I am a woman falconer, enjoying the Great Outdoors with a hawk on my fist.
Friday, February 12, 2010
What a beautiful picture . . . don't you think? My little desert hawk is perfectly at home perching on cactus, watching for his favorite food . . . . fresh rodent . . . be it the snack-sized mice, or the meal-sized rats.
Usually when I'm hunting here in Texas, I'm much too busy kicking up the rat nests to bother with taking pictures. Finally, with the visit of my favorite Minnesotan, best "dog" and personal photographer and hunting documentarian I was able to get pictures of the action. Above is a very good demonstration of where Cimarron is while I'm kicking up the nests . . . . right in the action. Many times he's even in the way and I have to boot him aside a bit with my whacking stick.
On this outing we had the first rat in the bag within five minutes . . . so we pressed onward, ending with a triple. These pictures show clearly the challenge I face hunting here in the Big Country . . . . the cactus is well defended, and the gloves I'm using only nominally protect my hands. The chaps don't do a very good job either. I purchased some new gloves recently because I simply can't get out all the barbs in the old ones. I'm also coveting some new chaps that I've found at a local Western wear store . . . . but can't quite justify the expense of them. Not yet.
About an hour later there were three rats in the bag . . . and a very contented hawk. This brought our total for the year to 13 rats. The following day we worked a heck of a lot harder in a field that is right next to my house. Here we caught two mice, which quickly disappeared down the hawk's crop, and finally caught a very large rat. This brings the count to 14.
And here are a couple of short videos. It's hard to catch the actual chase and catch as that happens very, very quickly. Small hawks are fast hawks! Rich did catch the afterwards of two of the hunts. Please note all the cactus . . . . Yikes!
Falconry! Or more appropriately for me, Hawking! It is a passion, and a way of life. I happily pursue this sport, with the loving assistance of my husband. Come along with me for our adventures with the birds. Primarily we actively pursue it in the colder months . . . the rest of the time I try to make this blog as interesting as possible. Come let me share my stories, and feel free to contact me. I always enjoy talking about my obsession with this sport.