Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sometimes it is just a Walk in the Woods

It can be easy sometimes, to forget to mention that what we do when we hawk, sometimes, is just downright cool.  I am focused on the goal of trying to locate and capture quarry, because that is what falconry is . . . the hunting of wild game with a trained raptor.  However, there are times when I am reminded that there is something almost spiritual when you are out in an open, wild area, the sky is clear, the air is cold, and the only sound is the scrunch of your boots in the snow, and the occasional sound of the bird's bells as it moves from tree to tree.

Today I took a walk in a marsh.  It is all frozen over at this time.  It was a nice walk, in which I was unsuccessful at finding any bunnies.  However, Bailey did find himself a mouse.  He is pretty good at finding them.  Not exciting . . . but it is high quality hawk food.  It was pretty cold, but very quickly the body warms up as you walk, and you don't notice it.  I came across tracks in the marsh that walked a similar path that I took, and poked at some of the same spots I was interested in poking at . . . looking to flush bunnies.  Perhaps another falconer has been in the area recently.  I wonder if he or she found any bunnies.  I did come across several couples out walking along the marsh path . . . and all are excited and interested to see the bird, and ask questions.

It is cool what we do.  I would prefer to also add catching quarry.  I've done this before, with previous hawks . . . so perhaps it is just my little mouse hawker to blame.  And maybe the bunnies are also scarce.  Whatever the reason . . . I'll still take him out as often as I can, and keep trying until the season is over.

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