The closest fields and forests I can hunt are a 30-45 minute drive, so I usually can only hunt on the weekends. This was the second weekend I had Jebe free flying. She seemed to act much better this week flying between 770-785 g. Saturday she followed along the edge of a field as I beat the grass, then moved between the little islands of brush as I started whacking them. She made two attempts at a woodrat, but missed both.
After hunting for around an hour I finally flushed a rabbit and she made a short chase but came up short. The rabbit ducked through some thick, close-set samplings she obviously didn’t think she could crash through. A squirrel hunter had heard my whistles and came to investigate. He saw Jebe’s flight at the rabbit and I invited him to help me beat the brush and reflush it. He thought that was great and jumped in. As we walked around I kicked a honeysuckle bush and heard a jingle of bells. I knew I didn’t flush a rabbit and got confirmation when Jebe slammed into the honeysuckle. Her back was to me, but when I got around the bush I could see she was strung out, dangling beneath outstretched wings with a dead woodrat.
I extracted her from the bush and she was not happy about it. I imaging she thought I was going to rob her of her kill. I clipped her jesses to my glove and laid her and the rat out in some shorter grass. She came around in a minute and started working the rat. After she broke in I let her feed up a bit, then covered the rat up and traded her off for some quail legs. The trade-off went smoothly and I called it a day.
Sunday I went back to the same field but after more than an hour failed to flush anything, rabbit or woodrat, though did find about a dozen woodrat nests. I think I’ll have to find a different spot. The field originally looked promising, but didn’t deliver.