Trapping Season

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OFA Officers

Jonathan Coleman
President

Chris Kimble
Vice President

Bart Russell
President-elect

Shane Bullard
Treasurer

Rob Huber
Secretary



OFA is an affiliate of the North American Falconers' Association

OFA is a proud contributor to The Falconry Fund

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OFA Is a proud contributor to Quail Forever

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Name?

Steve Sherrod

 

How long have you been an OFA member?

Well, that depends. In about 1984, OFA reorganized, and I had moved back to OK from CO and was a member then. Many of us (Ken Riddle, Mike Brewer, Jesse Woody, Charlie Brewer, John Sterling, and others) were active Oklahoma falconers back in the mid 60's or before, but without any official Oklahoma hawking organization.

 

Positions in OFA?

President 1984-1986; otherwise just a member

 

 

Where do you live?

Bartlesville

 

 

Job or School?

Sutton Research Center, University of Oklahoma, Executive Director

 

 

Family?

Son, Scott 28, and daughter, Alison, 31. Linda is ex-wife and close friend.

 

 

What got you interested in falconry?

My father grew up as a farm boy near Paoli and was outdoor oriented, and my brother was a student ranger in the Wichitas when I grew up in Lawton. My dad and I used to park on the road and watch redtails hunting from telephone poles. He would always call to my attention any raptor anywhere along the road when we were driving. We had many rattlesnakes, squirrels, coyotes, wounded crows, rehab great horned owls, and broken-winged redtails that ended up at our house. As a child, it was just sort of innate, but I always thought that birds of prey were absolutely spectacular, and I held them in great esteem. I had my first broken winged kestrel when I was 8, and I raised two different eyass redtails that I took from Oklahoma nests, the first when I was 12 and on the Boy Scout summer camp staff. 

 

Who was your sponsor? (or mentors and influences?)

I had pursued falconry without any books (simply weren't available then) or any advice bumbling through it while in junior high and high school, and managed to catch a few rabbits with my redtail; I also had a great horned owl and a kestrel flying to me on the glove. I met a Marine (Linton Whittles) and youth counselor from Texas who had a beach bird and who was a friend of another of my older friends in OK; I was able to borrow some of Linton's few falconry books, Linton would talk to me long distance by phone, and he made every effort to answer my numerous falconry questions. Later, a stranger (John Sterling) wandered up to a 100 ft elm tree when I was half way up on my way to a redtail nest in Norman, and he eventually introduced me to Mike Brewer who at that time was a student at OU along with me. Mike had a redtail that was catching lots of rabbits, and we ended up becoming friends; he then introduced me to Ken Riddle in Stillwater who also had a peregrine from the beach. With Lihton Whittle's and Riddle's peregrines, I was awestruck. I had already written a letter to Jim Fowler on Wild Kingdom and asked him to help me get a peregrine (he did answer but told me to get a redtail but I already had one). .Brewer and I ended up going out west in the 60's in search of prairie falcon eyasses. We got them, and that adventure is included in the 2000 NAFA Journal article about Shidler, my first big female gyrxperegrine. Mike caught lots of ducks in high style with his female prairie, Stormy, and I turned my prairie tiercel, Stoney, into a perfect 6 ft diameter, screaming ringer. I trained him to stoop the lure, and eventually he caught a bobwhite and another miscellaneous bird, before getting a bone through his crop in his second year and dying. My second tiercel prairie caught 25 bobwhites and 25 miscellaneous birds, so I like to think I learned a bit from my first longwing experience. From there, Mike and I went to beach birds and regularly catching lots of Okie ducks, and we joined Riddle sometimes on weekends when he could get a break from Vet School studies. 

 

 

What birds do you currently fly?

Usually gyrxperegrine hybrids, but nothing at present.

 

 

What birds have you flown in the past?

Redtails, kestrels, one sharpy imprint, one gos imprint, prairies, peregrines, both imprints and passage beach birds, gyrs, imprints and hacked, and gyrxperegrines, both imprints and hacked, and both sexes of all longwings above. 

 

 

What was your favorite bird and why?

I suppose one of my favorites was my roadrunner, Lyle (named after Lyle Lovett). I learned a lot from that little bird that grew up catching snakes and lizards; then there was ET, the little corella, that really belonged to my daughter, but was a family favorite. With regard to raptors, well my two favorite birds were the ones I wrote about in the NAFA Journals (2000 and 2001), Shidler, a large white female gyrxper, that I tame hacked in OK, and Moth, a darkish male gyrxper that I wild hacked in OK also, both of which I bred. Shidler took a long time (only 3 the first year) to learn to catch greater chickens, although she caught ducks from the very start in Wyoming,  Moth started off catching fall sharptails and chickens in South Dakota, and that made me happy. Both birds became very good at catching grouse and ducks, and they gave me many wonderful memories. At the present time I still have Shidler (hatched in 1986), albeit with only two toes on one foot after being electrocuted. Moth was killed, on a kill, by territorial redtails. Both birds were awesome, and they owned the sky when prey was flushed.

 

 

What birds do you plan to fly or would like to fly?

I like gyrxperegrines best for difficult quarry, but I like also straight peregrines including all subspecies, gyrs, and prairies. I really prefer to fly longwings myself, but I might fly another sharpie someday--great fun!!!! Or maybe a shrike or a taita.  Plus, I like to go out with anybody flying just about any species of raptor.

 

 

Favorite Quarry?

Greater Prairie Chickens; I consider these the most difficult quarry in the world to catch with a longwing. Lessers, sharptails, and sage grouse are also a challenge. I would love to spend some time hawking sand grouse in  Morocco or some other African country.

 

 

Do you have other animals?

One Jack Russell, two pointers, one shorthair, about 100 homers, and two giant Aldabra Tortoises weighing 150-200lbs each.

 

 

Favorite falconry story?

I probably told them already in the 2000 or 2001 NAFA Journal Articles. The story of the Indian Chief will always be one of my favorites.  I also like the description of my favorite stoop that was published in The Game Bag, 2008, an offshoot of the California Hawking Club.This describes an awesome stoop from out of sight by one of my white jerkins on a sage grouse under point by my old pointer, Sis. You had to be there, but it was akin to a shoulder mounted rocket--awesome! Ken Riddle and I both had the pleasure of witnessing this event.

 

 

Funniest falconry story?

 See above. Probably the one that left my cowboy hat floating on top of the water.

 

 

Favorite quote?

 "A fat hawk maketh for a lean horse and a weary falconer." King Fred II

 

 

What is the best tip that you would give someone new to the sport?

Remember to always treasure your bird and that if anything happens to it, it is your fault/responsiblity. Stay legal, and take the high road, aspiring to practice the highest quality hawking of which you are capable. Falconry competition is between you and yourself, not others. The bird is what you make it.

 

 

Who have you sponsored?

I am not able to give adequate time to this anymore. Gwen McKee, Paul Kaufman, Deb Stone, Ryan VanZant

 

 

What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

 Just to keep flying and to keep enjoying it, and to stay in good health so I can do this.

 

 

Contact Info you want public? 

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Social Networks?

I guess I am an old man and am not really into social networks; I would rather meet someone in person and get to know them a bit face to face. I don't really have a lot of free time right now, but I hope to be hawking again in about a year.


 
 

Featured Member

January, 2018

Bob Clark


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Featured Raptor

January, 2018

Bullseye


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