View Full Version : Goshawks and children

01-12-2009, 12:41 AM
Went out with Steve Kaufer and his Daughters......

Kayla getting ready


The Flight





01-12-2009, 12:44 AM

01-12-2009, 12:45 AM
And the happy girl!!


01-12-2009, 12:47 AM
Then Shelby!!





01-12-2009, 12:49 AM
And the happy girl!



01-12-2009, 12:50 AM
Steve and the two girls!


01-12-2009, 12:59 AM
Then a pic of my Duck spot that I took them to....



01-12-2009, 01:59 AM
So Mn. is where all the mallards are hiding out in winter!lol Great pics Greg, thanks for sharing!

01-12-2009, 09:08 AM
Very nice!

01-12-2009, 09:58 AM
Fantastic Pics!! So that's where all the ducks are!!!

01-12-2009, 10:19 AM
Wow Greg, I'm shocked at how old Steve's kids are, it just seems like yesterday when the youngest was born and the problems they had with her... thanks for the pics.

01-12-2009, 10:27 AM
Wow Greg, I'm shocked at how old Steve's kids are, it just seems like yesterday when the youngest was born and the problems they had with her... thanks for the pics.


You know he has a New-born also? It is prolly a couple months old now. So that makes 4.


01-12-2009, 10:51 AM
Dang... no I didn't know he had 4 WOW!!!!. I haven't talked to Steve in a couple years,better give that guy a call...sheesh, anyway he owes me a bird from a few years back, when I sent him a male, so now may be a good time while the fire is hot.

Bryant Tarr
01-12-2009, 11:05 AM
Great photos! Steve is a wonderful guy...give him my best next time you see him!

01-12-2009, 06:51 PM
Great photo's Greg, as usual! LOL Man, what I would do to find a duck spot like that! Keep those action pictures coming, love them! clappclappclapp

01-12-2009, 06:51 PM
Outstanding pictures! Thanks for sharing. I thought all the water would be frozen in MN. by now.

Chris L.
01-12-2009, 06:55 PM

great pictures.. always good to get children involved in this.

nice duck spot :eek:

01-13-2009, 12:19 AM
I know Steve and his birds are good, but I think that pic was the proverbial "ducks in a barrel" to say the least....heheheheh!

01-13-2009, 12:36 AM
Then a pic of my Duck spot that I took them to....



I must say you have gotten much better with Photo Shop!


Sorry I could not resist boxingg

01-13-2009, 01:39 PM
Outstanding pictures! Thanks for sharing. I thought all the water would be frozen in MN. by now.

This creek is one of a few that stay open all winter. It was -21 this morning and the water will still be open. It runs under a freeway interchange for about a mile so the water comes out relatively warm. It stays open for about 250yrds and the creek is about 5 to 8 ft wide and 4 inches to 2 ft deep. There are prolly a 1000 ducks on it.


01-13-2009, 01:42 PM
I know Steve and his birds are good, but I think that pic was the proverbial "ducks in a barrel" to say the least....heheheheh!

Steve actually just started hunting. Meenah had a virus and has finally recovered but lost her voice, not sure that that is a a bad thing.

For those that don't know....Meenah had Westnile a few yrs ago and is blind in one eye and has reduced vision in the other, but is still a great game hawk.

Ducks are great to get a bird going, and building confidance.


01-14-2009, 10:33 AM
Is that crazy person still yelling at you guys for killing ducks at this spot?

01-14-2009, 10:52 AM
Is that crazy person still yelling at you guys for killing ducks at this spot?

Haven't run into him this yr. It is colder than a witches tit outside so I don't know if I will be going hawking there again this yr. The season is over Sat.


01-14-2009, 10:49 PM
Great pics, thanks for posting them Greg.

01-14-2009, 11:02 PM
Great pics, thanks for posting them Greg.

My pleasure Paul!


01-20-2009, 01:08 AM
Steve gave me permission last yr to post his exploits on the IFF. I am taking the liberty to post them again.....on here.

