Trapping Season


OFA Officers

Jonathan Coleman

Chris Kimble
Vice President

Bart Russell

Shane Bullard

Rob Huber

OFA is an affiliate of the North American Falconers' Association

OFA is a proud contributor to The Falconry Fund


OFA Is a proud contributor to Quail Forever


Miracles do happen!

It was opening day of duck season and my family and I were supposed to celebrate some birthdays with family.   My plan was to run out and fly my gos on some bunnies, and then find a duck flight for my Gyr/Barbary Tiercel.  After catching a bunny with my gos, I was off to look for ducks.  After about an hour of driving and no ducks sighted, I decided I would let my bird fly and then just call him down to the lure.  I attached his telemetry, unhooded him, and let him go.  He mounted up nicely and was waiting on over head.  I was just enjoying watching him fly and thinking of how impressed I was with this beautiful bird.  He still had what it takes to be a great game hawk after 17 years.  As I looked up to check his position His wing beat had changed to a very serious hard pumping pursuit flight mode.  He was eating up some sky.  Although I did not see his intended victim, I was sure he had a pigeon in his sights.

This little falcon loves pigeons and will chase them for miles.  Last year Rob Rainy and I put him up over a duck pond.  He took off in this same manner of hard pumping pursuit flight leaving the ducks sitting safely on the water. We jumped in the truck and followed the chase for about five miles.  We arrived just in time to see him take a pigeon that was trying to take cover by a lady while she was filling up here car with gas.  She was quite surprised as I ran in to grab my falcon and the pigeon right from under her feet.  Rob was in the truck enjoying the whole scene.

I realized I better get right on this, or he could be out of the county before I caught up with him.  By the time I got back to the truck I was not getting a signal with my telemetry.

My mind began to race. Had I turned on my transmitter?  I knew I had, but with no signal I just could not be sure. I jumped in the truck and took off in the direction I last saw my bird.  After looking for 30 minutes with no luck I was really starting to worry I made some calls for help.  Rob and Greg joined me right away.

We thought for sure we had Princel found late Saturday night when Greg got a signal coming from a barn in the area.

We were disappointed to find that a man had just forgotten to turn of his dog collar after returning from a hunting trip.

Early the next morning, a friend arranged for someone he knew to take me up in an airplane to try to get a telemetry reading from the air.  We covered about a fifty mile radius searching with no signals.  I have had good luck searching from the air on other occasions, but it was not meant to be this time.  I was just sick. I figured best case he had a failed transmitter, and worst case he had been killed. Either way, I did not think I would ever see him again.  Every day on the way to work I would have my receiver, trying in vain to get a beep.  In the evenings I would go back to the area where I had lost him. I would throw pigeons up hoping that by some chance he might come back by.  Friday night I went to a ballgame with my brother and sister in-law and my sister in-law told me that she was still praying for my bird and that she thought God was going to bring him back to me.  I do believe in prayer, but to be honest I just did not know if I should be praying for my bird.  I did think about it a lot though, and decided that God did care about all the details of our lives.  This morning when I left for work it was the first morning I did not take my receiver.  I knew that my transmitter on Princel was not working by now even if it was working earlier.  As I circled on to the cross town

(I-40, 20 miles from was I lost my bird) I looked up to the north and saw a falcon stooping some pigeons right toward my truck.  He came out of the stoop and pitched up about 50 foot out from the bridge and right across from my truck. When he flared, I could see his jesses clear as day!  This was crazy!  I thought I must be dreaming!  As I exited off the bridge I was thinking about what are the odds of me being in just the right spot, to see my bird finish off a stoop, come within 50ft. or so of my truck, traveling 60 mile an hour, 20 miles from where I last saw him.  I had no lure or lure pigeon with me; I had given up on ever needing any.  As I tried to make my way though the traffic back to where I saw him, I called Rob to see if he could bring a pigeon.  Rob said he would go back and get one and head my way.  I made my way close to where I had last seen him and took off on foot.  I had a piece of cord tied to a stick that I was hoping to pass off as a lure.  I was so close to where I had seen him flying but felt sure he was on top of one of the buildings by now, feeding up on a freshly caught pigeon.  I was running around downtown whistling as loud as I could and swinging the stick on a string.  I was just about to give up when out of nowhere my little miracle bird came flying down and landed right in front of me.  This little bird is pretty wise to all my tricks after fifteen years of trading him off his fresh kills for what ever portion I thought he needed that day. My mind was racing with all sorts of thoughts on what to do next. I saw an old piece of plastic laying there and picked it up coaxing him in very close.  He was looking to see if there was any meat in it.  I decided I would make a grab for him knowing there was no way he would let me pick him up with out some food.  I knew if I missed, he may go off hunting again and I would likely never see him again.  I made a grab for him and caught him by one foot.  He promptly planted the free foot in my hand. I had my bird back! The overwhelming rush of emotions just poured out.  If anyone had seen me they may have thought I was a lunatic. I just want to say thanks to Eric, Rob, and Greg for all of their hard work in helping me look for him day after day.  I also want to thank every one that took the time to turn their receiver on and try to get a reading from their area.  Thanks to those who said a prayer for my bird that I would get him back.  But most of all thanks to God for giving me my bird back in the most awesome, magnificent, miraculous way.

After getting my bird home he was right on weight and his transmitter seemed to be working fine, but after further field testing the transmitter was week and not working properly.

Mitch Wishon


Featured Member

January, 2018

Bob Clark

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Featured Raptor

January, 2018


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