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Bart Russell

Shane Bullard

Rob Huber

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It’s been seven years since we last caught up with Tim Jessell.  Let’s see how he is doing!

What’s new with you and the family?

Oldest daughter Abby graduated from OSU and is preparing for med school, Ben is a pre med sophomore at OSU, and Molly is a junior in high school - playing softball and basketball. 1 year and 4 months ago, we opened Attaboy Boarding Kennels.

Have you held any OFA board positions since we last spoke?

I think the last time I held an OFA position was before we all had e-mail :-) 

Have you sponsored anyone new recently?

Yes, Phil and Gayla Salvati.

What bird(s) have you flown between then and now?

Blue, Bolt’s brother -3 years apart. Bolt was tragically killed doing mach 1 after smashing a greenwing teal into an unseen barbed wire fence, from over a 1000 feet, he then too hit the fence after initial impact (teal was stone dead). Bolt survived the night and surgery at OSU hospital, but died later that next day from internal injuries. I still miss him. - Blue is now back in Dave Knutson’s breeding project. He’s one of the few voluntary (key) semen giving peales imprint in the country. Otis, 2nd year tiercel peales (chamber bird) from Brian Sullivan, and Buzz, 1st year tiercel peales (chamber bird).

Which one did you enjoy hawking the most, and why?

Blue - like his brother in most respects. Flew high and liked killing ducks.

Favorite hawking story involving that bird?

On nice cold calm days, Mitch Wishon and I would head to pheasant country. On this day, I knew I could not take my eyes of of Blue or he would be gone (height). So Mitch walked to the flush, while I had to walk backwards with neck craned up. I’m guessing Blue was 1500 feet or higher when he melted into the blue. We had a bagger so at that point we just wanted to reward the flight. Heck of stoop - we could hear it before we saw him. Great morning.

We learn something new from every raptor we fly…what insight have you learned recently, that has impacted the way you practice your falconry the most?

In recent terms, that would be the 2nd year tiercel peales, Otis. Since adopting the kite program (now drone), he was the first bird I’ve flown where the kite just didn’t seem to totally sink in w/ desired results (I can not tell you why, either). On his best day, he would not go higher than 500 feet on his own (my kite birds usually flew higher than that on their first free flights). There are things about him I like, but his lack of sky busting was disappointing. So, I committed to finishing out last season making sure any kills were from on high - and "start over" this Fall. I am now employing Scott Larsen’s drone technique - which in phase 2 makes the drone like an "electronic pigeon”. On paper, it's based on very sound and well known hawking principles, yet combined with the electronic/computer age. Larsen’s method greatly expands on just using the drone as an electronic kite. It’s intriguing and is reported to be highly successful. I hope to concur with that - we will see...

What is the most recent falconry book/article you have read?

The Flying of Falcons by Ed Pitcher & Ricardo Velarde, and Scott Larsen’s 3 drone articles.

If someone could only read a single book about falconry, which one would you recommend they pick up and why?

For the “how to” - the “bible” "North American Falconry & Hunting Hawks". For the non “how to” - not even close - Dan O’Brien’s "The Rites of Autumn". Read it a long time ago at Steve Trent’s house. I devoured it. It's sequel “Equinox" is not as impactful, in my view.

What bird(s) are you currently flying?

Otis, 2nd year tiercel peales (chamber bird) & Buzz, 1st year tiercel peales (chamber bird).

Favorite hunting story involving you and one of your current birds?

Otis mounted well 7 times in a very stiff wind to take an intimidated and hurt gadwall last season. I was just about to throw in the towel but he kept going - said a little prayer for one more shot and it worked out.

Who have you been out hawking with the most lately?

My college roommate came down for the the TU vs OSU football game, and we went and flew Buzz the next morning. Dave was my roommate when I got my first red tail. 31 years later he was in the field w/ me again… he took the pic of Buzz and I that is inserted above. Over all in recent years it was w/ Mitch Wishon, as we were the only members of the OK Tiercel Peregrine Club ;)

Tell your favorite story involving that person, and one of the birds they were flying?

Mitch’s Clyde (passage peregrine). You quite never know what you were gonna get w/ Clyde - despite that he was very, very tame I don’t think we could get a handle on what days he was gonna go literally out of sight - or 400 feet. In the end, only he knew. But he was ALWAYS gamey (and hit stuff hard!). Big time killer. It was treat to do so much hawking w/ him

Have you been on any hunting trips recently?  Where did you go, and what were you chasing with your bird(s)?

Last season I was doing illustrations (my day gig), running the boarding kennel, my oldest daughter and I traveling to dog shows w/ our Alaskan Malamute - he is 2 points away from his championship, having won his two majors already, and teaching a class at OSU - great thing about hawing ducks, is you don’t need to go far for a trip - as you can tell, my free time is at a premium - trips for now aren’t really practical. Plus I’m a bit cynical about taking young birds on hawking trips - often, it seems better to stay closer to home that first year.

Have you been attending any of the OFA functions or meets?  If so, which one did you enjoy the most?  Do you have any good stories from it?

Not the meets, but after years and years of always being at softball/baseball tournaments I was able to attend the last two picnics. It was great seeing some “old timers” (believe me, I remember being the young whipper snapper at these gatherings), meeting new faces (to me), and seeing how the club was benefiting from enthusiastic and energetic leadership from folks like Daniel Murray.

Last time you had some good tips for someone new to the sport.  Do you have any new advice that you feel people entering the sport would benefit from hearing?

Like much in life, perseverance is a key to success:

Using Phil Salvati as an example, I told him I was flat out more impressed that his interest in falconry had lasted so long than, say, his extensive background in bird dogs. It’s one of the main reasons I agreed to sponsor him. The best apprentices/future falconers don’t need, or dare I say deserve, an easy path, all they need is a hint of a path to push through and begin walking it.

Last time you listed out some good goals for your falconry experience?  Do you have any new ones?

I would like to hawk huns w/ one of my tiercel peales, someday. Perfect quarry for them.

Social Networks?

FB, twitter, Instagram (not very active there). I have snapchat but lever look at it. The only reason you need something more than FB (I find Instagram oddly somewhat redundant to FB) is because the “youngsters” moved away when they realized their parents were on it - so uncool.

Anything else?

To quote Stan Lee, “‘Nuff said”.


Thank you, Tim


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