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GONEHAWKN
03-10-2012, 09:08 PM
I am by no means an authority on Merlin's having only flown 2 to date(more are definitely in my future). But, aside from some old Hawk Chalks and other limited reading, there isn't much out there on the subject. Has anyone ever given any thought on doing such a book? Or is someone got one brewing? Seems like it would be a good read if the right person would do it.....Maybe a compilation on different folks and the experiences they have had over the years with them......?

tumble
03-10-2012, 09:17 PM
Bill, you posted this 8 minutes ago and I've been looking for the same thing for about 20. Thanks.

GONEHAWKN
03-10-2012, 09:43 PM
I aim to please....I see I am not the only one then who thinks this is a good idea...

FredFogg
03-10-2012, 10:05 PM
Bill, have you read A Merlin For Me? Not quite a how to on merlins but the insight from one falconer on an eyas he flew.

http://www.falconryheritage.com/2227

GONEHAWKN
03-10-2012, 10:20 PM
Yes sir.

frootdog
03-10-2012, 10:29 PM
I believe Eric Edwards was or is working on one.

Pedioecetes
03-11-2012, 01:54 AM
In "Gamehawking at its very Best" there is an excellent chapter by Herb Sparkes, of Colorado, on flying passage merlins.

GONEHAWKN
03-11-2012, 01:55 AM
Thanks Bob.....yes, it's a great write up.....

gratefool1
03-11-2012, 08:07 AM
Is Matt Mullenix on here? I read a couple of articles about Merlins by him somewhere and thought he might be writing one for some reason. Might just be that I was wishing he would....
I pm'd someone about this very subject a couple of weeks ago and can't find much more than articles. Thanks for the other leads =)

tumble
03-11-2012, 08:43 AM
In "Gamehawking at its very Best" there is an excellent chapter by Herb Sparkes, of Colorado, on flying passage merlins.

Yeah, thanks Bob. I forgot I had that so I've just pulled it from the shelf.

coopershawk
03-11-2012, 08:55 AM
Desert Hawking has a good chapter by the Coulsons on the passage Merlin.

tumble
03-11-2012, 11:24 AM
The Sparks article on training seemed pretty straight forward. Anyone doing something quite different?

tumble
03-11-2012, 11:43 AM
Desert Hawking has a good chapter by the Coulsons on the passage Merlin.

Actually reading this one right now and it's answering my previous question. Looks like they prefer faster early exposure.

BigJerHoods
03-11-2012, 12:57 PM
Desert Hawking has a good chapter by the Coulsons on the passage Merlin.

No offense, but that is some of the worst written advise on merlins ever.

BigJerHoods
03-11-2012, 01:06 PM
Tom,

Herb's article us full of super usefull information. It outlines a rather long training program that isn't really necessary, but in bits and pieces it is golden. David Frank's/Eric Edwards book is supposed to be a compilation and will probably be out sometime soon. it has.been in the works for a long while. I know of one or two other projects brewing but am sworn to secrecy...besides I am too busy catching pigeons in Montana with my Richardson's right now to be on here. lol My advice on "A Merlin for Me" is to skip it if looking for practical information regarding passage merlins.

JDHODGE
03-11-2012, 01:06 PM
No offense, but that is some of the worst written advise on merlins ever.

Why?

BigJerHoods
03-11-2012, 01:53 PM
The advice is basically drop their weight...well beyond what is needed in my opinion...and chuck them out the window. Carhawking is no more useful to flying merlins than it would be to flying gyr/peregrines. There is sometimes a tendency to think that merlins are a bigger faster version of a kestrel and because of that fit into similar hawking applications. That couldn't be further from the truth and would be a gross misuse/misunderstanding of what a merlin has to offer. That is my opinion based on practical experience asking more from my merlins.

