Weight control had been difficult most of the week as the daily temperature rose into the 70s. Warm birds don't burn their calories as much. Also, I was housing them overnight in their boxes in the car. Certainly it was cold, but not too very cold, as a fed up bird in a confined space also radiates heat into it's small enclosure, making warmth, and reducing calorie consumption. I was determined on Friday that we would make a last, final strong push to increase our game take in Nebraska. I researched online some possible places to try and hunt, and headed to bed with plans on getting an early start. It was such an early start that Hit Girl was not even awake when I opened her box in the morning to check on her and weigh her.
Back at the meet hotel we met and invitations requested and granted for two other bunny whackers. These two are experienced falconers who were not flying birds. Donna Vorce is a Nebraska native, and her guest was an elder falconer, Bill MacBride from Pennsylvania. Bringing along two experienced falconers can always be just a little intimidating. They know what good falconry should look like. When flying with such people you hope your bird performs well, and has been managed to catch game. Management is what the game is all about! These birds come to us with natural instincts to hunt and kill, but must be healthy, fit and at the correct weight to give a good effort. Sassy is usually up to the task, but because of the warmth and her increased weight over the week had not given that good effort. I had high hopes on this day to correct that, and for her to contribute to our game count for the week.
We caravaned back up north to the location we had hunted earlier in the week. Connie Telford, to my immediate right, owns the land. Her daughter, Jessica is on the end with her red cap. Connie was able to go out with us earlier in the week and see Hit Girl fly, but on this day she was headed out to take care of her patients. She is a home care nurse. Jessica was able to stay with us, and we were welcomed to try and catch all the bunnies we could. OK Sassy . . . No Excuses! Let's get crackin!
Mark and Ellie in their natural habitat
2 hours ago