Saturday, November 13, 2010

2010 Falconry Season

This hunting season I trapped another hawk it turned out to be a Female Red Tail hawk. I named her Koto after my wife protested me naming her Madia. Two of her tail feathers were broken when I trapped her, but I didn't care to much about that because she was fearless, I trapped her in town harassing the local pigeons and causing hell to the city squirrels. As a wild hawk she didn't pay me any mind as I watched her closely one day hunting squirrels. Hawks who are accustomed to the city tend to be a lot more tolerant of people and the busy life that the city brings. It makes great for a hunting hawk. She has manned very nice and is very calm around people and dogs. All of these are big plus. Down here in GA we have alot of leaves that are still on the trees. It makes hunting squirrels really tough. However today she scored on a huge buck squirrel. That guy was fat. When I released her into the canopy I saw the squirrel shoot up the tree and Koto saw the squirrel jump into it's nest. Immediately Koto flew to the tree examining the nest for a few minutes. I guess she realized that there was a big huge squirrel in there and the risks might outweigh the benefits of slamming the nest. I shot a BB into the nest and that peaked her interest as it got the squirrel to move around in the nest. Koto Slammed the nest throwing her talons into it, but that ol buck squirrel grabbed her leather jess and pulled it into the nest. She had a look on her face like, "What the Hell!!" there was just a pause she didn't know what to do as the squirrel was holding onto her jess inside the nest. After a couple of minutes of analyzing the situation she became furious and started tearing the nest apart. The Big Buck Jumped from the nest circling the tree towards me with Koto in hot pursuit crashing through limbs. The squirrel stopped short of coming down the tree as him and I did some sort of Mexican standoff, He was just out of reach for a good stick whacking and would not move knowing Koto was on the other side. I pulled my daisy BB gun out so that I can pop him and get him to move and when I popped him he stood still holding his ground not moving an inch. Koto Swung around the tree to a branch to see what I was looking at and the squirrel immediately lept towards me. EEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!! I jumped out of the way and Koto slammed the ground just missing the squirrel as it bounced from the ground and back onto the tree. But what do you know Ole Buck squirrel was too heavy to move faster than Koto was and she nailed it as it tried to scurry back up the tree. A great hunt and looking for many more this season. Now all I need is 4 more squirrels for my amazing stew.

Monday, November 8, 2010

We Love Fish Heads!!

Ok sooo I know I am pushing this fish head thing but I honestly think this is the best kept secret. Just thinking of all the fish heads that people throw away, in fact the day we caught these monsters people were just happy catching them and releasing them back because as they stated, big blue fish are not as good as the smaller ones and other big game fish like striper aka Rock Fish.
The nerve of these people to suggest such a thing. For those of us in the know; fish like blue fish, tuna and salmon heads possess something that is soooo exquisite and Divine and has been virtually untouched by the food market except by those of us in the "know." You might ask, "What is this secret?" Well my friends it's called the fish cheek and OMGG!! it's so unreal. For all of you New England folk and all the way down to the Jawsy shore who have access to monster blues in the surf you will want to smack yourself for throwing the demons back into the sea or even filleting these guys and throwing the heads away. I know, I know, eating heads is not the most desirable meal, but it all depends on who shows up for dinner. When we caught these guys I caught three huge monsters, they averaged around 20 lbs plus a piece. My cousin caught an additional 2 and at the end of the day I made a deal with him to give him the whole fish minus the heads if he would just give me the heads. To a normal person like my cuz that was a great deal. But to someone like my in laws who just visited us from Japan a few weeks ago, I would have came across as a con artist trying to keep the best part for myself. Come to think about it thats exactly what I did with my cousin; but hell he doesn't care about heads. At the end of the day we were both happy. And short of dragging a mammoth leg into my den to please my wife with, she was extremely happy with the heads. (For someone just reading this snippet it sounds like we are a bunch of cannibals) The above photos are showing the technique for using parchment paper to grill fish on the stove. All was needed was a sharp knife to cut the huge heads in half; Moderate sea salt and crushed black pepper, wrapped in a paper towel for a day or two and then grilled with parchment paper on medium heat, skin side down until brown and crisp and flip over. After it was all said and done. Served on a bed of rice, garnished with some fresh cut veggies and Bon appetit!!!! Sorry no end photos, I dropped the ball on that one. It smelt so great and my wife and I just started to dig in and half way through I remembered to take a photo. Wooooopsss;)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Look underneath your leaves for Pests.

While Hunting the other day I happened to notice a female house wren flying from tree to tree looking underneath every leaf. It seemed like an efficient way to hunt because she knew bugs would just love to hang out underneath leaves to protect themselves from the elements and and avoid being eaten. This got me thinking about my garden and after an uneventful day of hunting I came home and started looking underneath the leaves of my vegetable plants and I was surprised. There were many mosquito's, I guess due to the cold weather setting in the mosquito's are lethargic but nonetheless, they were there hiding underneath the leaves. I killed about ten. yessssss!! To my surprise I also saw these little buggers. I am doing research on them. They look like aphids but Im not sure. I noticed that many small holes were on my eggplant leaves and when I looked underneath them I noticed that there was an infestation of these leaf suckers. Going forward I plan to use insecticidal soaps and stronger applications as needed if beneficial bugs can't keep these vampires at bay. But at least I know where these guys love to hang out now and be ready for war as I plan for next years garden