Pedioecetes
03-11-2012, 03:56 PM
Hi Jeremy,

Where I live there are wild Merlins all year round, see a lot more of them than Kestrels. Wintering Merlins make phenomenal flights on Longspurs, Horned Larks and Snow Buntings out on the open plains, even in 30 below or worse temperatures. Seems to me that if they are capable of doing that in the wild, they are capable of doing spectacular stuff in falconry, as you suggest. My impression of Kestrels, in the wild, is cool birds, but, sort of a longwinged, more aerial, short range "accipiter". I know lots of falconers do terrific falconry with Kestrels, but, they are not even close to Merlins. Herb's experiences with trapped Merlins are vast, and he knows how to get the goods out of them. The real problem with Merlins for me and why I don't fly them, is a lack of legal quarry for them that would test them as the wild does. Starlings are not very available, blackbirds are legal, but not here in the world of fall/winter hawking. Perhaps, as Ben Campbell has been demonstrating, feral pigeons could be the best answer, though where I live pigeons are not really common except in towns/cities, not in open rural areas. Merlins are, though, incredible little falcons. We get all 3 of the main subspecies here in the winter. I just watch them and marvel.

tumble
03-11-2012, 04:19 PM
No offense, but that [article] is some of the worst written advise on merlins ever.

I did read the Coulson's article and found almost all of it to be the polar opposite of how I've managed my other hawks so far, though I know little about merlins at the moment. Sparks' article mirrored my approach to manning my passage gos and redtails pretty closely- slowly but steadily forward, and with as much meat on the hawk as possible. The Coulson's approach would at best feel awkward to me, I think.

BigJerHoods
03-11-2012, 04:23 PM
Bob,

You are absolutely right on in your observations. It is difficult to find viable quarry in many areas of the north that will really challenge a falconer and their merlin. I am a big fan of what Ben has been writing about and have in fact been flying pigeons myself with my passage female Richardson's in Montana the past few weeks. I am amazed at the flights and the pure power of a merlins ability to chase a pigeon into the sky in a 20 mph wind out of sight gaining all the way. There is some real potential in pigeons for those lacking other more readily accepted quarry. There is a wide world of potential in merlins if we all keep our minds open and don't underestimate them.

tumble
03-11-2012, 04:28 PM
Bob,

You are absolutely right on in your observations. It is difficult to find viable quarry in many areas of the north that will really challenge a falconer and their merlin. I am a big fan of what Ben has been writing about and have in fact been flying pigeons myself with my passage female Richardson's in Montana the past few weeks. I am amazed at the flights and the pure power of a merlins ability to chase a pigeon into the sky in a 20 mph wind out of sight gaining all the way. There is some real potential in pigeons for those lacking other more readily accepted quarry. There is a wide world of potential in merlins if we all keep our minds open and don't underestimate them.

To be honest, that's one of my interests so far. I've seen a passage tiercel peregrine flown on farm pigeons and I don't think I've ever smiled and laughed so much during a hunt.

BigJerHoods
03-11-2012, 04:54 PM
It's one of the best parts Tom. Yesterday's successful hunt had four falconers "oohing" and "aahing" non stop!

coopershawk
03-12-2012, 12:02 PM
No offense taken. Having never flown a merlin, I will keep that in mind if the opportunity ever presents itself. Glad I have the Sparks article too then.

Tanner
03-12-2012, 02:07 PM
No offense, but that is some of the worst written advise on merlins ever.

I agree with that wholeheartedly. Weight reduction of the magnitude suggested is not only unnecessary but is sufficient to kill a merlin depending on how healthy the bird was to begin with and the temperatures at which it is being flown and housed. I recall a statement there which reads to the effect that the merlin should be flown at a weight where decreased power is just noticable in their wingbeat. That comment made in print is extremely irresponsible. Even if the bird can be flown with a heavy hand like that, you'll not see the best out of your merlin under those circumstances.

passagejack
03-12-2012, 04:05 PM
The information in Jen's article is simply outdated. With todays training methods and the knowledge of guys like Tanner, Big Jer and others, it is possible to fly merlins in top form and condition. Like they said the guide line for weight reduction is way out of bounds in the article mentioned. Its. Nice to see how far merlin hawking has come here in the states!

