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.
I also hunted him on a farm 45 minutes west of West Lafayette, IN. That was a mistake.
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.
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.
I couldn’t fly him that Sunday because the winds picked up to 25-30 mph.
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.