I am a woman falconer, enjoying the Great Outdoors with a hawk on my fist.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Rich and I went to the Cities yesterday for some shopping, and picked up a pair of military surplus snow shoes. After figuring out how to put the straps on, we took em for a spin about the farm yard, where there is much deep snow and drifts. They did GREAT!! We will take them down to the park in town and fly the hawk, who is at weight, and see if the squirrels are out, or if we can find that bunny that has been hiding in the brush. I think we will be able to move a lot easier. Modern snow shoes can go anywhere from $100 to well into the $300 range. These were $40 a pair. Hopefully they will improve the hawking experience. I'll report back later.
It was a great hawking experience, even if we, again, brought nothing home to show for the hunting effort. We went to the park uptown, which has a LOT of snow, but with our new snow shoes, we just glided over the hills. The big shoes also work nice to stomp down brush. It is a little hard to work through the brush, and going backwards is really hard, but I floated on top of the snow, and didn't sink. As you can see above (though you can't see the snow shoes) I only have snow up to my ankle area, not up to my thighs. It was pleasant to not work so hard to simply walk. It was also a relatively warm day, for a Minnesota January (in the low 40s) so was a really nice day to be out and about flying the bird. See . . . no coat!
We didn't flush any bunnies, but the hawk did make a go at a single squirrel. There were several others out, and we tried to bring the bird's attention to them, but Bailey just doesn't get the concept of looking up. When I give the game call, he flies to the tree and looks down at me.
Above I'm showing off the shoes, pretending to about to squash the hawk . . . . but no fear . . . no hawks were squashed . . . just fed from the food in my pocket. Next week Rich and I will go back to Canton and try the tree farm. I know there are bunnies there, and now we should be able to move a lot easier. We are both going into a work weekend . . . so no hawk flying for a couple days.
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.