Saturday, November 22, 2008


I'm just about done packing up, waiting on Diana to get finished. I'm heading out to Baton Rouge, LA today to pick up my best bud Matt & then it's off to Amarillo, TX.

I hope to catch up with lots of old friends and meet some new ones. Hope to see you there and I'm sure to have plenty to write about when I get back.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I found them all

Today was one of those days I was so glad that my wife did not have a camera. I managed to find every hole in my field today. I went head over heels, tumbling across the ground today more than the total of most seasons.

One instance I should have broken my leg or at least tore something in my knee. I was running full speed toward a palmetto full of sparrows and the merlin was locked in. I crashed the palmetto and stepped knee deep in a hole. I felt my knee hyper extend and it vaulted me out of the bush and onto the ground (again).

The feral pig population is out of control this year and they have created quite the obstacle course for me. I'm really hoping that I don't end another season with knee surgery.

The Shaheen did much better today, up 1,000' to the kite. Shaheens are very small at 1,000'. And did much better on the glove.

The merlin flew great, chasing sparrows and dodging my flailing legs as I tumbled across the ground. She started strong but she was spun out when she hit a stiff weed while chasing a sparrow. She seemed to slow down after that but still flew good.

Sportsman's Paradise

Sunday was one of those days that makes me glad to live in FL. I was up at the crack of dawn loading up birds and the dog and off to the field.

I flew Rufus, the Shaheen, first and all started normally enough. I had the kite up 800' and he went right up. He grabbed the bait and came to the ground. He finished his meal and came running over to me and hoped right up to the glove. I put one jess in and he then looked up at me and freaked out. He spent the next 5 min baiting, screaming and footing my arm with his free leg. I finally attached the leash and let him go to the ground to see if he would calm down. He continued looking at me like he'd never seen me before and would not look at the food in my glove. 15 min later I finally had to grab his legs and force his hood on. I don't know what I'll do with this bird but I do think he's fat and that will be the first problem I fix.

Now for the merlin. Black Mamba was unhooded and she rode around on the fist for a few minutes and then took a perch in a tree on the edge of the field. A group of sparrows flew to a bush and I called her in for the flush. I flushed a dozen birds out and she pulled in behind one tailing it across the field until it made it to cover. I had another bird in the bush so I called her back and flushed, she smashed it in a head on flight.

She took the sparrow to a fallen pine tree and I watched her eat the head and then hop around finally caching it and flying back to me. She cached the first baggie I gave her and now this one, her third wild sparrow.

I headed home, unloaded the birds and hooked up the boat. Two hours later I was launching at River Breeze park at the north end of Mosquito Lagoon. 10 minutes into poling the boat I saw a red fish cruising the shoreline. I made my first cast and hooked up with a nice 26" red. I then sent a photo of the fish to both of my buddies that backed out on the fishing trip HAAAAAA.

It's tough to beat Florida for someone that loves to hunt and fish, especially when you want to do both in the same day in November.

Friday, November 7, 2008

It's been a while since I last posted to this blog and I'm going to give this another shot to try to keep up with it.

As active as my life is right now you would think I'd have something to write about (fishing, hunting, working, serving on the board of two national falconry organizations and our state club), the problem is finding the time.

My life has two fairly distinct seasons, Fishing season and Falconry season. Although I suspect this year I'll take a few fishing trips during the falconry season. The birds are both flying good and the merlin "Black Mamba" caught her first bird a few days ago.

She is turning out to be a very good merlin, she is chasing just about everything in sight. She likes doves and sparrows and chases both hard. She is catching on to my style of hunting and is starting to understand that the swing of the lure means that I have a bird to flush for her.

Rufus had a slight delay to his season due to a severe hooding problem. The day I had to physically hold him while putting the hood on in the field I decided something needed to be done. I suspended his training and spent a week only feeding him in the hood. After a week and a half of this he would thrust his head forward at the presentation of the hood. Now a few weeks later he is still taking the hood but does balk at it in the field if he doesn't think he's done or has had enough food.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Weathering Area

My weathering area was looking pretty sad so Diana and I gave it a face lift. We also added a few eye bolts so it can double as a hammock stand. Ths before and after show the addition of a LOT of pea gravel.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Molt

It's May 23rd and I can't believe how quickly Rufus is molting. He only has two tail feathers to drop and half his back is already in. He has remained very tame, flipping his head at me when I walk in the room. He and I are dreaming of snipe and hoping for a few tropical storms to flood the fields.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

1st Mate

We took Duncan on his first fishing trip today. It took him a while to get used to moving around on the boat and naturally he went for quite a few swims. It didn't take him long to figure out how to get back up on the boat.
We're planning to take him to the Keys with us in June, judging from his maiden voyage he'll do just fine on the boat.
While on the boat we thought he needed a good pirate name so while on the water he's now known as "Chug Bug".

Friday, May 2, 2008


Well, I've resisted creating a blog for quite a few years now. I mainly feared that I wouldn't have the time to keep up with it or that I wouldn't have anything interesting to say.

But, with many of the recent activities within the falconry community and in my life I thought it was time to give this a shot.