Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fuzzy Shoes

There has not been much of excitement to report as far as my falconry activities. I've been getting Bailey out every couple days, when work doesn't interfere. On the last three trips out all we have to show at the end of the hunt . . . is a mouse in the crop. Last week Rich and I drove towards Rochester, and ended up in Byron. I found a really good stretch along a RR track that was loaded with bunnies. We had lots of flushes, and lots of stoops, and one bunny squeak, but no catches. The brush is still very thick, and my bird is inexperienced. The area around Rochester looks good for many potential hunting sites, it's just that it is a long drive away!! The last two times out we focused on places closer to home. Again, the same frustration as last year . . . finding appropriate places to hunt. By all accounts, Bailey is doing his job, following pretty good, and coming when I call . . . I just need to get better at flushing game for him. On a different note . . . . and somewhat funny as far as I'm concerned . . . I learned to never, never go out to the mews to get my bird wearing my fuzzy lambswool slippers. I stepped into his mews the other day to pick him up and bring him inside to be weighed and gotten ready to go hunting. He flew at my feet and started to attack what looked like a bunny to him. I got a few scratches on my ankle before I could grab him, and then kick off the slippers outside. It may have hurt, but I thought it was funny, giggling all the way back to the house, my ankle oozing blood. The only other items of interest . . . . Richard helped me to make a new perch inside the mews. This one is a fresh wood branch, harvested direct from a mature tree growing on a farm near here. We saw the branch, and came back to finish yanking it down. It took Rich about an hour of pulling on a rope looped over a low branch to finally break it free . . . some very tough wood . . . black walnut I think. I'm also testing out a technique to help re-sharpen talons. Bailey lost his very sharp needles in his new life, and going through the training. I'm trying to get them back. I had read soaking the feet in water helps to soften the scales that will then flake off, returning the talons to sharpness. I'll report later if it works. Above Bailey watches and is impatient with me as I re-tied my boot and snapped up my chaps. A new "firehose material" set of bibs came in the mail yesterday (Thanks Rich). I'll try those on for the next hunt.

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