I finally got Meenah down to 1000 grams. I decided we should start to try for pheasants since ducks are now closed in MN. Ducks are open here in Wisconsin, but that prolonged arctic blast really locked up most of my creeks for now. That being said, the good lord shined on me by having a pair of mallards in a tiny piece of water in a killer set-up as I drove one of the creeks on the way to a pheasant spot. I crossed the ice 100 yards away around a bend and was able to get 10 yards away behind a fallen tree. I slipped Meenah's hood and she was all business, that "show me the money" look. I stood up and the ducks flushed up the opposing creek bank. Meenah just smoked after them like they were standing still. She plowed into the hen with an audible whack and then floated down on to the bank where she wrapped it's head up instantly. I had to go upstream a ways where the ice was thicker in order to get across without getting wet and by the time I got to her, the mallard was dead. I let her pluck a few minutes and then stepped her off, we got some pheasants to chase, I told her.

I went to a honey hole that always has birds in it and they aren't gun hunted because it's too close to a trailer park. As a result, the birds hold really good to point and often only fly a couple hundred yards to the next strip of cover. After that they have to go about a half mile to cover. I turned Dixie the wonderpup loose and got Meenah ready. Before I even got Meenah out of the truck I heard Dixie's collar beeping 40 yards away in the cattails. I unhooded her and told Dixie "good girl, stay". I eased in front of her nose and the hen blew out to our right, Meenah's blind eye. Meenah launched at the sound and after a wingbeat located the fleeing pheasant. As I stood and watched her stroke after the hen another dozen pheasants exploded around me going the other direction. Meenah was pacing the hen waiting for it set it's wings and then she started pumping to catch up. The hen went into the strip of cover and Meenah put up in the only tree in the strip right above it. I trudged over the chisel plowed field, stumbling all the way, and finally got to her and called her down for the reflush. I made Dixie "whoa" as I could see the tail skid into the grass snow cave. I held her high and started stomping on the snow cave. Five yards away the hen blew out and Meenah was all over it, binding to it 10 yards out and 10 feet up in the air. I let her pluck for awhile and break in before stepping her off to finish a quail leg on the glove. I never watched to see where all the other birds went so I had to go to another spot in search of birds.

After an hour drive I reached the another pheasant spot. Dixie and I put on some miles at this spot. Meenah rode the glove for an hour and a half before we cut some tracks. We followed the fresh tracks for 20 minutes only to have the trail end in wingprints of a take off in the snow before our arrival. This happened two more times, I just needed to find out where they were taking off to. Dixie was working a slough edge when she locked on point. Her tail was a waggin' so I figured it was a bunny. I had been walking for so long I decided forget the pheasants let's catch a bunny. I got in front of her nose and he bumped to my right. I ho ho'd and threw Meenah but she never saw him. She flew a half circle and put up in a oak tree. Two seconds later she launches off the branch and is pumping across the frozen pond at something she sees 150 yards away. I see her shoot into the understory and then hear crows going nuts. Dixie and I hoof it across the frozen pond. On the other side it's littered with bunny tracks an pellets. I do a quick telemetry spin and locate her high in a pine over looking an eight lane rabbit highway. Meanwhile Dixie's collar starts to beep and I see her tail wag point at the base of a tipped over tree. I kick at the tree and out shoots the bunny, Dixie howling after it and Meenah zipping over head at mach 1. Dixie loses sight of it and comes back to me. I find the fresh tracks off the beaten trail and begin to follow them with Dixie at heal. I can hear crows far ahead of me so I figure Meenah must be up. The cover is pretty thick and when I finally crawl out on my hands and knees I see my Meenah plucking away at a balled up bunny. Total distance was about 150 yards. I think she lost sight and pulled up. Then Dixie and I bumped it again when we were crawling through the cover and she smoked it in the open. I let her break in and then stepped her off to a pheasants leg for the L O N G walk back to the truck, about 4 miles of knee high snow.

When I was 100 yards from the truck I cut two fresh sets of pheasant tracks, BONUS!!! I wasn't paying attention to where Dixie was and turned on her collar to find her about 50 yards ahead locked on point. I slipped Meenah's hood off and let her eyes adjust for a minute and then worked towards the dog. Meenah knows what the beeping collar means so she was locked and loaded looking for the dog. I eased past Dixie and a rooster and a hen blew out downwind across a frozen pond. Meenah locked in on the hen and was stroking after her hard. They went 200 yards across the pond and around a woods out of sight. Out came the telemetry. About a quarter mile later I found her in a low tree over a small chunk of cover. The tail skid showed where it went. I circled around the other side and got her down. With her riding high I kicked around the grassy cover and the hen blew out behind us heading back where we came from. Meenah spun around and was off in pursuit again. Telemetry anyone? I followed the beep and found Meenah calmly eating her prize not more than 50 yards from where it all started.

