Wednesday, November 27, 2013
On Tuesday, November 26 we did take my new friend Janelle out to tromp through some woods with Sassy. Janelle grew up just outside of Rochester, and knows lots of people with land. We were hunting in a wood lot owned by one of her neighbors. Inside the wood lot it was tolerable, once you got moving and got warmed up. Regardless of the multiple layers of clothing I was wearing, there was a substantial wind, especially felt outside of the wood lot, so we did not stay out in the open much. This temperature range is just about almost out of Sassy's tolerance level. However, she hadn't been flown for several days, and was game to try.
I'm wanting to limit posting some of the coverage we capture, as I don't want to leave 'fuel' out on the Internet for people who may be adverse to the killing of small game with a trained raptor. It is a blood sport, although what we are killing is food for the birds, and dispatched as quickly as I can. However, in the excitement of the moment I also tend to laugh at enjoyment of a fine gamehawk doing what their instincts and training direct them to do, and which I'm delighted to get to participate in. The laughing may sound like I'm enjoying the death of the small animal, which is not the reason at all.
We did kick up another bunny on our long way back to the car, but it escaped our efforts to catch it. Janelle had a good day out with us, and I've promised her that I'll be happy to go out hunting throughout the winter with her and her son. How could I possibly say 'no', when she will get me access to lots of new places to hunt.
Where is Wasp, you may ask! Well, it has been so terribly cold, I can't fly him. I can feel his shivering through my glove. I'm needing to explore other ways to hunt him. Perhaps some car hawking. Or I might just have to wait until we have warmer days, which now may not be until Spring. I'd like to explore his chasing bunnies. I did fly him last week, and he started to wander and not respond to the lure. We found him on the ground, shivering. It was just too cold for him, and I hope that is what was his distraction. Down in Texas, I got lucky and discovered packrats, which became our preferred quarry. I need to find an acceptable prey species for him, barring our very cold winters. I might have to make him more of a fall/spring bird, and maybe into summer if I can get him on birds. We certainly have plenty of starlings, house sparrows and pigeons.