Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"Mr. Lonely" the Greater Prairie Chicken

Greater Prairie Chicken in Washington County that is all alone on the lek. So he took out his "frustrations" on the truck and us humans near by. Only 5 feet away from me a lot of the time. What a great experience for my kids and I. Could very likely be one of the last Prairie Chickens in Washington County, OK.....


Monday, April 8, 2013


Probably the best gift I have ever received! She is a 2012 Aplo my son named Izzy, that sort of had a slow get go, as far as her falconry career was concerned. She was pulled from the chamber around brancher age, and flown most of the season by a buddy of mine. After deciding that he just didn't live in the appropriate environment to fly one, along with the decision that Aplos just weren't the style of hawking he was looking for, he passed her along to me a couple months ago. She had been in the chamber for a cool minute when I received her, and we have been working pretty hard, on putting some muscle back on her (through hawking, and kiting). She had chased TONS of birds while he was hawking her as well, but since they only ended up putting a couple in the bag, building confidence and a head count, has also been high on our priority list. Anyways, we started out hitting the field, but her lack of condition, combined with the fact that we were chasing experienced "winter" birds (and she is in essence, and brand new baby, when it comes to catching game) ended up with her just getting owned in the sky. We ended up catching a sparrow, but it was pretty apparent that we weren't doing much for building confidence, by taking that route. We switched over to the "red shoulder" route that I took with Scooter, and have started into the process of creating a bird who thinks she is a bad @$$, through car hawking. This has been a trick in and of itself, and we have had to make a trip to the school of hard knocks, in order to get the concept across to her....the concept that when the hood comes off, we are out to KILL stuff (as opposed to flying around for a while, or half heartedly chasing stuff, with the end goal of getting called down and fed). Anyway, she held out on me until a week or so ago, but she is finally focused and hunting, and we have caught birds the last five times out. Some more birds in the bag, and once the routine and her behaviors are firmly established, I'll be able to start pushing her back up (thank goodness!), and eventually, will make it back to field hawking for good. For the time being though, the prairie is getting fresh birds, to help her moult along :-). -D-