Out hunting

I’ve been taking Ogedei into the field at every opportunity I’ve had.  I took him out three times while we were on the road in Indiana.  Twice we hunted the field edge at my father-in-law’s machine shop.  There was 6″ of snow on the ground so I could see rabbit tracks, they came out 10-20′ before doubling back into the wood line and off of the property I could hunt.  There was only enough property to have him out for 30-45 minutes, but we made the most of it.

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Sarah’s family watching us in the field.
© Sarah Skvarla

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Calling Ogedei to the lure with a nice wing over.
© Sarah Skvarla

I also hunted him on a farm 45 minutes west of West Lafayette, IN.  That was a mistake.

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Weighing Ogedei in the field before trying to hunt.
© Sarah Skvarla

There were not trees around so I tried hunting him from a T-perch for the first time.  It was also windy, probably 30 mph or maybe a little more.  I took the giant hood across a field to a nice patch of briars and got him up on the perch, but as soon as he got into the wind he launched.  A few seconds later he was 200 yards away.  It looked like he was going to land on a telephone pole, and he did reach for it, but the wind blew him about past it.  I really didn’t know what to do and didn’t want to loose him so I ran after him swinging the lure.  He tried coming to it but didn’t make much progress with the wind.  After what seemed like an eternity, though it was probably only a few minutes, he finally made it back to the lure.  I started running backwards with him following for a few dozen yards before throwing the lure on the ground.  Lesson learned, don’t fly in such high winds, especially with no trees.

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Ogedei coming to the lure from a two hundred yards against the high winds.
© Sarah Skvarla

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On the lure on the fist.
© Sarah Skvarla

More of the photos Sarah took can be found on her blog.

After we got back to Arkansas I had to go back to work.  Which meant hunting on the weekends and whatever time  I can scrounge up in the morning.  The first weekend back we went to a series of fields a few miles away.  They’re next to a subdivision and I imagine will be turned into houses some day, but for right now they’re football-sized fields divided by 20-30′ swaths of trees and brush.  I beat the brush for 45 minutes and flushed one rabbit.  It bolted through the brush but after 20 minutes of beating I couldn’t reflush it.  We kept going and Ogedei caught his first live prey: a crayfish.  Not exactly what I was hoping for, but at least it was live prey.  He flew up into a tree and got stubborn after the crayfish so I called him to the lure and called it a day.

crayfish

Crayfish….? Seriously?

I couldn’t fly him that Sunday because the winds picked up to 25-30 mph.

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High enough winds to keep this giant flag flying.

I took a few hours off the next Thursday morning and took him to a small field near a baseball field.  I didn’t flush any bunnies and called it a day after 45 minutes.

Yesterday, Saturday, it was windy again, over 30 mph, so we didn’t go out.  Today I took him back out to where I found the rabbit last week for an hour and a half.  Ogedei followed along great for the first hour.  I flushed a rabbit but it was less than 10′ from it’s hole and Ogedei never had a chance at it.  He went after 5 micromammals but also missed all of them.  Ogedei didn’t follow along well for the last half an hour.  He watched as I beat the brush across the field but didn’t come over.  I called him to the lure and he came right away.

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Ogedei in a tree

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I can launch from here, right? It’s tall enough?

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1 Comment

Filed under Falconry

One response to “Out hunting

  1. Beautiful pictures, Michael, thanks for sharing.

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