passagejack
03-12-2012, 06:44 PM
I should clarify that my last statement was not a dig at Jen. I was merly trying to convey that merlin hawking, like many other aspects of falconry, have changed for the better since the writing of that book :)

continentalanatum
03-12-2012, 08:12 PM
Guys,

I`m fan of the micro hawking and especially the merlins...I`m still learning about`em and have a huge collection of books and articles from magazines, www, etc. (Sparkes, Ross, Gleason etc) but I guess that books like "A merlin for me" and other similar doesn`t work for us american merlin hawkers because of the different kind of quarry especially.
Herb Sparkes still hawking with his merlins in Colorado and for many of us, he was our first read and guide to try merlin hawking. His article on "Game hawking at it`s very best" it`s simply our micro hawking bible and it`s a shame not to read more from him, but it`s great to know he`s still pursuing sparrows with merlins. That`s my best background in merlin hawking, BUT...I know about a new incredible work that is cooking right now...I guess will be one of the best merlin hawking books EVER! Just wait...and believe me...this wait is killing me.
Best regards for all of you merlin hawkers! See you soon!

GONEHAWKN
03-12-2012, 08:49 PM
Well, i think what Ricard has just done there boys is set the hook on us Merlin junkies.....now that we have taken the bait, we now have to wait while we get reeled in.......and Ricard, yes, i agree, the reading that's out there, while informative in some ways, it's not applicable in some regards to how we fly Merlins and WHAT we fly them on, here in the States.......

passagejack
03-12-2012, 09:06 PM
Guys,

I`m fan of the micro hawking and especially the merlins...I`m still learning about`em and have a huge collection of books and articles from magazines, www, etc. (Sparkes, Ross, Gleason etc) but I guess that books like "A merlin for me" and other similar doesn`t work for us american merlin hawkers because of the different kind of quarry especially.
Herb Sparkes still hawking with his merlins in Colorado and for many of us, he was our first read and guide to try merlin hawking. His article on "Game hawking at it`s very best" it`s simply our micro hawking bible and it`s a shame not to read more from him, but it`s great to know he`s still pursuing sparrows with merlins. That`s my best background in merlin hawking, BUT...I know about a new incredible work that is cooking right now...I guess will be one of the best merlin hawking books EVER! Just wait...and believe me...this wait is killing me.
Best regards for all of you merlin hawkers! See you soon!
I'll second that Ricardo! It WILL be a good one! No compilation in this one :) great to see all of this passion for small bird hawking, esp merlins!

Tanner
03-12-2012, 09:19 PM
Guys,

.. I guess that books like "A merlin for me" and other similar doesn`t work for us american merlin hawkers because of the different kind of quarry especially.


That's very true Ricardo. You mention Tom Gleason's articles and those are terrific discussion about what flying a merlin can be and the benefit of an open approach to interacting with merlins in the field. Pete's 1980's articles about imprint Richardson's (and pigeons) are also in that vein of creativity. The southern CA merlin mafia falconers have been doing things their way for a long time (jacks!) and certainly have a unique insight. The ubiquitous distribution of the merlin has produced master merlin falconers in all corners of the Americas and I think while similar, not everyone is flying their birds exactly "the same", not even close - and that's a great tribute to the species.

Tanner
03-12-2012, 09:38 PM
With todays training methods and the knowledge of guys like Tanner, Big Jer and others, it is possible to fly merlins in top form and condition.

I appreciate the vote of confidence Roselle! But the truth is that I'm just getting started compared to a lot of guys!

GONEHAWKN
03-12-2012, 09:56 PM
Hell yeah!!! Merlin Mafia!!!! Love it! Lol...what's it take for one to become a "made man" lol....seriously, I am truely hooked on the little rockets and I know that I have only barely scratched the surface with only having flown 2 of them. Is there a rough ETA for this book in the works?

Fawkes
03-13-2012, 12:22 AM
Been contemplating a merlin for this year - seems like pigeons, sparrows, magpies and crows are the only thing that stays the winter up here. Current plans are for a gos on ducks (untill they all leave) but with teaching full time not sure I will be doing the bird justice outside of the duck season.

Now flying a passage merlin its first fall, moulting it in the house, then tackling summer starlings, pigeons, sparrows, and fall snipe when I am not teaching could be a real blast.

Has any one tried the smaller teals with merlins, or are they too big?

Looking forward to the book!

Tanner
03-13-2012, 09:49 AM
A female merlin could take a green wing teal but the tough part is going to be convincing her to grab it. I almost got that lucky with an imprint female a few years ago who took off after a teal we flushed off a pond, she ran out and turned it back to the pond and just as she was getting close the teal clipped a fence, went to the ground and shuffled back into the pond. She pulled off when it went to the ground. I think if I could have grabbed that one for her, we would have been rockin! I think the passage birds would be even harder to convince, but I've not really tried it.