Meenah still doesn't have her voice back, but she does have her groove back.

Tired and sore,


01-20-2009, 06:13 PM
clapp clapp clapp Meenah is such an awesome bird! I always love Steve's stories. Did I count right? One duck, one rabbit, and two phezzies? That's how hawking should be done!! rockon

01-22-2009, 07:54 PM
Wednesday Jan 21st,

Yesterday's hunt didn't go as planned but we still did very well. I had
intended on leaving early to go to some spots in Minnesota to hunt
pheasants. Unfortunately, my eldest daughter woke up sick so I had to alter
my plans. My wife volunteers at the kids school on Wednesdays until noon.
So as soon as she got home all you could see was a puff of snow crystals
down the driveway as I left.

I went to a larger river to try ducks on the way out of town. I found two
slips but it is very difficult to get a good slip on a large, fast moving
body of water. Often times the ducks have moved before you get there and
it's hard to re-locate them without getting busted. Anyway, the first slip
was pretty decent. The ducks flushed nicely but stayed over the water.
Meenah closed on them in 30 yards and the bird she picked bailed at the last
second. She pulled up and then I got her down to look for more. The next
slip was marginal but I took it anyway, you never know. I got pretty close
but not close enough on the flush. The birds flushed nicely but stayed low
to the water. Meenah really poured on the coals but she just couldn't quite
close the final few feet and pulled off about 100 yards out.

Next I went for pheasants at a place I hadn't been in a couple years.
Within 10 minutes Dixie and I cut dozens of fresh tracks, Yessss! Dixie
locked on point shortly thereafter. Meenah was snake necked. I eased in
front of Dixie and a rooster busted out going away, low and fast. Meenah
smoked after him and I got out the telemetry. I found her 400 yards away in
a cottonwood tree. I was just getting ready to call her down and she took
off and came zooming over my head. I turned and watched her stroke another
30 yards and shoot down into the grass. I thought she ground swatted the
rooster, but as I got closer I could hear the muffled squeal of a bunny. I
broke it's neck and transferred her off. Now I was in a pickle. Meenah
gets B.O.B.(Bunny on the brain) and won't chase pheasants if she knows
there's bunnies in the neighborhood. I hooded her up and walked for 15
minutes to the other side of the spot. I unhooded her hoping she was over
her case of B.O.B. Dixie locked on point 5 minutes later. I eased in and
had a perfect flush on a hen pheasant. Meenah launched and after a few wing
beats circled back and pulled in to a tree, damn B.O.B. As they say "When
in Rome, do what the Romans do." So we were now officially hunting bunnies.
The good news is there was rabbit sign everywhere. I got her down and Dixie
gave me a bunny point within a couple minutes. I got in front of Dixie's
nose and wagging tail and kicked at the grass. A bunny shot out the other
side. Meenah stroked after it and 15 yards away she takes a shot right as
it get to some willows. She misses but gets up immediately and hovers.
Dixie was in pursuit as well and bumped it again. Meenah rolled over her
left shoulder and pumped down and snagged it 20 yards away. I traded her
off and went looking for more. Long and short of it we had about a dozen
slips out of trees in the next half hour in really thick cover. Dixie
finally busted a bunny across the relative open and Meenah finally got the
hat trick. I was getting hungry so I left and went for some sustenance.

After filling my belly with a nutritious meal, not, I went to try for
another duck slip. B.O.B doesn't effect her on ducks. I drove both of my
creeks and finally, at the last spot, I found a lone drake mallard in a
beautiful set-up. I slipped Meenah's hood and let her see the creek. Game
on. I came in perfectly on him. I ho'ho'd him and he flushed straight away
over a dry land. I launched Meenah and she was on heat seek. She stayed
low and made up ground fast. Forty yards out she shot into him from below
and they bounced off the snow. As you can see by the picture, the drake
wasn't going down without a fight. They flip flopped in the snow until she
could finally wrap a foot around his head.

I really wanted to get a pheasant today but I won't complain. BTW, it
wasn't as though this wasn't any work. I haven't busted cover like that for
bunnies in years. It was so thick and nasty I got stuck several times and
covered allot of ground. I was a hurtin' unit when all was said and done.
Ducks and pheasants are much easier on my body.

Happy hawking,



01-22-2009, 11:55 PM
Awesome pics Greg?? Will I being seeing alot of those?

