Friday, September 6, 2013

Getting Ready . . . Getting Excited!

I'm 8 days out from leaving to New Mexico.  This will be a vacation, of sorts, as we will be getting away from our daily routine . . . however the goal of this vacation is to trap a wild, passage Harris Hawk.  As I begin to get ready (actually continue the process) I'm starting to get excited in anticipation of the journey.  I have enjoyed travel, and camping, but just have not done very much of it over the last year (having a house of your own will do that).  Rich and I have carved out 12 days to accomplish this goal.  This includes travel time.  It could happen quick . . . or it could be a nail-biting close call.  I'm hoping for the quick success.

Our initial goal will be Hobbs, New Mexico.  I have an Aunt who lives there and she is looking forward to our visit.  Our target trapping species, the wild Harris Hawk, is found in that area, and surrounding.  We will go there first, and trap around Hobbs, and then meet up sometime around Wednesday in Carlsbad with my falconry friend, Sharon, who lives in Albuquerque.  From there . . . it just depends on what happens.  We have an invite the following weekend to go to a balloon rally (Sharon is a balloon pilot).  I'd also like to loop down to El Paso if there is time, to show Rich where I grew up, and visit my mother's grave.  Returning home through the Mansfield area (DFW metro) to see my dad would also be nice, if time allows.

It will be quite a caravan!  Besides Rich and myself, I'm bringing my dog, Monty, because I don't have a pet sitter lined up, and really, lately he's been showing some signs of insecurity, so I think leaving him with a stranger would not be good for him.  I'm going to bring Sassy, as I want to use her as a living lure.  Wild Harris Hawks are attracted to their own kind, especially if they see a stranger in their territory.  The first place I plan to try to trap at is outside of Hobbs.  I've flown my own passage Harris Hawk there when I had him, and attracted the local birds.  I hope to do that again.  I'm also bringing a tank filled with trap rats, which will become hawk food once I've accomplished my goal.  Between us, our camping gear (we may camp a night or two along and during the trip), the dog, his kennel and stuff, the hawk, her giant hood and stuff, the trapping gear and giant hood for a new hawk, and the rats, it's going to be a pretty full mini-van.

Today I cut new anklets and jesses, sized for a male and a female Harris Hawk.  Fate will determine what comes home.  I also have a new bal-chatri, made with a noose design that Justin showed me . . . which is FANTASTIC!!  I even took it out for a test run last week, and it worked most excellently.  The passage red tail I tossed it under responded and was snagged in 30 seconds!  I hope it will work just as good with the target species I'll be after in New Mexico.

I can hardly wait . . . .

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