Joshsbantams
03-13-2012, 11:16 AM
[QUOTE=continentalanatum;233367]huge collection of books and articles from magazines, www, etc. (Sparkes, Ross, Gleason etc)QUOTE]

Does anyone have any of this info that they could possibly share with me or at least lead me in the direction to finding it. I'm just beginning with my girl and want to do the best I can with her. From what I've heard, you folks are all the big Merlin guys.

PeteJ
03-13-2012, 11:23 AM
I've had similar results with imprint female Merlins on Teal. They chase them but don't seem to want to grab them. I'm sure they could be convinced if you did it properly. The problem would be finding a suitable bag to simulate it for them. Teal are pretty hard to come by from captive populations. Also, I'm not really sure the flight would be that interesting. A Merlin would catch a Teal pretty quickly and easily if they wanted them.

continentalanatum
03-13-2012, 03:08 PM
That's very true Ricardo. You mention Tom Gleason's articles and those are terrific discussion about what flying a merlin can be and the benefit of an open approach to interacting with merlins in the field. Pete's 1980's articles about imprint Richardson's (and pigeons) are also in that vein of creativity. The southern CA merlin mafia falconers have been doing things their way for a long time (jacks!) and certainly have a unique insight. The ubiquitous distribution of the merlin has produced master merlin falconers in all corners of the Americas and I think while similar, not everyone is flying their birds exactly "the same", not even close - and that's a great tribute to the species.

Friends,

I`m totally agree with Bill Barbour, Jeremy Roselle and Tanner Schaub! I`m starting to think that we are members of the Merlin Mafia (Cool term!) and I haven`t idea when I joined you! But it is my pleasure and as Tanner says, there`s little written in this branch of falconry and I strongly believe that there are more falconers doing their best for achieve good results and great success with merlins in the Americas.
Craig Shanholtzer recently told me that he once had a real serious slip to some kind of teal with his trained merlin and that`s awesome definitely but I guess it`s an ocassional thing, maybe a little bit difficult to maintain in a real basis...The real thing is that merlins have tremendous courage and confidence for reach many challenges in falconry conditions.
Big Jer and Benji have tremendous fun and good hunting with their tremendous merlins performance...I wonder what is coming up next?
One thing is truth...I strongly recomend to all of you this coming new book! It will be a magnificent work for all american falconers!
I`m so happy!

christopher.vly
03-13-2012, 04:57 PM
I've had similar results with imprint female Merlins on Teal. They chase them but don't seem to want to grab them. I'm sure they could be convinced if you did it properly. The problem would be finding a suitable bag to simulate it for them. Teal are pretty hard to come by from captive populations. Also, I'm not really sure the flight would be that interesting. A Merlin would catch a Teal pretty quickly and easily if they wanted them.

Call Ducks?

GONEHAWKN
03-13-2012, 05:14 PM
Ricardo your killing me!!!!! I am looking forward to it!

PeteJ
03-13-2012, 05:25 PM
Call Ducks?
All the call ducks I've ever seen were sort of the next size up from Teal, not quite Wood Duck sized, but definitely bigger than Teal. I think our native Teal species are probably at the upper end of what a Merlin would take, so anything much bigger they'd really have to want it bad and if you're just entering them you have to be pretty careful to not put them off from the beginning. The one thing about ducks is, they 'appear' bigger than they really are, and its the interpreted size that can put off a naive falcon. Perhaps putting a prosthetic neck/head on a small pigeon would be the way to go for this purpose?

tumble
03-13-2012, 05:58 PM
Perhaps putting a prosthetic neck/head on a small pigeon would be the way to go for this purpose?

Pitch it to one of the suppliers, Pete.

Tony James
03-13-2012, 06:02 PM
Ricardo your killing me!!!!! I am looking forward to it!