01-23-2009, 12:00 AM
Awesome pics Greg?? Will I being seeing alot of those?

Is this THE Colleen that I know?

This is Steves thread....If he keeps posting stuff I will be the relay....


01-23-2009, 09:56 PM

Now that you are on the NAFEX forum, the only people we have left to steal from the "other" forum/lists are: Kaufer, Tasha and McElroy..

Bet you could help us out with a couple of those! I miss the posts from these three but cannot see myself going back to the RR list.. ever..

01-23-2009, 10:06 PM

Now that you are on the NAFEX forum, the only people we have left to steal from the "other" forum/lists are: Kaufer, Tasha and McElroy..

Bet you could help us out with a couple of those! I miss the posts from these three but cannot see myself going back to the RR list.. ever..


I take it you had issues with Bill? He has a GF and a new job so he is never there anymore.....

Steve only wants to be in one place, he has dialup so the forums would be too slow for him.

Tasha doesn't have internet at her house right now so she doesn't want to join any more forums right now.

Harry tried but could not get how to navigate around on a forum, so he is sticking to RR.


01-23-2009, 10:34 PM

No issues, I just found the best place with some of the best falconers and people around, NAFEX! I have always liked how Harry handled everything.. a true gentleman. I miss reading Kaufers stories, but there are many (some even by YOU) that are just as good. And with Jim, yourself, Wes and others with good cameras, my need for great photos are all met here!

I joined RR back when it first started and really gained much from that list. Made some great friends and learned a lot.

This "forum" style fits my life better now.

Nuff of this mushy stuff, go kill something (for me!)

01-23-2009, 10:50 PM
Nuff of this mushy stuff, go kill something (for me!)

Tasha and I were going to go up to Duluth to try for Snowshoes, but we looked at the weather..... -18f with 20mph winds is not conducive for flying....So we stayed home and will hopefully get out again on Sunday.


01-27-2009, 10:14 AM
January 26th, 2009

OMG am I a hurtin' unit. I hawked for 6 hours at three different spots in
knee deep snow.

I started off for pheasants. I got to the first spot and after checking for
a Meenah's beep and turning on Dixie's collar we were off. It took about 5
minutes and Dixie got on a hot trail. A couple minutes later she locked up
solid. I was still 10 yards away when a rooster flushed and Meenah was off.
Just as she got over the dog a second rooster flushed and Meenah broke off,
rolled over and pile drived the rooster back into the willows. A battle
royal ensued and feathers were flying. The rooster scraped her off and came
running out and launched downwind. Meenah was all hung up in the willows
and didn't get airborne to chase. I coaxed her out to a dead quail and we
continued on. We walked for 20 minutes and Dixie locked up sideways looking
into some thick willows. I was trying to decided if I should circle around
or send the dog in. Before I could decide, a rooster went cackling out the
other side. Meenah was off and over the willows when a second rooster
flushed. Again, she winged over and drove him into the willows. And, yet
again, he scraped her off and made good his escape while she was all hung
up. I got her out and let her have a quail leg before we continued on.
Twenty minutes later Dixie froze, head low, looking into a snow cave. She
was ten feet below me in a steep ditch. I urged her to "easy up", which
means to creep a little. She stuck her nose in the cave and a hen came
rocketing out the other side. I launched Meenah and she shot into it from
the side 20 feet away and just pulled feathers as she flew past it. She
righted herself and was locked on in tracking pursuit. I got out the
telemetry and found her in a low tree about 500 yards away. I could see the
tail skid below her into a small patch of cattails so I held Dixie back. I
called her to me and then followed the hen's tracks. I heard the grass move
and Meenah was off. She flew over the cattails and did a wingover and
pounded....a bunny. Then of course, the hen got up and flew away unscathed.
I let her pluck, but now she had B.O.B. There was no more hunting pheasants
now that she knew there were bunnies around this area. I hooded her up and
drove to another spot an hour away in Minnesota that has been a good
pheasant spot for years.

