Wednesday, October 21, 2009

First trapped Red Tail of the Season

Over the past several weeks I have been extremely busy and I have been scouting for immature Red Tails to trap so I can hunt with this hunting season. Today as I was leaving work I had my trap ready and I was on the look out for any signs of a Red Tail perched high on a tree or on a utility pole. I figure this would be a perfect time to trap because Red Tails are looking for their last meal before the sun sets because they will pretty much be in seclusion during the night.

So here I was listening to NPR and in the distance I can see the tall tale distinct sign of a perched red tail on the top of some trees scanning a field. I drove by and scouted the area to see where the best place for me to throw my trap out of the window that can serve as a good presentation for the tail. I found that place, threw the trap out of the window and drove down the road a little ways when I saw the the hawk take flight from my rear view. YES!!!!!!!!!! I got one...... I drove up to the trap and saw the red tail and became excited. The only thing that could make this date go wrong would be a RED TAIL!! Like literally. As a falconer I am looking for an immature red tail hawk and immature birds do not have "RED" tails. Only adults do and unfortunately so did this one. He was a beautiful male red tail. There are many reasons for why falconers don't trap and hunt with adults and one of them, is because adults have proven that they can live through the seasons and have lived long enough to contribute back to the population. Immature birds who are less than one year old are perfect for falconry, because they are easy to train and the take of immature red tails does not have any impact on current population numbers. Furthermore, many falconers like myself release there red tails back into the wild after the hunting season and start fresh with a new bird every year. SIMPLY AWESOME!!


Sue said...

How does this "trap" work?
And aren't you just a little bit scared of these wild birds?

ATW said...

HAHA!!! Hopefully on my next post I will have my camera with me when I trap myself a bird so you can see what it looks like. The Trap is made up of galvanized wire in a box a sort of a flat box shape and it has wire snares all over it. There is a door that opens so that I can put the mice into it and it is weighted down with rebar material so that the hawk can not carry it off. Trapping along side of the road is pretty much illegal everywhere. But for falconers our licensing allows to trap Birds of prey alongside roads. When the Hawk sees the trap they fly to it in an attempt to grab the mice only to get hung up in the snares and waaaaalllaaa you have yourself a hawk. This type of trap that I use is called a Bal chatri.

I will honestly tell you that hawks are one of these creatures that will really humble you really quick. But once you learn that they are more afraid of you than you are of them you can kind of get over the fear. I was very nervous the first time I trapped a haawk. It gripped my glove with all its might and looked me right in the face as if to say "hmm buddy, if we are going to hunt together, you better have some guts." My sponsor told me to breathe easy and ignore the stare, eventually she released her grip and my voice started to sound a little more manly:)

Chris said...

How cool. I live like you do. The only thing I don't do is hawking. Maybe whe I retire. I took my son salmon fishing today in the river. They aren't running up that far yet.

ATW said...

Chris- Salmon fishing is Awesome. I use to fish In Up state NY in the Salmon River. It was some good times. I really miss it. I reccomend falconry to any outdoors person that hunts and fish. Its a great sport and contrary to popular belief it doesn't take alot of your time. Most Modern day falconers can only hunt on the weekends and for some places that only leaves them for saturday hunts. If you really start to consider it in the future shoot me some questions and I will be happy to answer anything you want to talk about.