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Milan Falconry
09-15-2014, 01:08 PM
Hello everyone! I have been involved in falconry for almost 10 years through my uncle, Paul Astoffi. Some of my most valued memories of hunting were with my uncle and his birds which sparked the passion for falconry and birds of prey. From the age of 5 I was taught the most important part of falconry which apparently in my Uncles eyes was keeping his Mew cleaned. At least that's what it felt like each time I got to visit, as my first chore before hunting was to clean his Mew... I remember being in such a panic trying to clean as fast as I could just to make sure I wouldn't miss anything.

Each hunt was a new and exciting experience which fueled my passion to one day become a falconer. My uncle bought me my first shotgun at the age of 10 or 11 for Christmas. I remember asking him what I was going to do with it since Rascal, his Peales Peregrine was much more fun to hunt with. We were huge into duck hunting and he thought I would put the shotgun to good use. We got a good laugh years later telling that story at Christmas dinner.

As the hands of time spun faster and faster, I reached the golden age of 15 and my uncle and I took to the water that shotgun season for duck hunting opening weekend. We decided to head to the marsh where hunting was harder to get to but usually produced more game. After a successful hunt and a lot of catching up, we began the chore of gathering gear so we could start heading home. As I went to get the punt boat out of the cattails I noticed my Uncle hunched over in the water. As I got closer to him I realized that there was something very wrong. Not moving, I realized my worst fear. He had died from a heart attack on our hunt.

His birds were released to other falconers around the United States and my heart was broken. Not only for the loss of my Uncle, but for the loss of the only link to falconry in my life. The next 22 years went on as I tried to find the secret to life. As the years moved on the deep down passion for falconry started to boil and I started searching for it heavily. Finally landing a sponsor, I am on schedule to become a General Falconer in the summer of 2015. The only regret is that I waited so long to get back in the game. After a few hardcore hunts with a Red Tail and I have come to realize what I've been missing in my life for all these years. I look to get back into longwings once my general status has been reached, and then I can say that my life journey has just begun. Happy Hunting!

Derrick
Milan Michigan

AdamS
09-15-2014, 02:34 PM
Wow, thanks for sharing Derrick! Best of luck to you!

harrishawk_79
09-15-2014, 10:39 PM
If ur lucky

Milan Falconry
09-16-2014, 09:08 AM
If ur lucky

Only time will tell. My sponsor is an ok guy so I don't think there will be an issue. We do have a few crazy stories in the short time we've known each other. It will be interesting how the rest of our falconry career goes together. firsts

harrishawk_79
09-16-2014, 09:14 AM
Sounds like u got it all figured out

rebeccajrocks
09-22-2014, 01:24 PM
Derrick,
Thanks for sharing the memories of spending time with your uncle. It sounds like you learned quite a bit from him. And, I'm very sorry for your loss. That must've been very tragic to lose him at that age...especially during a hunting trip.
You do have a great advantage, to grow up around falconry and hunting. (Don't beat yourself up about being away from it, you already have a huge head start.) I too grew up doing all kinds of hunting and fishing with my father, but he was never introduced to falconry. I learned so much about the world from him. It's strange how we don't fully appreciate that knowledge until we are adults ourselves.
I lost my Dad a couple years ago, and certainly wish I could've spent more time with him. If he were here now, I'm sure he'd be very interested in falconry, just as I am. I'm know he'd like to learn everything he could about this challenging sport (he really enjoyed training and hunting with bird dogs.)
I too am in Michigan, I live "up North" in Grayling. I grew up near Royal Oak, but my family went "up North" on virtually every weekend and holiday. I love being here, but I'm finding that the falconry resources are mostly near the Detroit area. I guess I can't have it all!
Good luck to you.

Falconer_hopeful
09-22-2014, 02:43 PM
Good luck, what kind of longwing do you plan to get?

Milan Falconry
09-23-2014, 01:42 PM
Derrick,
Thanks for sharing the memories of spending time with your uncle. It sounds like you learned quite a bit from him. And, I'm very sorry for your loss. That must've been very tragic to lose him at that age...especially during a hunting trip.
You do have a great advantage, to grow up around falconry and hunting. (Don't beat yourself up about being away from it, you already have a huge head start.) I too grew up doing all kinds of hunting and fishing with my father, but he was never introduced to falconry. I learned so much about the world from him. It's strange how we don't fully appreciate that knowledge until we are adults ourselves.
I lost my Dad a couple years ago, and certainly wish I could've spent more time with him. If he were here now, I'm sure he'd be very interested in falconry, just as I am. I'm know he'd like to learn everything he could about this challenging sport (he really enjoyed training and hunting with bird dogs.)
I too am in Michigan, I live "up North" in Grayling. I grew up near Royal Oak, but my family went "up North" on virtually every weekend and holiday. I love being here, but I'm finding that the falconry resources are mostly near the Detroit area. I guess I can't have it all!
Good luck to you.

Thanks for the kind words and the response. Grayling is a beautiful place to live. I've spent many weekends up in that area on several get away weekends and fell in love with it.
I believe you are right with the falconry resources. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many falconry related things happen around the Detroit area. I only live about 45 minutes to the suburbs and I find that some of my best hunting is out that way versus the country where I currently live now. More predators out in the country and unfortunately they keep our bunny population down pretty good out here.

Derrick
Milan, Michigan

Milan Falconry
09-23-2014, 01:55 PM
Good luck, what kind of longwing do you plan to get?

Hello Luke,

My heart lies with a Peregrine which is what I've always helped train and fly. Unfortunately because of our very limited trapping allowances in Michigan I doubt that a Peregrine will become my first bird. I will probably try to head out west and try to trap a female Prairie for my first longwing. I know that most of the experienced falconers who just read this post gritted their teeth and tensed up. frus) I expect to have a tough go at it since I've read some really bad horror stories. But there are those cases where a Prairie becomes a joy to train and handle.

I really enjoy the process of trapping and training a wild caught bird and am not ready to purchase one from a breeder. I'm sure eventually my thought process will change, but as of right now I'm in it for the experiences that we get during the ride to hopeful success. My pigeon coop has begun, and the longwing books have been bought. I'm trying to outsource some local falconers with experience in longwings to take me under their wing if you will.

Derrick,
Milan, Michigan