I am a woman falconer, enjoying the Great Outdoors with a hawk on my fist.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Rich and I got out today to Rochester, and met up with a couple of artist friends for some hawkin. At the end of the day I had two hawks returned to their boxes, and two squirrels. A really good day! Rich is holding Sassy away from Hit Girl, as Sassy doesn't take a hood (I should work on that) but also I'm holding the squirrels back so she doesn't see them and want more, even though she had already been cropped up.
After lunch we found a place to fly Hit Girl. We tried a new spot that I've seen but never tried. We didn't get very far into the patch, with my big red tail laying into a couple of tree rats. They had some pretty good trees, thick, branchy, but no holes to duck into. Hit Girl pressured them hard for about 20 minutes, getting a lot of really good exercise, and some stunning strikes and misses. If I could offer her some ibuprofen tonight, she'd probably accept it if she could, as I suspect she could be sore from the hits she took on her dives through the branches. I was just about to call it quits and let those squirrels off the hook, and move on, when she made a last dive and scrape, knocking the squirrel off the branch, but following closely and sealing the deal on the ground. So her 5th squirrel was brought to the bag.
Here I'm posing with our hunting party today. Foxfeather is on my right (yes, that is her REAL name), and Amber on my left. Both are artists, and their work often incorporates their photography. They also took pictures, so I hope in the future to get to post a couple.
I had to include the above picture . . . Amber is getting wing whapped. There has been a lot of wing whapping going on this year . . . usually directed at me.
We then moved to a different location to fly Sassy. I was focusing on rabbits for her, but she had other plans. No bunnies were found, but she initially chased one squirrel, and then after it escaped, moved off to another part of the park we were in, and flushed a nest of them at the top of an evergreen. She caught one, but was stuck at the top holding her prize. She must have pierced it with her razor-sharp talons, because it died pretty quick. She then had to work herself free, and fall to the ground. I think the above picture was caught as she was on her way down . . . . bounce, bounce, bonk, whap. She might like some ibuprofen tonight too . . . if only they could swallow one.
This makes 2 squirrels and 3 bunnies for Sassy . . . . and 5 squirrels for Hit Girl. These girls are HOT!!
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.