Trapping Season


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Jonathan Coleman

Chris Kimble
Vice President

Bart Russell

Shane Bullard

Rob Huber

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Eric Pribil


Red-Tailed Hawk



Hunting weight?

Her early season weight was around 1250 grams, but she finished the season flying at 1380 grams.



Wild trapped, or captive bred?

Wild trapped in September of 2016

Trapping story, or info about acquisition?

I intended on flying a kestrel and a prairie falcon for the season.  I was out looking for a kestrel with Jere Korthanke one morning, when we drove past a really large red-tail sitting away from the road.  We turned around to get a better look at her, and saw that it was a passage bird.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity to fly a large red-tail, so we set the B.C. and caught her.  I have flown several RTs of varying sizes, but always wanted to fly a large female on this was my opportunity!


This bird trained pretty fast.  Her trapped weight was 1335 grams but she was not excessively fat, nor did she have a crop.  That helped when I started working with her.  I focused on getting a good response to the lure so I could free fly her as soon as possible.  I did a lot of weighted jump ups with her to keep her in the best shape I could.  When I am starting a new RT I want to reinforce the habit of staying close to me as we work a field.  I want her to stay near me waiting for game to flush, but I don't want her to be waiting on me to offer her a tidbit or throw the lure.  I was happy with how this bird trained early in the process, and she proved to be a good game hawk throughout the season.

Hunting style?

The hunting style for this bird was very typical for a RT, and she regularly took high perches in the field if they were available.  When we hunted jackrabbits in open country without good perches though, she would either ride the fist, or ride on a pole perch if I offered her one. 

Preferred habitat?

We hawked in small fields and old farms for cottontails, hardwoods and cottonwood thickets for squirrels, and wide open country for jackrabbits.

Typical quarry?

I started this bird on cottontails early in the season.  I also hunted jackrabbits and squirrels throughout the season.

Favorite quarry to hawk, and why?

It is difficult to specify if I would rather hawk jackrabbits or squirrels because they are very different styles of flights that are equally exciting.  I do enjoy watching a RT power off the fist after a jack in a long tail chase ending with a hard wingover.  I don't think I will get tired of that.  Sometimes the best flights don't end in a catch.  Jackrabbits have a lot of moves they can pull at the last minute to get away from the bird, and it is fun to watch.

Bird's favorite quarry to hawk?

I'm guessing her favorite quarry is fox squirrels because it is less work than catching jackrabbits.  She figured out the game on squirrels by the end of the season, and started working them in the tress and out maneuvered them. 

How is the season going?

I'm happy with how this season ended. This bird caught several jackrabbits, a lot of cotton tails and squirrels, and a pheasant.


Favorite hawking story?

One of my favorite stories from this season occurred when I was hawking jackrabbits with Dan and Parker Murray, and Jere Korthanke.  We had moved a couple jacks that she had chased but couldn't hang onto.  She had returned to the fist after a miss, and I gave her time to recover before we continued walking.  The group stayed close together as we continued down one side of an irrigation pit.  A jack flushed down hill and the RT left the fist immediately.  She grabbed the jack and rolled a couple times down hill, as the jack tried to get away by pulling her through the brush.  She gained control of the jack, and I got there as quickly as possible.  It is hard to pick one story to tell but we had a great season, and had the opportunity to hawk with a lot of friends and family who had not experienced the excitement of falconry before.




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