I am a woman falconer, enjoying the Great Outdoors with a hawk on my fist.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Honoring of the Quarry and Meet Wrapup
In the early evening of the final day of the NAFA meet a special ceremony was arranged, and would be performed by Thomas Richter, who is a delegate from Germany for the International Association of Falconry. It is a practice in Germany, after a hunt, to honor the quarry that has been hunted. This is usually done as a moment of silent contemplation while a skilled hornsman plays a specific melody for each kind of game species that had been taken. Earlier in the day the site was prepared with evergreen boughs, with torches marking the four corners. Some falconers provided a representative game species to be placed in the center of the green field. I brought one of the bunnies my hawks had caught. A jackrabbit was also provided, as well as a duck and a pheasant. We were cautioned to make sure to not step over and beyond the lineup of the quarry caught, or we would be in danger of having to buy the beer for everyone in attendance, for the entire night. This being the evening of the closing banquet, all were careful where they placed their feet.
Representative Richter, above, explained the ceremony, and performed it. The music was from a recording as a skilled hornsman was not in attendance. Those who could were asked to bring their hawks. I truly hoped that someone would record the ceremony (there were some people doing that) and that I could locate and link to it at a future time. Richard participated with me. These pictures are grainy as despite the white sky here, it was quite dark.
These two pictures here are of the same shot, but I find the Harris Hawk photo-bombing below to be humorous!
Rich and I posed by ourselves before packing everything up and getting to our room to clean up for the closing banquet.
The banquet was the usual banquet fare. A good meal was had, and then guest speakers and recognition given to people who have done outstanding things over the past year for NAFA. At the end of the evening was the final raffle. There were many wonderful items to be had, but most were in the $5 raffle ticket category. I bit the bullet and bought $60 worth of tickets, spreading them out among items that I'd like to have. There were some very nice binoculars. However, I was most delighted and surprised to have won the items below.
These books will probably warrant a blog post all of their own. It is a collection of six of the books written by Fran Hamerstrom, as well as a biography of her life and of her husband Frederick. They were influential, inspirational and conservation pioneers in Wisconsin in the 20th Century. They both studied under Aldo Leopold. Fran, among her many accomplishments, was a falconer. I know I have already read a couple of her books. Two of the books in this collection are signed by her. The biography is signed by the author. Holding the collection together is a set of bookends cast from the front paw of the first grizzly bear trapped in Yellowstone by John and Frank Craighead (well known in the falconry community). This wonderful collection was donated jointly by John Dahlke of the Wyoming Wildlife Consultants LLC and Lance Craighead of the Craighead Institute. Soon, very soon I shall write a personal thank you to each gentlemen for their kind donation to the NAFA meet raffle. I feel very fortunate to have won this raffle prize, and shall treasure the collection.
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.