I am a woman falconer, enjoying the Great Outdoors with a hawk on my fist.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
This blog that I keep and maintain is an open-forum creation. It is an open-book journal of my adventures, and sometimes my observations, though I tend to keep many opinions to myself, as I don't want controversy out here. I'd like to think of it as a positive advertisement for falconry, and how it can be a good and rewarding past-time, hobby, obsession in our modern world. Most visitors probably came here because I invited them over, however sometimes I get visitors who just find me out on the Internet, as this blog is searchable. Ms. Motaki (not her real name) is just such a person who found me, and has become one of my more loyal readers.
We have corresponded for awhile now. She asks me questions about falconry specifically, and about wildlife and nature in general, and shares her thoughts and dreams and stories about animals, and hunting (she has been spending time in a deer blind, just wasn't successful this last season).
A member of the Minnesota Falconry community hosted a min-meet on Saturday, December 10, and having the day off, I thought it would be a good opportunity to go to the Cities and meet her, and show off my birds, but also let this young person see other falconers and their birds. We met up for breakfast, she and a guardian, Dean (which I insisted on . . . she is a young lady after all). She got to see two other falconers work their hawks over bunnies, with one in particular who has a very nice, very well-trained cattle dog. Sassy was also flown briefly (it was pretty cold) and she furred a bunny as it escaped down a hole, but otherwise was distracted by all the mice in the grass, of which she did not catch any. I wanted to fly Hit Girl on squirrels, so broke away from the rest of the club and went with Motaki and Dean to a woods that they knew of. I figured this was a good move as well, because I wanted her to experience a personal hunt without the distraction of the hoard of people that turned out for the meet. I still don't know quite how well Hit Girl would respond with so many people in the field, and didn't want to find out the hard way, with her flying off.
We relocated to the new woods, and Hit Girl got to business quick. She was roving with a bit of distance and speed, making me ever so slightly uncomfortable as we were not keeping up with her, blocked by some pretty thick patches of marsh cattails, and houses, but then she/we bumped a squirrel, and the race was on. My Goodness . . . but this girl is quick when she means business! The squirrel was moved around on the tree only very briefly, for a twist or two around the branch, before she grabbed it and was down on the ground with it. I think Dean saw the grab, but I'm not sure if Motaki did. Both got to see what happens at the ground level. Hit Girl was fed up on the good parts, and then finished with what I had in my pocket. We then went back to the cars for pictures.
Motaki is fascinated by falconry, and thinks she just might like to get into this. She'd like to do so now . . . I've cautioned that it might take time, perhaps many years, but it never hurts to start learning now. Above I let her hold Sassy, and showed her how we position them on the glove. We even flew Sassy a little more in this park, and I let Motaki call her to the fist a couple times. I think she is hooked! I know I would have been at her age . . . . and wish I could have met someone like me when I was 12.
It was nice putting a face to the pen pal who has been writing to me for a few months now. I'd also like to thank Dean for bringing her along for the day's adventures . . . . and to her mom for letting her come. The Cities are a bit of a hike, but I could come that way from time to time, so we will definitely keep in touch.
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.