Unfortunately upon arriving I could see that the power company had mowed all
the great cover along the RR tracks, leaving only a small strip 500 yards
long. I kept Meenah's hood on and walked Dixie at heal looking for some
tracks. We bumped two bunnies in the first 100 yards. We walked the whole
500 yards of track and never saw a single pheasant track. I decided it was
time to take out my frustration on the bunnies. I put Dixie into the cover
and she immediately bumped a bunny out. Meenah gave a good chase, winged
over and smashed cover but it was right at the bunnies hole, so he got away.
Back on the fist and ready for more. Dixie was soft pointing a brush pile
so I started jumping up and down on it. A bunny shot out to her blind side
and she didn't see it right away. She saw it a couple seconds later and was
smokin' down the tracks after it. She closed the distance in 50 yards and
the bunny made a hard left, to her good side. She T-boned him and wrapped
up his noggin. I let her pluck and then stepped her off for more. We had
several more flights, but the bunnies got down holes before she could bind.
There was a tall snow hill where the city was dumping there snow so I
climbed up on top of it to see what I could see. On the other side there
was a drainage ditch. I sent Dixie down the ditch and stayed up on top.
Fifty yards away Dixie starts to howl and out shoots a bunny, she saw it
before she smelt it. The bunny has about 75 yards to go to get to the strip
of cover. Meenah is making a B-line to intercept at the cover. I could
tell it was gonna be close. Meenah arrived just in time to get the bunny as
it made it's last leap for the cover. She bound to it and they landed a few
feet inside the grass. I let her pluck and then stepped her off. I was
getting thirsty so we headed into the small town and got re-hydrated.

I decided to go to the next small town along the tracks and see what it had
to offer for bunnies. It didn't disappoint. We had lots of flights but the
bunnies kept getting into these big RR tie piles that were left along side
the tracks, they must have replaced them this summer. Anyway, I saw a bunny
move ahead of us about 50 yards. I decided to pitch her off to a tree so
she could see better. I circled around the last place I saw the bunny and
pushed the cover towards her. I jumped on a brush pile and the bunny shot
out heading straight for her. Ho, Ho, Ho. She launched and was pumping at
him head on. The bunny saw her and hit the brakes turning for cover. He
got to the cover in time but Meenah flew over the top of the grass and
powered into him, pinning him up against some saplings. I stepped her off
to walk the last 100 yards of cover. I threw her up to a cottonwood and
started working the cover. I was barely into the cover when she came
pumping over head and headed down the tracks at mach 1. I stood and watched
as she stayed about 10 feet up and pumping hard. I didn't see any bunny.
She got to the end of the cover and powered into a squirrel nest in an oak
tree. I see her flopping around and then she glides down to the tracks with
a squirrel in her feet. I ran as fast as I could, by this time it was a
fast walk, to put the squeeze on him but it wasn't necessary. She had is
head securely punctured. What's with the squirrels? Ever since she's lost
sight in her right eye she likes to chase squirrels.

So to wrap it up I had a great day. My other goshawks are eating very well
because of Meenah. If this rabbit hawking doesn't kill me, I'll lose all my
winter weight.


01-27-2009, 10:19 AM
The pics....




01-27-2009, 01:14 PM
Great stuff. My friend's on RR and has been telling me about the Meenah stories for a while now. What a great bird.

01-31-2009, 01:35 AM
Here is Steve's latest


Well, I had intended on trying to sneak in a last hour pheasant flight
because my wife was gonna be home from work early. Then my #2 daughter,
Kayla, came home from school looking rather down. Seems a bunch of girls,
whom she is friends with, were going to a basketball swimming party after
school and she felt left out since she's in gymnastics. Daughter #1 was at
BB practice and Daughter #3 was at a birthday party. I asked her, since she
didn't have anybody to play with, if she wanted to go hawking with me, just
her and me. Being the ever thoughtful sister that she is, she first
declined because she said it wouldn't be fair to go without her sisters. I
told her how considerate she was to think that way, but it was o.k. for just
the two of us to go. Of the girls she really is the child who is totally
aware of her surroundings and others.

So, when my wife got home 15 minutes later we were out the door with Meenah
and on the hunt. Pheasants are too tough on little kids when the snow is so
deep so we drove one of the creeks first to see if we could find a duck
slip. We were just about to the end of the creek and it wasn't looking very
promising. Kayla then said she saw some ducks swim around a bend out of
sight as she looked back down the creek. We pulled the truck over and
hustled down stream. We circled back to where she thought she saw them.
She wanted me to fly them so I went upstream about 40 yards from her and
then motioned for her to start to move towards the creek. She flushed them
perfectly. Six mallards came rocketing up and Meenah launched. I was 20
yards back from the creek in a gap in the trees. By the time Meenah made it
to the creek they were just starting to pass in front of us. She banked
hard and stroked after a hen. She closed the gap and went for the bind.
The hen rolled at the last second and Meenah feathered her, but was unable
to sink into any flesh and the hen recovered and lived another day. Nice
flight though, very powerful and aesthetic.

