Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pigeons beware

Well I took Biggio, my Harris out hawking for pigeons at night. One less pigeon in this world today. Got it under an overpass on the highway. Was not sure how he was going to do as we have never hunted in the dark. We walked up the concrete to where most the pigeons were and when we got close they started leaving. Biggio just kind of watched and I guess did not know what to do with all the commotion. He started to chase but not till they hit the dark night sky, so I did not let go of the jesses. I turned around to look for more and yep, one left on the other end. I let Biggio focus in on it and sure enough he figured out that was the same thing that just made all the mess before, he took off after it and the pigeon bolted, but to late. Biggio took it to the ground. Now the part that excites me the most. He did not try to carry. He has been doing that, and I have been working on it. I let him pull feather for a bit while I connect the leash, than covered the pigeon with a small towel, threw the lure to the side, he stepped off the pigeon. I let him eat the meat on the lure, than stepped him off onto the glove with a tidbit. Than put him in the hood. Just like it is supposed to go. Glad to see this bird is working out.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Well I have not posted in a while because nothing really to talk about. The last few times I have been out Biggio is just not co-operating any more. I have gone out by myself most of the time and trying to keep Biggio under control has been a real chore. He sees birds and starts acting crazy and that is not good while driving, by the time I get him under control the slip is gone. I try to hold him down, does no good, try to put my hand over him to hold his head down, no good. I thought maybe he was to low so I raised his weight. Went car hawking in Saginaw with Kylie driving, and multiple slips, still acted stupid when he saw birds, but when I slip him he would pull off most of the time. I just do not know what I am doing wrong. Going again today, so hopefully we will do some thing right today.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Pissing me off

Well I am upset about two things. One the damn grackles are roosting on base now. The one or two slips I get are along the roadside on the perimeter of the base. The other thing is Biggio's carrying problem. Yesterday I found one slip and he nailed a female. This worried me because the only thing he has gotten before are males and he tries to carry with them. Sure enough as soon as I stepped out of my truck, he carried. I was next to a 5 lane road and he carried to the parking lot on the other side. Thankfully no cars were coming. I got over there and when I approached him he carried to the other side of the same parking lot. I pulled out the lure and was swinging it as I approached him the next time and he allowed me closer. I put the leash on the jesses and let him pluck feathers for a bit. I than covered the grackle with a towel and offered the lure. he hesitated but step off onto the lure. I than stepped him off the lure with hesitation to the glove for a tidbit. I put him in the giant hood and went home. When I got home I left the leash on him and threw the grackle on the ground and he dove off my glove but than tried to carry. He kept bating and after a bit calmed down and I messed with him and the grackle the whole time he ate. I let him finish it than he jumped to glove for a tid bit than put him in the mews.
1-9-09 700 grams 1 grackle

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Looking good

Well I am pleased with him today. I had to drive like crazy and fast to find any grackles. They moved from where I usually find them. I eventually found them out by the air base. It appeared most of them are roosting in base housing which I can not get to. I drove all around the base perimeter and I found a group on the side of the road outside the base. I drove by and Biggio nailed a very large male. By the time he got it under control he was next to a fence where there was a big dog on the other side. Biggio let me move in and put on the leash no problem. I do not know if this was because he was more worried about the dog than me, or if he is finally getting it. I covered the grackle and tossed the lure and he stepped off nicely. After he was done with lure I stepped him off on the glove with a tidbit. We looked around and did not find any more. On the way home I noticed pigeons circling along side an overpass that I have noticed before. I circled back and they had landed under the overpass. It is a low overpass and not very traveled, so I thought it would be a nice learning session for Biggio and myself. I drove to the side of the road under the overpass. Biggio was really watching them. So I thought what the heck, I rolled the window down and he took off after them. The all escaped but he tried. Next time I will go for a different tactic. I pulled out the lure and he came and traded off good.
1/6/09 715 grams 1 grackle

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Still in training

Well we have been doing pretty good car hawking. it takes a lot of slips to get one, but I do not know if it is because he is still learning or me, probably both. I am still trying to figure out the speed and release time and technique. He needs to learn, for one thing to stop acting crazy right before I release him. It sure makes it hard to drive while hawking.
The other day I gave him a sitting slip at a duck pond in the park. He took off after them but they all went in the water before he got there. He flew up to a tree and started eying an Egyptian Goose. He flew down and grabbed it and it jumped in the water. I took off running over to where they were and Biggio was fighting the goose and the goose was fighting back. About the time I got there he was almost submerged and he let go and the goose took off. I swooped Biggio up and I carried him to the truck. It was about 38 degrees that day so I held him in front of the heater vent for a while.
Today I saw a flock of Canadian Geese at a school practice field. They were to far to car hawk so I put Biggio on the glove and walked towards them. When I got about 25 yards from them they started to move off so I threw Biggio in their direction and they took flight. One of the geese took off and flew right into a fence, and Biggio got to him and pulled feather but it got away. I am really starting to like this bird.
1-1-09 675 grams and another grackle

Monday, December 22, 2008

another one in the bag

Well we went car hawking again. I do not know if my timing, or his timing is off, but we had a lot of misses. Some way off and some barely missed. He gets excited and try to fly way to soon, so I do not know if because I hold him, it throws him off, or if I am letting him go to early or late, or my speed is off. Car hawking alone is really hard. Any ways, we did get one and he traded off it to the lure, but did not want to let go of the lure. Had one more slip, and he did not want to come to glove, so I figured he was getting full on tidbits. Called him to the lure and went home.
12/22/08 730 grams 1 grackle

Thursday, December 18, 2008

He finally figured it out!

Took Biggio out car hawking today. A place I found that had a decent amount in a subdivision. It is real hard to car hawk by yourself but we are getting the hang of it. He missed the first two slips. The first slip he just missed sliding across the parking lot. The second I just wanted to see how he would react with them in a small tree right outside the truck window. I thought when he left he was going after the birds, but he just flew to the tree than waited for a tidbit. Than he just missed the next slip. He was starting to act up. Not sure if it was frustration, or excitement. He nailed the next slip. It was about 5 grackles scattered in a front yard. He nailed one that tried to fly right at him. He traded off reluctantly, and after wards I was not sure if I should have let him eat on it. He did try to carry it off. The very next slip was about the same amount in between the road and a fence. He got the next one right on top with out it even knowing what hit it. He tried to carry off again, I don't know what I will do if it gets a smaller bird. I was able to get to him and put the leash on. He traded off onto the lure, than onto a tidbit on glove. I got a rabbit leg and let him eat on it pretty good. Than put him in the giant hood and went home.
12/18/08 725 grams 2 grackles