View Full Version : Tree Rat Hunting

12-01-2007, 05:14 PM
Saturday after Thanksgiving a few of the hawkers here in Georgia gathered for a day of awesome hunts. We were up north of Commerce. There were at least 20 people and 8 birds (maybe more).

Doug, the boys and I arrived late and I hiked into the woods with another falconer that was just arriving. As we came up on the group already out, we heard them talking. Bill's hawk had a squirrel in the tree.


She pulled up and got control of the squirrel and then brought it down. It was amazing to watch her upside down and working the squirrel.


Next we went out with Stuart's bird. There were about 10 folks in the woods plus 3 dogs.


Before we got to the game, his dogs were helping rattle the squirrel nests by pulling vines. [smilie=eusa_clap.gif] (sorry the shot isn't too great, still learning to man the camera in action shots).


Stuart's bird took the squirrel right out of the tree.


And transferred off nicely.


Then Doug went in for the next hunt and the littlest boys and I played in the field. So no photos of the hunt, but I got a few of the boys. Jim is in white and Daniel is in orange.



While we regrouped, everyone had a bit to drink. Here's Nick (on the left) with his two newest and best friends.


We are headed into the woods for the last hunt before we split up into groups. After this hunt, two partys went out so all birds would have an opportunity to hunt. This is the last group going in - 10 folks in front of me and one beside me, me plus an additional 2 not pictured for a total of 14 in the woods with the last hunt.


Next was an amazing hunt from my perspective. One of the apprentices on the trip put her bird up and what follows is the sequence of the hunt in motion. Roscoe connects with the squirrel on the move, they hit a branch and the squirrel is knocked out of his grasp, he stays on it until the squirrel makes the ground (last shot Roscoe is about 2 feet off the deck). He pulls up to miss the ground which gave the squirrel a chance to hobble (and it was really just hobbling) off.









Roscoe folded up his wings and just dropped in an effort to capture that tree rat again.


Here, just under a foot from the ground, he unfolds his wings and pulls up.


I still don't know how Roscoe did not hit the ground in the seconds following that shot. It was amazing.

And, all in all a perfect family outing. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did the day. Thanks to every one there - it was fantastic.

I have over 100 photos from the day, so if you want to see more, PM me and I will send the link. Thanks to every one who came and what an amazing time.

12-01-2007, 05:23 PM
Nice pics and a good report. Glad you enjoyed yourself. That Stuart is something else. Did his JRT's put on a good show?

12-01-2007, 05:30 PM
He did. We flew him out of the woods and he pulled fur on a CT. That was a cool chase. All I saw was a gray streak followed by a dark blob. The bird reached out and connected. I was sure that we had a CT as I saw the fur fly. Didn't get photos of that flight as I was trying to cross the creek. Then as Stuart went to get him, we found and treed a few squirrels. His RT came back around and took another squirrel.

12-01-2007, 05:33 PM
OOps, I meant his Jack Russel Terrier. Did he do well?

12-01-2007, 05:52 PM
I missed the JRT in your reply - just saw the RT... Oh well, I am learning.

The dogs did great and worked under all the flights. There was one chase that the squirrel was on the ground for a long time and the dogs stayed with it for about 20 minutes. That thing ran right through the hunting party and down the hill to the creek.

They are great dogs. Well behaved with people and spot on in the woods.

12-01-2007, 06:09 PM
Looks like you were hunting near a school??

12-01-2007, 06:12 PM
Jimmy we were hunting near some new very large warehouse buildings. The "field" we were in is going to be a storage lot for overflow trailers for the folks in the warehouses. I think Sears is in one of them already (could have been JCPenney)...

12-01-2007, 06:19 PM
So.... have you found a potential sponsor? Got the mews going?

`Chris L.
12-01-2007, 06:52 PM
Reba, great pictures [smilie=icon_thumright.gif] ... thank you for taking the time to post them..

12-01-2007, 07:49 PM

Glad you had so much fun and great photos. Squirrel hawking sure is a ball. It it natures best against natures best. There are no guarantees for either party and you are never sure what is going to happen next!

Gotta love it!

12-01-2007, 09:05 PM
So.... have you found a potential sponsor? Got the mews going?

Bill is sponsoring both Doug and I. That way we will both learn the same techniques as we are training our birds. Doug will most likely take the test early next year.

We were going to use a 10' X 12' shed for the mews, but decided that we would do better building. So, Bill is coming over tomorrow. We are going for a 12' X 12' set up like you have Jimmy. Going a little larger to allow for a double entry door. I will take pictures as it goes up.

12-01-2007, 09:23 PM
Bill Mixon? [smilie=eusa_think.gif]

12-01-2007, 09:28 PM
Yes. [smilie=eusa_clap.gif]

12-01-2007, 09:52 PM
Interesting...... Good luck.

12-01-2007, 11:57 PM
Fantastic shots Reba. You can really tell the action from the sequences.


12-02-2007, 02:02 AM
I have never hawked with him, but have heard the name. Good luck!!