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Fredtail
09-16-2014, 04:41 PM
For those from the Apprentice Falconry Proboard, this will sound familiar:

*stands up*

Hello. My name is Fred and I am a hawk-aholic.

*sits down*

But seriously... I have been spending the last 2 years studying for the exam and making sure that my life was at a place where I could dedicate the time and energy needed to properly care for a BOP. I registered on the Apprentice forum last month and recently began posting there recently.

Due to my posts on that forum, yosemity71 reached out and informed me that he lives in my neck of the NJ woods. He also suggested that I register here. Thank you, sir!

To be perfectly honest, I kind of burned myself out on forums some time ago. I used to be a PC gamer and hosted/moderated many different forums for several different games. I gave that all up a few years back due to burnout. I needed to get outside more! I am now getting back into the groove and enjoying talking to other like minded folks. So far everyone I have spoken with has been very informative and friendly.

Since I gave up the gaming "career" I have gone back to my roots enjoying camping, hiking, fishing and hunting. My father was quite the outdoors-man so most of my childhood was spent outdoors.

I live in South NJ but also have a house in a small village in rural upstate PA (Sullivan County) right on the edge of state game lands.

Raptors, and birds in general, have always been a passion of mine. I volunteer at a local wildlife refuge and I am the "bird man", rarely working with mammals or anything not feathered. Sunday morning we held our monthly (seasonal) raptor photography session and I was able to work as a handler. I have been there a few years now but had never had a bird on the fist.

All of my raptor handling was casting or otherwise securing the birds so that the Biologist could perform examinations or administer medications. I have had every kind of raptor from kestrels and screech owls to large red tails and vultures in my fists. After I passed the exam I had a discussion with the Director of Education at the refuge who agreed that I was more than ready to start helping with training the education birds and working the festivals. I have four festivals coming up over the next 6 weeks at which I will be handling raptors and educating the kiddies! Unfortunately, the resident birds we keep are not releasable due to either human causes or accidental injury. But this is how I spend my Saturday nights! We do, of course, release any that we are able to rehab, which is an amazing feeling. Every time!

I decided to make this life long dream a reality and I am so very close. I passed the exam a few weeks ago, have a pile of lumber forming in my garage for the mews, started practicing my leather working skills, and have been stalking a passage RT in my town. The New Jersey Falconry Club, of which I have been a member for 2 seasons, has been outstanding in guiding me on this journey. Unfortunately, I have not yet secured a sponsor, due to geographical distance.

I wanted to take a minute to introduce myself and thank all of the posters here in advance, and yosemity71 specifically, I am digging through a ton of great information on this board. I wish I had known about this one during my studies.

Warmest Regards,
Fred

robbeth
09-16-2014, 06:06 PM
Welcome

crozierk
09-16-2014, 06:14 PM
fredtail... lol, thats funny. i like it beeer

Fredtail
09-16-2014, 06:52 PM
Rob: Hey! Thanks man. Nice to see you here!

Kyle: I mulled over a user name for a quite a while and then it hit me! beeer

Here are a couple of photos from Sunday. I was so very proud. Totally in my glory! The GHO "Hoodini" does not like the glove. Footed me getting him up there. Loved that too! I know.. I'm weird.

The male RT has a deflated left eye from an impact injury several years ago. He's still a champ in my book.

http://i1293.photobucket.com/albums/b590/BirdBrainedDotNet/Raptor%20Pics/20140914_095112_zpsaabb1351.jpg (http://s1293.photobucket.com/user/BirdBrainedDotNet/media/Raptor%20Pics/20140914_095112_zpsaabb1351.jpg.html)

http://i1293.photobucket.com/albums/b590/BirdBrainedDotNet/Raptor%20Pics/20140914_101441_zpsdd9b138e.jpg (http://s1293.photobucket.com/user/BirdBrainedDotNet/media/Raptor%20Pics/20140914_101441_zpsdd9b138e.jpg.html)

Shortwingn
09-16-2014, 07:14 PM
Welcome Fred, S. Jersey has a bunch of bunnies for you to have fun with. If your ever in NNJ touch base if you can!

Fredtail
09-16-2014, 07:21 PM
Will do, Erik. The one of the NNJ members of the NJFC told me she was jealous that we get all the bunnies down here. toungeout

yosemity71
09-16-2014, 07:38 PM
Welcome aboard Fred, glad you made it over here! Lots of great information to be found on Nafex!

dliepe
09-16-2014, 08:06 PM
Good to see another Jersey boy on nafex. I fly longwings exclusively but there are plenty of hardcore bunny hawkers in the club... Pretty much all of them in fact. Looks like you have a good baseline of knowledge and experience. Best of luck.

David

Fredtail
09-17-2014, 06:47 AM
Thanks guys. You will see me on here often.

I will likely never (I know never say never) fly longwings since I am more of a terrestrial hunter. I have also had a great admiration for the red tails since I was a kid.

When I decided to make this happen, I knew I had much to learn and that is when I started volunteering at the refuge. I was very honest with them about my intention, which was to get as much experience as possible handling BOPs.

Someone brought in a bald eagle this weekend but I was at the NJ Wild Expo hanging out with the club and helping to educate the spectators a little. I will probably have to deal with her on Saturday night so this should be an amazing experience!

kevin27
09-17-2014, 01:08 PM
Greetings Fred,

I'm also volunteering at a local wildlife animal hospital, caring for their raptors.
I'm also new to the forum and falconry.

Fredtail
09-17-2014, 01:18 PM
Greetings Fred,

I'm also volunteering at a local wildlife animal hospital, caring for their raptors.
I'm also new to the forum and falconry.
It is a great way to really learn about the biology and how to and not to handle these amazing birds. You will learn a lot. Trust me!

My goal when I started this journey was to be the apprentice that bores his sponsor! Don't take that the wrong way, anyone! You know that I mean! peacee