We then had enough time to go try for a bunny. We got to the spot and had
about 15 minutes of daylight. Kayla got Meenah on the fist and walked along
the X-C ski trail while I played the dog and busted cover along a fence
line. After ten minutes Kayla said Meenah looked like she was really
looking hard back behind where I had just crunched cover. I tromped around
the area again and then saw a pile of cement blocks by the fence that had
tracks going in and out about 15 yards away. I kicked at the blocks and a
bunny shot out the other side. I heard Meenah's bell and new she had left
Kayla's fist. Seconds later she came stroking past my shoulder and was
homing in on the bunny 20 yards away. The bunny had his sights set on a
huge brush pile on the other side of the open space. My brain instantly
calculated the speed and distance and I yelled out to Kayla, "The skunk
Monkey is gonna die!". Meenah slammed into it 10 feet from safety and
rolled it with a squeal. Whoo who. Kayla and I did a HI-5 and hugged. We
watched her pluck for awhile and talked. I could tell by the smile on her
face that this was way better than a swimming party. We celebrated by going
to the gas station and got all sugared up with soda and Twizzlers.

She held Meenah on her fist all the way home and we had a nice talk about
how tough it is to figure out who your real friends are when your growing
up. Anyway, thanks for letting me share another family hunt. Here's a
couple pics.


01-31-2009, 01:39 AM
The pics.....



01-31-2009, 01:40 AM
Have I ever mentioned that Steve is the best goshawker that I know of or ever heard of? Not to mention a great guy.....


01-31-2009, 01:58 AM
Greg, tell Steve for me that he is the coolest dad I have ever heard of. I admire the relationship he has with his daughters. And oh how I wish I could have been exposed to falconry at a young age like his daughters. Tell him I love reading his stories and thanks for posting them. I hope to meet him someday! clappclappclapp

01-31-2009, 02:15 AM
Greg, tell Steve for me that he is the coolest dad I have ever heard of. I admire the relationship he has with his daughters. And oh how I wish I could have been exposed to falconry at a young age like his daughters. Tell him I love reading his stories and thanks for posting them. I hope to meet him someday! clappclappclapp

Fred...Why do you think that I post these? I will tell him you what you said. When I tell him the same.

One thing tho....He had kids so he could have playmates......hehhehehehe


01-31-2009, 11:43 AM
That's another great story and I love the pictures. I've got two young daughters and I really look forward to having days like that with them. I hope they're as excited about doing that as his kids are.

02-03-2009, 10:34 PM
Feb 2nd....


I had a great day yesterday. I started off by looking for ducks on the
rivers. I found three mallards in a little eddy on a bigger river but it
was partly frozen so they were flyable. I pulled over right away and got
Meenah out quickly because I didn't want them drifting downstream. I gave
her a second to look around and then went for the flush. They flushed
nicely over the smaller stretch of water and she was closing on them fast.
The ducks began to panic as she got within striking distance and they all
bailed at the last second into the last couple feet of water before the ice
shelf. Meenah pulled off and circled to find a tree. The ducks blew out
when she had her back turned. I had to go back to the truck to get my lure
since I hadn't even taken the time to put my vest on. I got my lure and
turned around to find that Meenah was gone. Huh. I got out my telemetry
and it told me she was across the river in some woods. I found a place to
cross and followed the beeps about 150 yards to some small pines in an
opening. As I got closer I saw a bunch of turkey tracks. I rounded the
pines and then saw Meenah holding a hen turkey in the throws of the death
flutter. I ran over to help but she had it by the head and it was bleeding
pretty good so I just subdued it's wings until it stopped. We have a let
lay rule in Wisconsin so I just let her pluck awhile and then stepped her
off. Upon further examination this bird was razor thin in breast muscle.
The tracks in the snow showed that it tried to run away when the rest of its
flock flew but she couldn't get airborne. Anyway it was still pretty cool
that she tackled it. I took a pic with my phone and we went for more ducks.

