Monday, November 16, 2009

Specn' Out and Other Stuff

I had a couple more days of the Hybrid pulling feathers and knocking ducks down but nothing he held onto.  Today the weather changed and we had a real cold snap.  This morning the thermomator read 39 degrees but the wind made it feel colder.  We went through the normal routine and got the bird in the air while I began to approach the pond.  I saw my bird climbing into the wind and shifted my attention to the water making sure the ducks didn't flush early.  I had only taken my gaze off the falcon for a minute or so and when I looked to find his position before the flush and I could not find him in the sky.  Now I'm getting mad, here is the perfect set-up and this bird flies off on me.  So I get out the reciever to get his location and I have a equal signal all the way around me.  Automatically, I point the yagi up and the needle starts banging!  "So he didnt fly off he is just above me."  Now I'm looking all over straight up and just cannot find this guy.

Out come the binoculars.  I'm still looking all over above me and finally I think I see some movement as I'm scanning through the binos.  I lock on to the movement and it sure enough is my bird, but he's just barely even a wiggly spot up there.  I've kited birds at 2000' and I could still see them with my naked eye but this bird was almost out of sight through binoculars!  Definitely the highest one of my birds as ever gone.  So I make in for the flush.  The ducks leave the water cleanly and pretty soon I see the feathered missle hurtleing down, but by the time I see the falcon so had the ducks and they turned back to the pond just in time for the falcon to pull feathers out of a hen Mallard as she crash landed safely back into the water.  When the falcon turned to regain pitch the Mallards high tailed it out of there and quickly burned my bird into the wind.  He remounted as he came back overhead and there were still 1/2 dozen teal on the water. So I waited for him to be in position and flushed the teal, to which he didn't even dip a wing.  This is about the 3rd time he has refused to stoop teal, seems a little odd to me.  Called him down to the lure and he wasn't even breathing hard.  It was pretty amazing to have a bird dissappear in the sky that high up but really it was too much to effectively hunt ducks.   Guess I'm gonna have to rein him in a bit, never thought I'd have to say that with a falcon.

I also have been flying my jerkin again for the past few days.  He is still pretty weak after being in the mews for most of the summer and fall (I did fly him for a couple of weeks a month or two ago but it was just too hot).  I'll have him on the kite later this week and hopefully hunting a couple of weeks after the NAFA meet.

Jerkin on lure

Also my former apprentice, Kent made a pretty nice video from the Oklahoma Falconers Association's Field Meet last month.  It was held in Woodward (the location of the NAFA meet next week) and in conjunction with the Woodward outdoor expo.  I was not able to be there but I heard it was a good time.  Enjoy


Isaac said...

Great video, love the kestrel flight! We need more of those! ;-)

Josh Myers said...

awesome video! thanks to who ever made that!

Chris Kimble said...

Ryan, Im looking forward to seeing the video (cant look at it here at work). I enjoy your writings, you should post more often! Keep up the good work.