Monday, April 16, 2012

Minnesota Falconers' Game Dinner

Saturday evening the members of the Minnesota Falconers Association came together for their annual game dinner.  For those who have the spare game available, there is a challenge to make and bring a dish which will be judged for originality and taste.  Not having a whole lot of game to spare, having two hungry hawks that are moulting (yes, they are both dropping feathers now) which will need that food this coming summer, I opted to just bring a dessert, but decorated with a hawking theme.  The chocolate cake hawk above made it to the dinner pretty much as created.  The lemon cake with chocolate bunny below melted in the warm afternoon, so looked like a blob when it arrived.  I stopped in Winona on my way to pick up Rich and bought one of the half price chocolate bunnies left over from Easter to take its place.  It was a fun set of cakes, and was eaten either way.
Rich was able to take the afternoon off, so was able to join me for the dinner.  I saw what he wore to work that morning, so went ahead and also wore my shirt from this past Wisconsin Falconers meet. 
Twins . . . arent' we cute together!
The dinner was held at the Carpenter Nature Center in Hastings, Minnesota.  It was a lot warmer and greener this year than how it appeared last year.  Still, many plants are growing and far from blooming.  I should come back sometime later in the season and see it all greened and blossomed up.
There is also lots of unique art and nature themed benches.  Here I'm threatening a squirrel . . . as my hawks can not do so any more for a few months.
I also invited my pen pal Motaki, her real first name being Willow, to come and meet up with us.  Her chaperon and ride to the dinner, Dean, who she and her mother live with, was able to be one of the judges for the game dinner, as they like to find someone who does not know anyone in the club, so can not be easily bribed.  The competition for the game dinner has gotten very intense over the last few years, so some members work very hard to bring something creative and tasty.
I pointed out a hawk carved into the bench, so Willow has a hawk on her fist, no gauntlet!  Wow, tough girl!
She's a nice young lady who is very interested in falconry.  I hoped to introduce her to a couple of people in the club, even though I don't know very many people in the club.  She lives in the Twin Cities area, so is available this upcoming hawking season to come out and beat the brush.  Anyone that would like to invite her, drop me a note and I'll get you both in contact with each other.

She did bring with her some leather work she has been practicing on.  She has made a nice lure, and is trying her hand at several hoods.  For my part, I gave her one of the best books I have had on Red Tailed hawks.  I recently purchased the updated copy of Liam J. McGranaghan's book on the subject.  It is updated, and in a hard back format.  I gave Motaki my old copy. 

It was a fun evening, and I did win one of the raffle items, the primary one that I was interested in, the fourth book by Harry McElroy, Desert Hawking IV: Quail.  Mr. McElroy is one of the foremost authorities on training and hunting Harris Hawks, as well as Aplomado Falcons.  I'm looking forward to reading the book.

It was a fun evening!  Now we settle into the long months of minimal hawking activity.  Sassy had another feather on the floor of her mews this morning.  Hit Girl is falling apart, with body feathers all over the mews.  It's all good!