Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Almost a Three Squirrel Day and Bunny in the Tube

I have been able to enjoy a block of almost perfect falconry hunting days, weather wise. It has been in the high 20s and low 30s, with minimal wind. I have been off of work, and the birds are for the most part ready to go. Sassy has continued to be tough to manage weight wise, as I'm keeping her and Flint in a warm mew. Sassy holds onto her weight, whereas Flint burns right through his. Even high, she will hunt, but not with gusto. I think she had a bit of an appetite on our hunt at the farm as she did go after and catch her first squirrel for the year, but unfortunately she didn't hang onto her catch, as you can see in the video.

She was up the tree for a long enough amount of time that Rich could take a picture. She had the tree rat, but it only counts if they bring it to the bag. She would go on to chase another squirrel, but didn't seem to be trying too hard, so I called her down and let CC have a chance.
CC busted out with a vengeance. On her first few minutes in flight she brought her first squirrel to the ground in fine fashion. I would trade her off and continue to fly her, but she didn't try as hard after her initial success. It has been slow going with her health and then the weather, but Cha Ching is now starting to pay off her debt.
After the hunt she wanted more of her catch, even though I had given her a pretty good reward for her efforts. She brought in a fresh squirrel, and Rich did too, having hit one with his van on the way to the farm. If Sassy had held onto her, it would have been a Three Squirrel Day. Later Greg texted me in response to our success, and asked if I cropped Rich up on his kill. I said I just traded him off with a kiss. He's not too fond of raw squirrel.
The next day we went hunting again in a different Rochester area that I've not visited this year. The field would prove to be absolutely infested with mice. Sassy flew first, and she caught three of them very quickly. I removed them, or tried to, but she still ate chunks, which softened her resolve for bunnies. This was too bad, for I was able to observe and now demonstrate here in video a new tool I have heard about in the field. You carry a metal tape measure, and use it to spook out bunnies out of pipes in the field. Many of the places I hunt have just such junk that hide bunnies. It worked most handily at popping this bunny out. Fortunately for the bunny, Sassy just wasn't in a rabbit-chasing mode. After not trying on this slip, and completely ignoring a previous one, we put her away and got CC out.

CC was all business, and smacked her bunny no questions asked. This was #5 for bunnies for CC, and six total for the year. Sassy is at eight. It's not a great year, but it is picking up speed. We have one more month of hunting in Minnesota, and I may explore getting the permit to hunt the month of March in neighboring Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Meet is in just a little more than a week. I plan to go, but I don't think I'll bring a bird. It can still be fun to go visit friends and see them fly their birds.

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