I blew the second duck slip by flushing to her bad eye side, you'd think I'd
learn. I tossed her and after a second or so she saw them and gave chase
but she really didn't have a chance. I messed up the next slip as well. A
pair of mallards busily feeding in a quiet stretch of open water with ice
downstream. Again the brain was frozen, it was-4 out. I flushed them
towards the open water side and Meenah was hot into them in 20 yards. They
wimped out and splashed on her when she was just about to sting the drake.
She pulled off to a tree and they blew out the back door. I was just about
to call her down when I saw a bunny silhouette in the cover across the
creek. I crossed the ice and busted it out for her. She was really cutting
through the understory and took two shots at it but it got away. I managed
to bump another one that she pulled fur on just as it got to it's hole.
Good flying! I then decided to walk the creek edge for bunnies because
there was a freeway of tracks along the bank. Meenah rode, cocked and
ready. She blew across the creek and tore bark off a tree trying to scrape
off a tree rat. I crossed the creek and kept it moving for her. She made
several more attempts at it but it finally got in a hole. I got her down
and went looking for more bunnies along the creek edge. After 20 minutes of
no bunnies I came around a bend and saw a mallards butt sticking out of the
water in a 10X20 foot hole in the ice. I backed out and circled in for the
kill. I came over the bank and he was gone, huh, where'd he go? I then saw
his tail sticking out from below the ice shelf, there was about 8 inches of
space between the ice and the water. I stomped on the edge of the bank
making a ruckus until he came unnerved and blasted out of his hiding spot.
He stayed low and Meenah caught up to him in 30 yards where she plowed into
him and they hit the ice, sliding another ten yards until they came to rest
against the shore. I let her pluck and then traded her off, it was time for

I got to the pheasant spot with an hour of daylight left. When I took the
hood off Meenah was really keyed up. She was a little lighter to begin with
when we started and now with the exercise she was on fire. Dixie worked
hard for 20 minutes and locked up on a nice point on a fence line. I got 10
feet from her and the hen bust out downwind. Meenah was off and stroking
hard. We found her 300 yards away in some really thick grass. we worked it
for 10 minutes and couldn't locate for a reflush. We headed back to where
the flush started and Dixie was working a bird good. Another hen flushed
wild 30 yards ahead and Meenah was off. After 100 yards she gave up and
pulled onto a telephone pole. I got her back and Dixie worked the fence
line for another 5 minutes and locked up staunch, not even blinking. I
eased in with Meenah and the hen exploded right in front of Dixie. Meenah
was into it quickly with an explosion of feathers but no meat. The hen
rocketed off towards a huge alfalfa field with no cove available. Meenah
was in hot pursuit and just stayed on the deck slowly closing the gap. I
watched with my bino's and five hundred yards away I saw Meenah's wings
flare and two become one. Sweet, except for the l o n g walk. The sun had
sunk below the horizon by the time I got back to the truck and the temps
with it. I was all warm on the inside but it took awhile for the truck to
warm up enough to help the outside. I porked her out on the pheasant in the
back of the truck and she was sporting a tennis ball sized crop when we got

Back at it tomorrow,


02-03-2009, 10:38 PM
The pic....


02-05-2009, 12:35 AM
Not good.....

I'm feeling sick to my stomach now as I look at my Meenah laying down like she's incubating eggs. I was supposed to be writing about what a great day we had, but that changed in a split second on the last flight of the day. After Meenah chased a pheasant hard to cover she put up 40 ft. in a tree, waiting for me to come for the reflush. When I was about 50 feet away from her I bumped a bunny. She came down at a 45 degree angle pumping all the way as the bunnny ran behind me. Right as she got to ground level and flattened out for the bind the bunny went under and old barbed wire fence at the exact time of impact. Meenah hit the fence so hard she knocked herself out and laid there motionless. I was dumbfounded, not believing I was seeing her laying there. As reality set in, I ran to her and scooped her up in my arms like a baby. She was still breathing and after a couple minutes she came around and was twitching and wobbly. I carried her to the truck in my coat and set her in the back seat. She rode there with her head up just looking dazed. She stood up for a little while once I got home but didn't seem to be able to balance herself. Her right wing is also drooping badly, although I can't find any breaks in the long bones. I think she might have fractured her coricoid. She has gone to laying back down and is very docile. I can't bring her in tomorrow because I've got to bring my baby daughter into the doctor for some vaccinations so I am going to bring her into The Raptor Center Friday for an x-ray. When my depression subsides I will post the early part of the day's hunt because it was pretty funny.

Take care,


02-05-2009, 08:53 AM
Wow, that's awful to read. That type of thing always worries the heck out of me. Hope she recovers.