Monday, February 25, 2013

Hawking at Brandons

On Saturday Greg and I went hawking on the property of Brandon.  He has a friend who is a photographer.  All these pictures were taken by Jessi Kinserdahl-Hill.  Thank you Jessi for letting me post some of your pictures on my blog.
She arrived after we had already been flying Hit Girl for about an hour, so we were headed up towards the house to call it a day.  Hit Girl did have a couple squirrels to chase, but her weight was not exactly on, being just a little high, so she didn't chase as hard as she could have if she had been about 20 grams lighter.  Still, she made a pretty good effort at the bunnies near the house.  However, we had already moved them around a bit for Sassy, so they were on guard.

In the end I just brough Hit Girl down to the lure.

These were some nice pictures of that, catching her in flight.
She's a big girl, and has been a GREAT game hawk.  I am, however, decided that I will be releasing her at the end of the season.  Once the hunting is closed, I'll fatten her up for about a month or so, and then give her freedom back to her, probably in late April to early May, when the snow should all be gone, and young critters easier to find.
She is hard on her feathers in the mews.  Last year she had a couple of broken primaries.  This year they are just tipped at the end.  I'm not sure why this is happening . . . but it is either way.  I think she bounces around her mews quite a bit during the daytime.  Next year I will be training Greg, so I think it would be good to train a new bird myself while mentoring him through the process . . . to make sure I don't forget anything.  It's easier to remember when you go through it again yourself.
Sassy was also along for the day, but she had already been hunted, prior to both Brandon and Jessi arriving, catching the 40th critter of the season, not including mice, of which both girls have caught multiple of.  This is the best I've done in a season, and there is still time to add a few more to the game freezer.

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