Hi Bill,

I'm lucky enough to have had a sneak preview of some of what you'll see in this new book, and I'm sure it will offer exactly what so many are looking forward to.
Much of what already exists, relating to merlins in falconry's literature is great --- if you happen to live in particular areas of England where lark hawking is possible. Of course, only a handful of falconers do, whereas there are a good number of falconers around the world (particularly in the US) who are looking to use merlins in different ways and at different quarries.
Merlins offer such magical possibilities, beyond what I know, and I think this new book, with its insight from a variety of dedicated merlin enthusiasts, will inspire others to explore some of those possibilities.

Best wishes,

Tony.

PeteJ
03-13-2012, 06:54 PM
Pitch it to one of the suppliers, Pete.
I knew that paper mache training in my early youth would come in more handy than Algebra!

GONEHAWKN
03-14-2012, 12:56 AM
Thanks for rubbing it in a little Tony;)

BigJerHoods
03-14-2012, 10:06 AM
Tony I think you are referring to David Frank's book.

Tony James
03-14-2012, 12:51 PM
Tony I think you are referring to David Frank's book.

That's right Jeremy, and I think I'm right in suggesting it's not far from being published.
I hope it's well received and fills some of the gaping holes in our merlin literature.

Best wishes,

Tony.

ericedw
03-14-2012, 01:00 PM
The book in the works from Western Sporting, "The Complete Merlin" has turned into quite an extensive work on the merlin. I'm certainly proud to be part of it and have a chapter in it. I've seen parts of it and it's just fantastic, with 30 original paintings by David Digby, Natural History by Robin Radcliffe, chapters on merlin falconry in Great Britain, Russia, India, South Africa and the U.S. in chapters by Tony James, John Loft, Grant Hagger, Hans Peeters, Tim Gallagher, Ken Tuttle, Tony Huston, myself and many others.

My chapter is mostly an expansion of the info on my merlinfalconry.com website.

I'm sure it will be a fantastic book and I hope they get it out soon.

As far as the other books mentioned in this thread, each has good information for different situations, take from each what makes sense to you.

As far as the Coulson's work, I don't know falconers more skilled or successful than the Coulson's. I've seen their merlins fly and it's hard to argue with success. I appreciate them sharing their experiences and knowledge and although I manage and fly merlins differently in some ways I know they have been very successful with merlins.

gratefool1
03-14-2012, 01:02 PM
Tony,
I love your pic of the little 'un one the bigwheel! I hope you have that one blown up on the wall somewhere.
Good news about the book. Hopefully it won't be the prolonged wait that so many others have turned into.
Cheers!

gratefool1
03-14-2012, 01:04 PM
The book in the works from Western Sporting, "The Complete Merlin" has turned into quite an extensive work on the merlin. I'm certainly proud to be part of it and have a chapter in it. I've seen parts of it and it's just fantastic, with 30 original paintings by David Digby, Natural History by Robin Radcliffe, chapters on merlin falconry in Great Britain, Russia, India, South Africa and the U.S. in chapters by Tony James, John Loft, Grant Hagger, Hans Peeters, Tim Gallagher, Ken Tuttle, Tony Huston, myself and many others.

My chapter is mostly an expansion of the info on my merlinfalconry.com website.

I'm sure it will be a fantastic book and I hope they get it out soon.

As far as the other books mentioned in this thread, each has good information for different situations, take from each what makes sense to you.

As far as the Coulson's work, I don't know falconers more skilled or successful than the Coulson's. I've seen their merlins fly and it's hard to argue with success. I appreciate them sharing their experiences and knowledge and although I manage and fly merlins differently in some ways I know they have been very successful with merlins.


Awesome! Okay, silly to ask, but do you think it will be out before next season?

ericedw
03-14-2012, 01:08 PM
Awesome! Okay, silly to ask, but do you think it will be out before next season?

Well, I thought it would be out 5 seasons ago so I better not speculate ;)

I sure hope so, last I heard from the main editors was in November and it sounded like they were wrapping up lose ends. I'll see if David has a projected date.

continentalanatum
03-14-2012, 09:56 PM
Ben and friends,

I guess we merlin falconers will be full of good general information, magnificent tips and paraphernalia and especially an incredible recopilation of data and grand experience with passage merlins in a unique work. More merlin falconry for North American falconers!
The book that I told you is not the book of David Frank (that sounds great as Eric says) but another great book from a great falconer!
For logical reasons,I have prohibited to talk about it...It will rock you!...We will be honored to see it. Best regards to all of you merlin mafia! All of us are fortunate!

