Friday, October 28, 2011


Got her going to the kite, and we are just trying to solidify the "hood off, head up" behavior. Once that's down solid, we will be able to start getting some serious height under this gal....I hope :-)! She has a really pleasant temperament so far, and I am really enjoying myself!!!

While I was finding pictures for this post, I came across the last picture of Parker and the hybrid. I had just gotten back from putting the kite in the air, and Parker was standing there with his arm out, telling the bird "up!" It made me smile.... -D-

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dog Transmitter From an Old Marshall RT

I have several old Marshall  RT transmitters lying around not being used.  Transmitters seem to be like computers in that they are outdated as soon as you use it the first time.  There is nothing wrong with the older Marshall RT's, however they do not have the power of the newer RT+ or Powermax, no magnetic on/off switch, and they have a very long antenna compared to newer models.  Rather than have these collecting dust I decided to make a pouch that goes on my dog's collar so I can at least use these to track my dog when I hit the grouse fields next month.

Lulu above sporting her new tracking device on the side of her SportDog e-collar. (click pictures to enlarge)

No set pattern was used, just made some rough measurements and cut out the parts I thought I would need.  I didn't post the measurements because they will change depending on the transmitter used and the collar that you would put it on.  

A couple of pieces of self stick velcro to keep the transmitter in the pouch.

The picture above is the basic shape with the transmitter inside.

Using a leather stitcher I sewed the velco, sides, and collar loop together.

Not the most pretty stitch job but I'm looking for function more than form in this case.  If I wanted more even stitches I could have used a stitch marker.

Only need to stitch down the top flap's velcro.

Open finished product.

Closed, everything fits snugly inside.

On the collar and ready to go.  


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Still busy, but Back

It's been a busy year leading up to this falconry season, but I've managed to squeeze in a few things....

Spent some time in the blind with my youngest daughter.

I think she saw one, "wait one more minute dad."

Turns out it was a dead cow....

If ya click on this picture you maybe able to see the Columbarius Merlin perched on a snag near the middle.  She had a large crop on her and unfortunately had little interest in bait we were offering.

My girls and I imprinted a Gyrkin this summer, as previously blogged about.

He liked watching his dinosaur ancestor.

Sorry cell phone picture, but here we are saying goodbye before he went back to the breeder.

And I've finally gotten my birds outta the chamber this past week.  Mongo, the Gyrfalcon, looks and acts about the same as he always has.

Tulsa, the Hybrid, is still a jerk and has lightened up in color some more.  I expect him to continue to get the job done this year.  Time to dust off the ol' kite, put new batteries in the transmitters, and whip these two into shape.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011's official!

It's hawking season people!!!!!! We finally made it! The weather is starting to cool off, friends are pulling birds, and I'm starting to get that kid on Christmas morning feeling :-). To top it all off, the prairie is doing unbelievably well, and I couldn't be happier with her right now! I have had the pleasure of hitting the field twice already this season, and I can already tell, this is going to end up being one of those epic years for sure. On the way back from my trapping weekend, I swung through Edmund and met up with Rob and the crew. Rob is now flying rainbow, and and she is looking all sorts of good in her big girl feathers. We took her out to go chase some rabbits, and were treated to some really nice flights. She ended up snagging a rabbit, as you can see from the photo, but the flight that sticks out in my mind the most, was the miss just before she scored. We were out hawking one of those guys favorite spots, and it's a nice open field, with a huge hill right in the middle. We were all kicking brush, heading up the side of that big hill, when a rabbit busted, and scooted off toward some mounds of dirt/rock/concrete, off to the side. The coop blasted off the fist, and coursed it for a good fifteen or twenty yards, before whipping down to try and seal the deal. The rabbit put on a nice move though, and she ended up with feet full of dirt. She got right back up after it though, and she kicked on the afterburners. She didn't end up putting that one in the bag, but being that we were all up on that hill looking down when the slip happened, we had perfect views of the flight! It must have gotten her amped up too, because like I said, the next rabbit kicked up, ended up going home in the game bag. We went and grabbed some food afterwards, and good times were had by all.

This past weekend, I met up with a gentleman named Dave, who is interested in falconry, and went went hawking with Jonathan. He trapped a new tail this season, and the little guy is doing really well! He has already put four or so rabbits in the bag, and we were hoping to add anther one to the head count that day. As you can tell from the first picture (smiles), he still wasn't quite ready to rock when we started out the session, but once we got going, it didn't take him long to get his head in the game. The rabbits were popping pretty well considering how early in the season it is (and how thick the brush still is....), and we were treated to some pretty nice flights. The bird didn't end up scoring unfortunately (other than a big fat wood rat), but it's pretty apparent that this bird is going to do REALLY well this season! Score, or no score, it was still just nice getting out to the field.

After the tail had gotten his exercise, it was time to fly the coop. Jonathan has been focusing on car hawking to get this bird going, and now that he is doing well, he is in the process of transitioning him to the field. They had hit the field for the first time the day before, but from what he was saying, you could tell the bird was still trying to figure out exactly what was expected of him, in this new situation. We went to a field that neither of us had flown before, and it was a pretty good one. There were quite a few birds in it, and we were able to consistently produce slips for him, with only minimal down time between. We kept the session short and sweet, and made sure that it ended on a good note. Hopefully that flipped the light on for him, and the two of them will be racking up the field score count in no time.

So ya, pretty darn good start to the season if you ask me :-). I have been flying the Prairie outside on the creance for the last few days at my house, and we have been having perfect response. We went to one of my training fields for the first time yesterday, and she made me proud.
I just have to tighten her up a little bit more, and we will be ready to start kiting! I can't stink in wait!!
So that's about it for me right now. Be well friends, and I will talk at you soon.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Oklahoma Passage Peregrine Take

I'm happy to report that Oklahoma has filled both of its passage Peregrine permits this year!  It has been a lot of work.  First to get passage take allowed and then even more work to retain our permits in Oklahoma due to a lot of pressure to give ours up to Texas by those who didn't think that it could be done away from a beach.

The falcons have to move across the country before they can hit those Texas beaches and lucky for us there are several locations in Oklahoma where fair numbers of Peregrines stop over on their trips south.  I'll be the first to admit though, that it is nowhere near as easy or glamorous trapping up here as would be on a coastal beach, but definitely can be done and we feel it can be done year after year as long as someone has the desire!

Photos courtesy of Mitch Wishson.  This bird couldn't have been trapped by a nicer guy or better falconer.