Thursday, February 14, 2013

Falconry Update: My First Hunt!

This morning I am diving into morning chores and writing, and then heading out for an adventure. I am going out on a hawking hunt! Dawn and Mark, the two falconer's I mentioned a few days ago, invited me. I ran into them at my bank and we talked outside in the parking lot for quite some time. It felt like talking with old friends, even though we are just getting acquainted. I suppose that shouldn't be a surprise, it's not like falconry appeals to the masses, right?. Us eccentrics have to stick together.

So today is my first hunt! I am excited but not sure of what to expect! I was told to meet them in the early afternoon at the Rupert General Store and from there we'll go out into the field after rabbits. They are flying their redtails and I am coming along with my camera. Just in case I get a chance to work with any of the birds, I am bringing along my just-out-of-the-package leather gauntlet. It is the only time in my life I bought a single glove. They don't come in pairs. It has a fancy tassel and fake fleece inside and the guy on the phone said it was what most women wear. Since I'm right handed it goes on my left hand, so my right is free to fuss and do things like adjust jesses and tighten leashes or work training tools.

In other future-falconer news: I called up the office at the DEC yesterday and got my test date in April for my written test. My study packet should be here tomorrow or the following day. Per Dawn's advice I ordered a copy of the California state club study guide, supposedly one of the best there is out there. I have a few weeks to take notes, read books, and get some experience in the field and then I get this one shot to take this exam.

The process of becoming a licenses apprentice falconer isn't hard, it's just involved. It requires a little effort up front but nothing compared to getting ready for a horse or a flock of sheep. I feel prepared, both in mind and spirit. A magazine's senior editor read I was taking this up and wants to follow the process for a story. It all feels like it is falling into place. It really does. And tomorrow I will be out in the tall grass chasing rabbits with folks who hunt with hawks on their arms.

It's not Heaven. It's Veryork. Pretty damn close.


Blogger kwdiving said...

Wow, your are moving along pretty fast! That's really wl great! Hope you have a great experience today. Can't wait to see photos!

February 14, 2013 at 7:09 AM  
Blogger Ohiofarmgirl said...

this is definitely the coolest project yet! i looked into falconry but the requirements are so strict i dont think i have time for it. so i'm thrilled to be able to watch you go thru the process. yay!

February 14, 2013 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Yeah, per my conversation with dawn and mark, NY has some of the most laz laws for this sport. All I need to do is take a written test, take hunter's safety (already have done this), have a small game license (already have this too), and then apply for a permit to house and trap a hawk with a sponsor. It's still a lot of tape, but not like some other states. And after two years of apprenticeship when I get my general falconer's I can have two birds of any non-endangered species. So I could hunt with owls, kestrels, merlins.... in VT you can only capture and hunt with redtails without an import permit and big money spent.

February 14, 2013 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

lax, I mean

February 14, 2013 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger aart said...

Cool Beans! Can't wait to see the photos!

Any plans in the works for your mews yet?

February 14, 2013 at 3:38 PM  
Blogger Big Sky Chicken Ranch and Victory Garden said...

Crazy coincidence, I just spotted a Falcon in downtown SF while on my lunch hour! At first I mistook him for a crow. He was perched on a light pole next to an empty lot at Kearny & California streets. I knew there were falcons in SF, but I had only seen them from afar (glad it was from afar, as they were lunching in pigeons!). Good luck with your new hawkly endeavor!

February 14, 2013 at 4:05 PM  

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