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Thread: Recall falling appart, non weight related. Help1

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Qu├ębec, Canada
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    691

    Default Recall falling appart, non weight related. Help1

    I figured I would ask for some help with this little problem that is getting to be quite frustrating...

    Long story short: for 4 seasons I flew my MHH following on, at weight going from 600 to 700gr. His best hunting weight was around 620-630gr, but he always responded very well (meaning 100% response if not eating or looking at a potential prey) to the whistle, and 80-90% response to his name. I never lost him once, he was the type of hawk who came before being called, and I never resorted to bribing him with visible food. If I offer food, it's hidden in the glove while he doesn't look. When he doesn't eat all his ration while hunting, I give him the rest either while doing recalls on a heavy rope (rope training) or jump-ups.

    This year I didn't go into the woods not even once, I'm tired of having trouble with hunters so I'm waiting for the moose season to end in november to go and free-fly him. So far I've been carhawking him on crows 5 times, he caught 3 crows and 1 ruffed grouse to which he didn't bind, unfortunately. He is very gamey, very motivated by the hunt, bates toward the car, look intently at anyting remotely looking like prey while I drive. He caught crows at 660gr, 650gr and 620gr and teh grouse at 610gr.

    However, his recall has totally fallen appart! I've got NO response out of him when he misses a crow, it's like I'm invisible. That's the reason for playing with his weight so much, I even got him down to 600gr after totally skipping a day's meal with no results whatsoever, not even when I'm like 12 inches away from him (he will chitter excitedly at me then just like when he wants to be fed, but won't come to the glove).

    It's becoming ridiculous. At home his response is always instant no matter his weight.

    I'm stupid so I still fly him, looking for the best slips I can find and avoiding the more difficult ones, but I know I'm an idiot for doing this with a hawk who doesn't come when called... yet I can't refrain myself. What would you suggest? Of course I need to train him in the woods again, from small distance then increase the distance etc, but I'm trying to figure out what went wrong.

    The cause is obscur to me: maybe he doesn't want to go back into the car, maybe he wants to stretch his wing and simply flying him free following on would resolve the issue, maybe he doesn't like the taste of crow meat which he has been eating on our outings for the last 2 weeks, maybe I flew him on the heavy creance too much and he feels like coming to me will be too difficult, etc... I really don't know. But I need to figure it out, make that unpleasant thing go away so coming back will be pleasant again...
    Audrey Marquis, Rouyn-Noranda, Canada

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    4,298

    Default Missing Crows

    I have found that my MHH's response when he misses a crow is very different from when he misses something else. He tends to be preoccupied with where the crows are and reluctant to take to the air when the crows are still about and in mobbing mode. When the crows are particularly aggressive I have seen him start to walk toward me.
    Ron N1WT Vermont

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Seattle, Wa
    Posts
    5,452

    Default

    I'd love to post some suggetions, but I chronically have this problem were recall falls apart.

    I am too "bloodthirsty" for the oportunity for my hawk to hunt to really do what needs to be done (go back to basics and TRAIN). When my field recall starts to fall apart, I just muddle through as best as I can so I can continue to hunt.

    It has left me in a very bad place... my old goshawk angel, now 13, will often make me wait for 20-30 minutes until SHE decides she is coming down. Quite frustrating. I must be a sadist, because I let it go on.....
    Geoff Hirschi - "It is better to have lightning in the fist than thunder in the mouth"
    Custom made Tail Saver Perches - http://www.myrthwood.com/TieEmHigh/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
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    636

    Default

    How well do you reinforce your recalls when you are hunting compared to when you are just working on them? Could it be that he has become aware that the recall when you are out hunting isn't reinforced well?
    -Oliver Connor
    "Live a life uncommon."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Great Falls, MT
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    Default

    based on all that you have said..... he recall is fine at home and he sulks or has no recall when he misses game, I would still say that this is a weight issue. HH's are masters of deception!!! He is lacking motivation...and it may not be much....it may only take 10 or 15 grams but I would still say some weight reduction is in order....just my .02
    Life ain't always beautiful.....But it's a beautiful ride!
    Heather G MT

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
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    636

    Default

    I'm not trying to pretend I know birds of prey, but I do know training as seen in other animals. I think that the old style of training really bases everything on hunger and weight, I'm not convinced. I would agree that that needs to be ballanced, but what we are all talking about it reinforcement and the strenth of.

    I don't know all the details, but I asked what I did mainly as a balance of reinforcment question. Lets say an animal knows a recall when training it at home because that's the name of the game, that's where the most reinforcement comes into play. If you are out in the car/field hunting, well that reinforcement schedule changes completely, often they get more reinforcement from the kill than the recall (as I've seen by some). Therefor, not only is the hunting reinforced but the hunting is reinforcing to them (I'm assuming by nature this is the case), thus making that hunting really really reinforceing exponitially in some cases. Maybe they get a decent bit of reinforcement for the recall but not nearly as much.

    All of this is based on an individual for sure. We had a dolphin who was let's call "lazy", or it appeared it enjoyed hanging out doing nothing. So most of the reinforcement in shows/guest swims was given for "doing" things. We also had a dolphin that was "hyper" and seemed to really enjoy fast, crazy behaviors, always doing something seemed reinforcing on it's on. In fact, it was harder to get her to stay still and just "hang out". So more of her reinforcement was given for simply sitting there still and calm. Heck, you could even reinforce that by letting go do something, the "doing" didn't even need to get reinforced with food.

    (forgive my spelling and grammar, it goes out the window when I try to get a lot out really quick in print)
    -Oliver Connor
    "Live a life uncommon."

  7. #7
    PHILADELPHIA CITY HAWKER Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goshawkr View Post
    (go back to basics and TRAIN).

    I agree, go back to basics, the fact that the bird is talking to you would indicate that you need to bring in the weight. What your experiencing is common. Your bird should be flown at a consistent weight thoughout his life. I put a greater value on control even though the bird is able to perform at a higher weight.

    All of us would like to fly our birds at higher weights with the idea that the bird is building muscle and strength. However they are also building fat reserve which lowers their response to you.

    Jeff

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