capture it is truly a challenge for even the most seasoned hunter, and is surely the sign of a great falconer.

Lessons Learned

  • Maintain Weight – it’s important to maintain the weight of your raptor, pay extra attention to the cold nights.  An extra mouse or two can make the difference between a responsive raptor and a sluggish one.
  • The Hawk is Hunting Too – the raptor is doing what it naturally knows how to do: Hunt.   Give her a little extra time to take in the surroundings, enjoy her perch, and watch for those prey opportunities.
  • Be Patient – the partnership starting to form will take time and practice to form into a well oiled machine.  Do not rush her from tree to tree.   Work around the area where she is perched, and then move on. She’ll follow along in all due time.
  • Walk Away – I’ve noticed that after a stoop into the grass, she becomes fixated on that area, knowing that there is a tasty morsel walking around somewhere in that tall grass.  Be ready to walk away and let her come up to a higher perch when she is ready. She’ll follow through the woods in time.
  • Reward the Higher Perches – this is tricky to do: you want the bird to take higher perches, but you don’t want to always call her  down from them.  Make sure you reward the desired behavior as soon as  possible during these early hunting expeditions.  That way, on future hunts, she’ll know what to do when game is near.

Happy Hunting and Hawk Training!

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