Hi again folks! remember me? It's been kind of a busy summer for me and I have tried to stay away from NAFEX because I have a tendency to become addicted to it and spend WAY to much time on here I thought that it's only fair I post something about my gos as I enjoy reading everyone elseís threads so here goes. It might get a little lengthy!

It all started on June 9th. I picked up a 14 day old male gos from Barry's project which would make him 70 days old today. I tame hacked him at Barry's place and under Barry's guidance. I think Barry had more fun than I did with the tame hack (sorry about the barking dogs every morning Barry). I think the tame hack was great for the bird and will do it again if I have the chance. I started the tame hack around the time he could fly off the ground and continued with it until around hard penning. He was socialized a decent amount. I could have socialized him more around large crowds I guess, but he saw different kinds of dogs, cattle, tractors, cars, lawn mowers, weed whackers, and chainsaws. He wasn't t0o crazy about being petted at first but got used to it and excepted it without complaint. He never really became real friendly with the dog but that's because he wasn't around the dog 24/7. He sometimes goes after the dog if she doesnít behave herself. It took him awhile to get used to riding in the car on his perch but now rides around like a champ with hardly a bate. He loves the giant hood and when it gets dark he will bate of his perch to jump in it. I fed him in it early on and now he just likes being in there. I guess he feels secure. He will jump in the giant hood in the evening and I can leave the door open and he just sits there happy and content.

I pulled him from hack around hard penning, he was 750g. At hard penning he became really jumpy and random things would set him off, my right hand, the dog, a blue towel, a pop bottle, a paper bag, you name it. It took me awhile to get used to this. Here I was reading about all you guys with what it sounds like real docile tame birds and I was wondering what I had done wrong. Anyway, I was starting to wonder if I really was going be able to pull this imprint thing off and not make a basket case out of him.

Thinking back what I would have done differently was start a weight metabolic rate of loss graph as soon as I was starting to regulate his food intake after I pulled him from hack. I think I lost a week or so because of not doing that. Barry put me on the right track ( thanks Barry). I dropped him a bit fast and I think his weight were all over the chart because of the lack of a schedule on my part. I found out how important it is to not just to fly/train him at just any weight but to wait until his metabolic rate slows down.

I though my handling techniques was pretty smooth. I found out differently when dealing with this eyas. Everything gets a little more complicated with an eyas. First I found I was moving too fast around him and I was making in WAY to fast. The fear of the right hand, I thought, was just a weight related thing, but I think it might have been a handling issue. Here is why; whenever he was on a baggie he did not like seeing my hands in front of him, but if I worked from behind him and slid the lure under him from behind, the hands were never an issue. He never even cared if they were there, but if my hands were working in front of him he would act real possessive. So thatís one problem I worked out. I think to often we think, or should I say I thought, the cure all was just to drop weight as a response to bad behavior. I guess the reason why, is because itís easier to drop the weight than to think that you are doing something wrong or could be doing something differently to solve the problem. I also found I was making the mistake of covering the lure with my hand so I had to change my handling there as well. I also found picking him up after he was done eating isnít easy as it sounds in the book. I was waiting WAY to long to pick him up. I find that if you put your glove or hand under their tails while their still preoccupied with food then when their done they just step back on the glove and itís as easy as anything. On a side note, he used to get real jumpy after eating and bate and chitter ( a weight thing).

I have been reading a lot about eyases and how to deal with them and the doís and doníts but itís when your dealing with it in real life remembering everything you read and doing it right takes practice. Itís all there in the book, but practicing it, takes, well, practice J.

On Sunday he caught his first sparrow and on Monday he got his first sparrow triple. I have his weight down to 680gm and I got my nice bird back. No fear of hands, no random bates of fear anymore, no chittering, he takes everything in stride, and calms down quick if anything does startle him. He doesnít chitter in fear after he has a full crop and I pick him up after eating and is quiet totally quiet when he has a crop. So far things are going well and I am really happy. He is back to his crazy tameness, it seems, for now. One thing though, he is real noisy around hunting time but quiets down when we are out hunting and isnít too vocal in the morning itís the hours before we hunt that he gets real noisy. I go out around 6 or 7pm.

I will continue to hunt sparrows with him to get his confidence going then car hawk him and give him some fur baggies and intermittently launch some pheasant for him. I am going to buy a realistic crow decoy and get him going at that so that the transition to crows from starlings wonít be that large.

Sorry for the length of the post and if you read the whole thing I would be amazed! I just had 2 months of catching up to do is all.

Sincerely, Isaac