Posts Tagged ‘rabbit’

Halloween Hunting

November 1st, 2016

Halloween Hunting

Happy Halloween!  The evening is full of tricks and treats.  Cedar’s first successful TRICK was to catch a rabbit on an afternoon hunt and the TREAT was to have him for dinner.  The whole team, Kelly, Kida, Cedar and myself went out for an afternoon hunt before all the spooky creatures came out in the evening.  We flushed the first rabbit within the first 10 minutes and Kida was hot on the trail.  She’s getting better at following along with the hunt and is definitely keyed into flushing game.  Cedar gave chase after the “HO-HO-HOOOAAAH!” game call but had to pull up due to the thick underbrush.

After exhausting the effort to flush him again, we moved on to another part of the forest.  The dog was on scent and Cedar flew ahead of the crew.  The rabbit flushed, and Cedar hit the brush hard and connected with the bunny!  After pulling Kida back so as not to crowd the hawk, we soon had a bunny in the bag!  A great coordinated effort by “Team Austringer!”

Bonus props to my lovely apprentice, Kelly, for the great assist out in the field and for the great photography!


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Christmas Vacation Hunting Adventures

January 3rd, 2011

Christmas Vacation Hunting Adventures

Christmas vacation is always a good time to spend with family
and friends to visit over the holidays. I also enjoyed getting
in a few extra hunts during the break. I was able to get out
to a favorite hunting area of mine, close to home and always had
rabbit sign present. It just took a long time for Tahoe
to nail one. I started out walking to the fence row across
the meadow, and held on to Tahoe so she could take just the right
perch. It seems that her first perch was too low, and she
found a high perch atop a dead-wood trunk. Excellent
placement. It turns out that the second brush pile, right
under the tall snag held a cottontail and he skittered out as soon
as I started crashing through. Tahoe stooped from her perch and
caught the rabbit in the brush. I quickly made in and the bunny was
in the bag! Here’s a quick snap of the rabbit under

On a second
adventure, we went hunting through a patch of Christmas Trees.
It was a beautiful day with the temperatures climbing and the
sunshine making for a very enjoyable day. The rabbit tracks
were plentiful in the trees, but they just weren’t out frolicking.
It wasn’t until we walked through a section of really
big pine trees that the hawks were able to score. My fellow
falconer’s Harris Hawk nailed the target and we didn’t leave empty
handed. A few days later I walked through another old favorite
hunting area that always holds rabbits. Lots of sign and lots of
brush piles to hold the critters. Turns out that the warm weather
just wasn’t conducive to frolicking rabbits again. Tahoe was
able to score a few voles during the course of the hunt and after
the second one, we headed back to the truck for the conclusion to a
fine afternoon of hunting. It was just a great day to be out and
walk around the park watching my hunting hawk fly. It’s not
the amount of game, but just the experience of hunting with a bird
that makes for a satisfying afternoon.

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Success! Tahoe’s First Wild Kill

December 31st, 2009

The First Wild Kill

It took three months from trapping her, but Tahoe was finally successful out in the field today.  She caught her first rabbit and made her first wild kill as a falconry bird!  Marius came along today for a nice walk in the snow, as well as Sue. We were walking a short brush-line with some trees, and Tahoe was following along well. She stayed overhead, and didn’t stay much more than 25 yards behind before moving to a new perch.  I was very happy with her following ability today.  About 15 minutes into hunt, Tahoe launched herself from her high perch and flew past me and took a slicing flight through some brush and nailed her target.

I quickly caught up to her landing site, and helped her with the rabbit.  With this being her first kill, the interaction had to be positive. She did not bristle, and she did not give me any trouble with the trade off.  It was a good learning experience for both of us.

We walked through another section of the hunting ground for another 45 minutes in the hope of scaring up another bunny.  We chased one through another section of brush, and Tahoe saw it and took a short flight before checking off and finding a high perch.  I was not able to flush that bunny again, but Tahoe was flying well and the day was a good hunt.

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Late November Hunting

December 1st, 2009

Late November Hunting

With another deer hunting season over, it’s been a strange season this year.  Many folks I’ve talked to about their deer hunting adventures seem to indicate similar success, or rather, the lack of it.  With this month being warmer than previous years, and the weather being relatively pleasant for November, deer hunting success is down this year comparatively to other years. Some hunters even noticed the lack of deer hunters this year in regular hunting places where they tended to be in past years.  It appears the economy is taking it’s tool on outdoor recreation too. I know I saw deer over the course of my deer camp experience, but there were not that were target-able for me.

Squirrel Chase

The Thanksgiving Holiday was filled with good food and good family.  It was great to visit with folks and enjoy the kids and even celebrate Merrick’s birthday.  A great Thanksgiving! I was lucky enough to have some time to get out and take Marius for a walk in the woods.  I found a local place where we were lucky enough to chase two squirrels through the tall timbers.  The first one that I saw was a Fox Squirrel that was high in a cottonwood tree.  At about 40 ft up in the tree, he scampered across a few branches.  Tahoe didn’t see it because she was only perched about 15 ft up in a small tree.  I tried to get it to move down, but it found a home somewhere in the treetop, and we didn’t see that one again.

A few moments later, a Grey Squirrel popped out from a tree trunk and dashed along some big branches high up. Again, Tahoe was only perched about 12 ft up in a tree, but she was at least looking up this time. It took a few minutes, but the squirrel came down the tree trunk and took a few hops along the ground.  Tahoe simply watched until she was ready.  When the squirrel attempted to climb another tree, that’s when Tahoe launched herself from her perch and took a swipe at the squirrel as it tried to climb up the tree.

Rabbit Sign

Sunday was another good afternoon to get out while the weather cooperated. Marius, Tahoe and I went out in the afternoon right after lunch to fit in a short hunt while it was still dry.  I missed the forecast for rain, but it wasn’t a steady rain. It was like a water spigot; on and then off.  It did that for a little while until it got more steady and we had to call it an afternoon. In the meantime, we were able to get a bunny going with Tahoe taking a good flight from a high tree perch after the flushed bunny.  The rabbit dashed through some thick briars, but Tahoe was very interested in where that rabbit went.  I called Marius over to take a position on the trail, and then I moved in to flush again.  The rabbit took off to the south, and Tahoe was after it again.  With all the good hiding places, it was no surprise that the rabbit disappeared again.  I rewarded Tahoe’s pursuit, and put her back up in the tree in a higher perch.  She was in a great position for the next flush, which I anticipated pretty well, considering the brush piles and briar patches in sight.  The bunny flushed out and away from me and Tahoe, she saw it quickly, and took a dive after it, missing it just by a hare.  I beat brush for another 10 minutes without success. By this time, the rain has developed into a steady shower, and it was time to call it an afternoon.

Lessons Learned:

  • Keep Flushing! – If the bunny doesn’t find a hole, you have a good chance of getting it out into the open again.
  • Hawk Eyes have it – Tahoe can see quite a distance and pick up on things even when you think she can’t. I was pleasantly surprised that she saw the bunny the first time it flushed, as it was quite a distance from her perch.

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