I am a woman falconer, enjoying the Great Outdoors with a hawk on my fist.
Saturday, December 19, 2015
On the coldest day so far this year, on which I went out with my birds, and which Wyvern was the highest weight so far I've flown her on, she took her first "legitimate" head of game, which makes her truly a falconry bird. I tried out a new location which did not have any bunnies, but we did find one single squirrel. Sassy started the chase, Wyvern got in on it. The squirrel made a break for it and jumped to a neighboring tree, then ran down and took off across the ground. Usually, when squirrels go to ground, Sassy almost never catches them. Today, Wyvern was hot on the tree rat, and arrived first to take down her first head of game. Sassy quickly joined her, and together they held it for me until I got there. For her part, Sassy got a bite on her toe.
What followed was a bit clumsy, as I was hunting by myself today. Once I got there and squirrel was dead, Wyvern respected Sassy's authority and jumped away from the squirrel. I gave Sassy a small reward and traded her off the squirrel, then hooded her and tied her to a tree branch. During this effort, Wyvern flew in and grabbed my right hand leather glove laying on the ground next to me, which she confuses with her lure, and flew off with it. Dang it!! I've been trying to be careful to not leave that out where she can get to it. I had to then chase her just a little, at a distance, as she just kept carrying my glove further and further away. Fortunately, I had a full and fluffy squirrel in my game bag. I swung that around and whistled. This caught her attention and she returned to me, to be rewarded and secured to my glove. After getting to eat the tasty parts of the squirrel (heart / lungs / liver) I hooded her and returned to pick up Sassy, and get back to my car.
As for the missing glove, which Wyvern flew some distance away with . . . I need a new one anyways! I didn't even try to go find it.
Both birds got a good foot washing when I got home. Sassy's bite was treated. Usually she's pretty good at controlling the squirrels. Maybe because she wasn't the one catching it today is why she got bit.
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.