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As near as I can tell you are getting a view from right about between the shoulder blades looking forward. Falcon seems to be flying with it's head slightly below the area seen by the camera. I noticed the buffeting of the winds. It's not all a gently soaring flight, the bird is diving at considerable speed. Some thoughts later on.

I try to view most killing of animals through the prism of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Kind of the mantra for the conservation hunter. The North American Model as it's called can cover a multitude of sins but basically it boils down to if you kill something it has to be for a reason.

Food everyone understands, kill a deer and eat it. Pelt many are less comfy with, but it's still well within bounds. Large and small predators too if you ask a wildlife biologist working for a state fish and game department. They want to manage most populations to avoid large peaks and valleys in population levels. Varmints are usually a nuisance to someone, or an invasive. Even large trophy hunting funds conservation and is only taking what is over the carrying capacity of the habitat.

Falcon hunting I place over with catch and release fishing. They make me kind of uneasy, more than likely I just haven't come to a full understanding yet.

A little while ago I was up at the "worlds center for birds of prey" in Boise Idaho, better known as the Peregrine Fund, and they had an entire new and beautiful building just for the  history and knowledge of falcon hunting. Funded by one very generous contributor from the UAE as I remember. Besides a great life size diorama of guys with head scarves hanging out in tents drinking coffee and smoking tabaco from hookahs they also had some very large format photos of Mongols hunting with Golden Eagles.

The following is not for the squeamish, but the music is great. Less professional photography than the next you tube but perhaps more authentic.   Golden Eagles are big but not so big as to successfully and safely hunt wolves by themselves. I guess
by hunting the wolves the herdsmen are cutting down on the losses to their sheep, goats, and yaks. Looks like a very difficult country for anything less than a centerfire. No doubt wolves and fox can see a long way. Below is a more PG rated video.

 I doubt I'll be catching any eagles soon but grandpa certainly has a cool looking coat.

Originally posted to Hunting and Fishing Kos on Sun May 19, 2013 at 07:44 AM PDT.

Also republished by Liberal G Club.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Sun May 19, 2013 at 07:44:24 AM PDT

  •  Truly fascinating. I believe falconry is legal in (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, salmo, whaddaya

    the state where I live.  I do NOT believe its easy to get a license to do it.

    •  Excitement in the flight video and a hunt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock

      What a great video.  As a hang glider pilot, I can relate to that picture of diving to a target.  

      My then 10 year old son and I went out with a falconer on a January morning along the Coast of Maine.  We got into my friend's Jeep Cherokee a little before dawn, and my son asked where the falcon was.  "Right behind you", was the reply, and sure enough, two feet away on a small perch in the back was a Peregrine.  It was impressive.

      The drill was explained.  We were to play the role we usually assign to hunting dogs, locating the ducks and working through the marshes to flush them at the right time.  The falconer would carry his bird on his gloved fist, hooded, until we were in position.  Then he would remove the hood, release the bird, which would circle and climb over the pond.  At the signal, we would create a commotion and flush the ducks.  That was surprisingly difficult.  Usually the ducks saw us, and saw the falcon, and decided swimming away was a far better move than flying away.  

      When the ducks flushed, the falcon saw them almost immediately, and quickly started its dive.  With incredible speed, it would hit the duck, producing a load ripping sound, and a duck falling to earth.  The falcon rarely missed.  Then the real work began.  We had to get to the duck before the falcon could feed on it because if it fed, it would not come to the falconer's lure.  The action in the air looked close, but a quarter mile or so of Maine coastal marsh, in January, is a remarkably tough sprint course.  The falconer explained that if his falcon would not come to him, it would try to spend the night along the marsh, and would almost surely become food for a great horned owl.  Peregrine falcons are not easily replaced.

      There is a falconer's season for ducks, just as there is one for gunners.  He had a daily limit, which he reached rather quickly.  Believe me, it was not catch and release.

      Afterwards, we learned a bit about the history of falconry and my friend's journey to have a license that allowed him to keep a peregrine.  He started as an apprentice, with a kestrel.  Years of learning to raise, maintain, train and hunt these birds led him through a series of birds, increasingly rare and demanding.  His life revolved around that bird; he lived vicariously through it.  Keeping a falcon is not at all like keeping a dog, they are not pets in the normal sense.  

      •  thank you for the greater understanding (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        salmo, GAS

        I once set posts for someone constructing a cage for his falcon. He had to follow very exacting requirements for everything and I know the license to hunt took quite a while too.

        They hunt what are called pot holes, small chains of ponds out on the great plains.

        I know they are not pets in the conventional sense in that they are and always will be wildlife. I'm amazed that they alway return to their owners.

        How big is your personal carbon footprint?

        by ban nock on Sun May 19, 2013 at 09:23:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I have hunted pot holes too (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ban nock, GAS

          The string of pot holes running diagonally across North Dakota have produced the finest duck hunting I have ever seen - and Coastal Maine is no slouch as a venue.  I remember waves and waves of birds, sometimes as many as 100,000 over us in a morning, north and a little west of Minot.  Sometimes they were not in season, like the time we lay back and watched tens of thousands of sandhill cranes fly over.  

          Shortly after we hunted with the falcon, my friend moved to Oklahoma, because he said the falcon seasons were longer and his passion for the sport could expand.  I knew him from some all nighters on the beach fishing for striped bass and asked whether he would miss that.  Guys who do that on weekdays and work the next day are pretty hard core.  He said there wasn't going to be time for fishing.  "A life ruined by sport" has been used to describe me, but I am not even in that guy's league.

    •  It requires a lengthy..... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      phrogge prince

      apprenticeship to get a license in MO.

  •  WOW!!!!!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, salmo, whaddaya

    Thank you! what a way to enjoy Sunday morning coffee!

  •  love the raptors... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    hawks, falcons, eagles, and most especially climate hawks :)

    Do the math. #unfrackCal. @RL_Miller

    by RLMiller on Sun May 19, 2013 at 08:42:22 AM PDT

  •  Ducks Are Very strong And Fast (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    that's what makes them so meaty

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sun May 19, 2013 at 10:16:55 AM PDT

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