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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Sooner_Redtail_01



Name?

Sooner


Falconer?

Oscar Pack


Species?

Red-Tailed Hawk


Sex?

Female


Hunting weight?

40 ounces (1134 grams)


Age (Or dates and number of season flown)?

One season as a passage


Wild trapped, or captive bred?

Wild trapped


Trapping story, or info about acquisition?

In 1971 the Migratory Bird Treaty Act was being adopted, which at that time was referred to as the Mexican Treaty.  It basically banned falconry, in that there was no provision for it.  I guess the mindset was that if nothing said it was alright, then it was illegal.  I had an interest in falconry since my early years.  When I was about eight or nine and a friend of mine brought home a baby hawk, I could not be around it enough!  I helped all I could and it soon was able to fly on a creance, but it was just a string at that time.  I'm not sure what happened to that bird, but one day he just didn't have it anymore.

This experience stayed with me, and I started investigating falconry further.  There was not much available at the time, and falconers were few and far between.  The ones I did meet were very tight lipped, and had nothing encouraging to say about the sport other than stating the difficulties, and were little to no help at all.  I found an add for the book North American Falconry and Hunting Hawks in the back of an outdoor magazine, purchased it, and read it front to rear and back again.

One of the falconers I made contact with, JL Woody of El Reno, was still very tight lipped (believe it or not), but was my only reference.  I tried getting my falconry license through the ODWC, but they were no longer being issued since the treaty.  I wasn't to be denied, so I made traps of all sorts and after a year, finally trapped a passage female red tailed hawk.  After driving what seemed like millions of miles, I ended up catching her about a mile from home on Sooner Road.  In true Okie tradition of starting earlier than the law allowed, I named her Sooner. 


Training?

Mostly FL Beebe's technique for goshawks, using a predator call for a whistle, and a welders glove for a gauntlet.  Around five weeks I flew her free.  I would walk through a lightly wooded area near home, she followed well, and came to the glove really good.  I called Woody and told him of my experiences, and he invited me out to El Reno to go hawking and to evaluate us.  I was very cold, low twenties, and we went to the local lake and walked out an area loaded with cottontails.  Sooner was gamey, chased several very hard, and would always return to the fist.  Finally, she caught one off the glove.  I could not have been happier!


Hunting style?

Off the fist, and sometimes out of trees.


Preferred habitat?

Mostly open prairie.


Typical quarry?

We caught mostly cottontails, along with a dozen jacks.


Favorite quarry to hawk, and why?

Jackrabbits!  They are fast, strong, and smart runners...the big game of hawking with a RT.


Bird's favorite quarry to hawk?

Cottontails


Favorite hawking story?

Woody and I became close friends, and we spent many hours in the field together with him flying Sam, tiercel harris hawk, and his Cooper's hawk named Tara.  After the treaty was amended to allow falconry, I was inspected by a local game ranger and surprised him that I had already been hawking, and had a bird already (illegally).  I was cited for it, fined twenty five big ones, and appointed care taker of the hawk.  In my experiences, the ODWC has always bent over backwards to be fair.


Birds favorite quote?

"Ho, Ho, Ho!!!"



Sooner_Redtail_02


 
 

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