GONEHAWKN
03-14-2012, 10:05 PM
Alright, I have seen this "Merlin Mafia" term thrown around enough at this point that i think T-shirts or something should made up!!! I was chatting with Redtail71 about it today while preparing to fly my girl. Oh, good flights today, it just wasnt our day. And I am sure I will snap up both of these books when they come out!

bluejack
03-14-2012, 11:07 PM
Merlin mafia?

Sort of begs the question doesn't it?

continentalanatum
03-21-2012, 03:45 PM
Yeahh!

A good shirt will be great for the merlin mafia...Let me see what can we do down here and I tell you Ben...So, best regards for you Keith!

GONEHAWKN
06-16-2012, 02:07 AM
anyone have ANY info on ANY of the books-to-be spoken of here?

joekoz
06-16-2012, 09:34 AM
anyone have ANY info on ANY of the books-to-be spoken of here?

And where does one go to purchase a "MERLIN MAFIA" T-Shirt?

coopershawk
06-17-2012, 01:36 PM
Some news on these books would be great. Tantalizing hints, but no concrete facts.

Venomlust
06-17-2012, 04:19 PM
I can't help but picture an Al Capone lookalike, pin striped suit, cigar in mouth and merlin on a gauntlet adorned fist. Other hand reaching under his jacket... for a tidbit, of course.

continentalanatum
06-17-2012, 09:56 PM
Friends,
The only concrete thing that I know about the new book on passage merlins is that itīs a great work, many of us were waiting during decades for something like this.
A complete guide (Yes, I said complete! This is true!), great photos, super detailed and completely made for the american falconer.
The wait is almost reaching itīs deadline...Summer is in the air...Many of us can start our hawking season with a great work!!!...Men!...If you could wait for decades...Can you wait for some more days?
Best regards to Merlin Mafia.

cvarcher
06-18-2012, 01:22 PM
Ive trapped several passage Columbarious on Fire Island, NY. Back in the day I didnt have telemetry and just finishing working with passage kestrels as an apprentice I didnt want to lose a bird so I dedicated them to just lure flying. The main key I found that helped in the management is to house your bird with a warm house temp environment during the winter . By controlling the metabalism and doing 2-5 gram scale readings you can fine tune the bird for optimal performance. Mine never carried and was wedded to my lure .One time a cooper came after my bird and she took off. I waited and waited all the while blowing the whistle and swinging the lure . About 8 minutes later she slammed the lure hanging from behind me. I think her trapped weight was 240gms and she flew 188grams .Once you show them live birds to kill they never fly the lure with the same tight ability. And hooding was a very necessary thing.

continentalanatum
06-18-2012, 08:16 PM
Corrado,

Thanks for share your experience...I strongly believe that if you got the right control on your merlin, suddenly one day,the trust appears from nowhere and you can achieve the very best of hawking with this precious falcon...And telemetry can be not necessary. But in these days, telemetry itīs simply a must.
I started flying merlins back in 1996 without it and never happened a bad episode but just this past april my tiercel flew away with the transmitter...This is falconry! Regards.

dcowan
09-05-2012, 07:55 PM
I've flow just two merlins, and I believe I received the most useful information for starting out from Eric Edward's website
http://merlinfalconry.com

GONEHAWKN
09-05-2012, 08:45 PM
Hi ya Dan....Eric's sight was certainly a big help to me as well....will you be flying another Merlin this season? I will be leaving around the 17th to hopefully trap me a new charge.

dcowan
09-05-2012, 10:14 PM
We're headed to Cape May the first week of October, looking for another Merlin!

GONEHAWKN
09-05-2012, 10:24 PM
Good luck to ya Dan!.......site, not "sight" in my last post.....

MikeMaxcy
09-05-2012, 11:37 PM
For those of you that can make it to southern cal this January for the CHC meet there will be many Merlin hawkers stomping the alfalfa fields.

dcowan
09-06-2012, 12:56 PM
Hey Bill,
Don't you live near the Bay Bridge? We should be passing through there on October 1 on our way to the Lewes ferry over to Cape May. Maybe we can get together.

GONEHAWKN
09-06-2012, 01:50 PM
Yes sir. Very close indeed....PM sent....