Monday, April 8, 2019

It's a wrap.......

This season is all over. Cisco had his best total number squirrel season, if not his best pace, which was two years ago. That 2016/2017 season was cut short by a talon bite, and my very conservative response. Cisco caught a few birds too this season. Farrah caught two lagomorphs, a cottontail in Elizabeth, Colorado and her only black-tailed jackrabbit in Lubbock.  She caught plenty of game birds here in Houston. BB is on his way to Magdalena, NM. We are heading out in a week. He had a terrific season flown by James Major. BB's the nicest hawk I've flown, and I'll be sorry to say goodbye.......

Dirt Hawking

My friend Jim with his tundra tiercel

Cisco with last squirrel of season

Farrah being first rate.........

BB sleeping in living room - I'll miss him
Can't forget Cisco's teammate.......

My buzzards over the next six months.........

Monday, March 11, 2019

Escape, escape, miss miss, miss....

The last three hunts were frustrating. Cisco had a small squirrel escape two hunts ago. The next hunt he caught four squirrels which all escaped. Today he just could not catch them. I write this standing on the bike path that runs through the woods. Cisco is parked in a tree watching a squirrel, the dog is pacing nervously. It's hot and muggy. We've been out here for a couple of hours. Working back to truck.....

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

An escape by a small squirrel

Yes, I'm done hunting squirrels for this season...really. Today Arnold, Cisco, and I headed to the post post squirrel season woods. It was windy and cold under an overcast sky. The place was closed because of vandals doing vehicle donuts after rains. But the employee told me to park outside and hike in. We stomped around for a bit, the dog cold and wet, but engaged. Cisco was his steady self. He peeled a small squirrel off a tree trunk, and dropped to the ground for me to finish the job. Today he shifted his grip just as I reached in. Bye, bye squirrel. That's twice this season. The earlier one was in a tree, escaping after about five minutes.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Done with squirrels for this season

The team finished up today in fine style. Cisco's 25th squirrel, and I'll call it good. Put him on some kinder, gentler prey for the balance of the season. Great performance from Cisco and Arnold today. Wet trees in a light drizzle. Every attack on a squirrel resulted in a wetter hawk. Cisco got the job done on a squirrel treed by Arnold, who stayed close too.

A text:
Cisco and Arnold with a stellar finish to the post season. Last squirrel for the team. Arnold part and parcel of today's catch. Cisco was getting wetter on each attack, which affected getting his pitch back. Five or more minutes to get to his next attack position because he was wet. This is what hawking is about....

And Farrah's no slouch:

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

A scramble in the post season

Arnold was worthless two days ago. Today, he was just great. We had an intense chase on a squirrel which escaped a couple of times, then broke loose from Cisco's grip, ran up a tiny bank and was caught again. Cisco took to the water and dunked it, but I was right there. Arnold was part and parcel of this catch today. 4th "post season" squirrel for the team. No, squirrels are not out of season, but when Cisco catches a certain number, I say the season is over and try to reduce the numbers caught. It's not working. My team is good.

Monday, February 11, 2019

With a little help from my dog....

Actually very little help today from Arnold. We had a long ,wandering, warm and overcast hunt today. For a season, it's Cisco's highest number of squirrels taken. I have been deliberately making it harder for him. Today we had a few chases, a close call or two before Cisco nailed a cat squirrel about twenty-five minutes walk from the Honda. Arnold helped a little but in general was a distraction. He disappeared a couple of times and played no part in catching this squirrel. There are bobcats, coyotes, and we kicked up some pigs late today. Then a few minutes after the pigs, Arnold decides to bail because he didn't want to walk through the McCartney roses. So I had Cisco on my glove and carried Arnold for a bit..... Life is good.

Fierce Red-tail

Mr. Happy

Monday, January 28, 2019

"Post" season squirrel hawking

Cisco has already met my modest seasonal numbers for squirrels, with several key assists from Arnold. Today Arnold treed the squirrel which was on its way to safety in the cover. Arnold forced it up a tree, it went to a dray, which Cisco attacked. On the way down Cisco grabbed it and got hung up some. I am trying to reduce the success rate for balance of season by putting the team in harder environment. Didn't work today. The woods were 3X more difficult for me to navigate, full of thorny vines. More ground cover and fewer squirrels made it 2X more difficult for Cisco. No real difference for Arnold the dog. Result? See the home(ly) movie clip below.