I am a woman falconer, enjoying the Great Outdoors with a hawk on my fist.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
What does the title of "shirt sale" have to do with falconry? Well, not much, really! Except we were in La Crosse on Wednesday morning for a shirt sale at the La Crosse Center. Every year they have a big clearance on shirts that come from all kinds of places, and are sold at really good prices. If you just want to pick up a bunch of shirts to use, not for dressy, but just utilitarian, the sale is your place. We went to the sale with Rich's brother Brian, Sister Debbie, and niece, Laura. After the sale and lunch, we took the Girls hunting back home, because they were both ready to be flown. Sassy went first. There were some heavy trucks that were moving around a compost pile where we were at, and the woods were filled with a sickly sweet rotting plant smell. However there were still a couple of bunnies that had not been scared off, and we moved them around a little, scoring Sassy's #10 bunny in the end. We had pushed the woods back to where Rich had flushed one into the brush at the end. As I joined him I kicked it up one more time, and saw a really nice retreat by the bunny with Sassy following close, and scoring a catch. Very Pretty! This is the benefit of flying with a trained bird . . . you get to see the hunt up close.
My bloody girl . . . all cropped up!
Hit Girl went second, and quickly scored a little appetizer mouse at the beginning of the hunt. As we moved into the woods we did kick up a couple bunnies, but there was not much cover so they ran for the hills. As we moved deeper into the woods a small black squirrel was flushed, and the chase was on. It really was not much of a chase, and I have my doubts about the health of this squirrel. When brought to the bag his fur looked kinda shabby, and he died pretty quickly without much of a fight, although he didn't feel too skinny. When gutting him I noticed a large, unusual growth on his liver. I removed the entire liver instead of letting the bird have it. Not sure if this squirrel would have made it through winter on it's own or not. As is, it did get picked off . . . by a trained hawk. I don't often catch black squirrels. It seems a little smaller than the normal grey squirrel, but I'm sure will taste the same to the hawk. It was a good day hunting!
Thursday is my last day off from my vacation, then back to work. It's been a nice break, but I'm ready to get back to our normal routine now. The big 550 Million Lottery was drawn on Wednesday night, and neither Rich nor I had the winning numbers . . . so back to work on Friday for both of us!
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.