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?

Mitch Wishon


How long have you been an OFA member?

25 years


Positions inOFA?

Secretary and Treasurer


Where do you live?

Edmond


Job and/or School?

Production Manager of a Machine shop


Family?

Wife Jan, two daughters Laine and Adele


What got you interested in falconry?

In third grade we read a book about two boys that had two owls.   A long time friend of mine, Rob Rainy and I had a couple of barred Owls.  We kept the owls for over a year before hacking them back to the wild.

Rob’s Dad still likes to tell a story about a local real estate developer who was headed to work one morning after hitting the bottle a little too hard the night before.  He encountered a boy riding his horse backwards along the road with an owl on his shoulder.  He said to Rob’s dad.  “Jim, I just turned around and went back home thinking to myself I must be seeing things. “ Rob’s dad just laughed knowing that I would often ride my horse backward, and I always had my owl along for the ride.  I always had some sort of raptor growing up, but did not get serious about falconry until 1985.


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

Howard Stutte was my sponsor.  I have had many mentors and influences in addition to Howard, including several OFA members that I have had the pleasure of going hawking with over the years.  From my first OFA meet in 1985, until present, I have always been impressed with the willingness of Oklahoma falconers to share their knowledge of the sport. 


What bird(s) do you currently fly?

I am currently flying my Gyr/barbary Tiercel he will be starting his 19th season.


What birds have you flown in the past?

Redtail hawks, Cooper’s hawks, Gos Hawks, Harris hawk, Peregrine, & Gyr x Peregrine


What was your favorite bird and why?

Has to be Princel, my gyr/peregrine.


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


I would love to fly a passage Gos and also a passage Peregrine.


Favorite Quarry?

Pheasant


Do you have other animals?

I have 3 dogs & a few pigeons


Favorite falconry story?

It was September 15, 1985.  I had jumped through all the hoops, and now it was time to go trap my first falconry bird.  It was to be a Redtail hawk.  The problem being, I had been looking for a few weeks around our area and had not seen a single passage bird.  Rob and Howard assured me we could drive out west and take our pick of birds.  They had made a trip out to the panhandle a year or so earlier to try and trap a

Prairie falcon and had all their pigeons killed by Redtails.  I was determined not to run out of pigeons on this trip.  After several outings to downtown town OKC, and a few encounters with law enforcement and local vagrants, we had our pigeons.  We were off for what was sure to be the trapping trip of a life time.  We drove all the way out to the panhandle of Oklahoma without spotting a single passage Redtail.   We tossed a harnessed pigeon out at a Prairie falcon.  After a short wait I walked out to recover the pigeon.

As I was walking back to the truck, I looked up to see two passage redtails waiting on over the truck that was full of pigeons.  As I looked up I could see their beautiful banded tails spread wide as they were looking down into the back of my truck.  I could hardly believe what I was seeing.

I jumped into the truck, and as we drove off we tossed a fresh pigeon.  One of the RTs folded up and went into a long horizontal stoop.  The pigeon was flying strong as he crossed an old fence.  The rod attached to the string and pigeon harness, caught on the wire and the pigeon came crashing to the ground with the RT right on his tail.  We went down the road a bit and waited what seemed to be a very long while.

(About 10 minutes). As we were sneaking along looking for the bird, she got up and flew with the pigeon a short distance before dropping it and flying off.   I was just sick.  If I had just been a little closer I could have grabbed her.  We went back to the truck.  Howard said she may come back if we got out of there.  I was not to sure, but since this was the first passage bird we had seen in 6 or 8 hours of driving, we went down the road for another wait.  After several more minutes, we were sneaking back up to where we had left the pigeon. Much to my surprise, there was my bird with a couple of toes hooked up in the pigeon harness.

Not only was my bird hooked, I was hooked also.  I have loved falconry ever since.   


Funniest falconry story?

Posted on OFA server July 2nd 2003

Yesterday I gathered up my dog, my bird and all gear and drove to a field to fly my bird. The plan was to just go walk for a short distance and then to serve a bagger. As I was walking along, I caught a glimpse of something that appeared to be a fledgling starling in a low juniper tree. I got my bird ready, sent the dog in, and sure enough it was a starling.  It flushed perfectly out the other side of the brush with my coop in fast pursuit.
She bound to it just as it made cover. This was too good to be true.  Here I was with my bird about 10 days from hard pin, and she had caught her first head of wild game.  I was on top of the world.  I could not believe it!  As I sat there basking in the glory of just catching my first head of game with my new bird, and wondering who I should call and brag to first, I noticed that the primaries on the bird we had just caught appeared to be trimmed back a little. I franticly dug through my hawking bag, only to find one of the baggers that I had brought along to serve had escaped with out me seeing it.

Well that's the way it goes some days!


Favorite quote?

From McDermott’s book The Imprint Accipiter While Talking about robbing Accipiter’s from their kills he says

“Why not rob? How will you spend the rest of your day? Arranging your sock drawer?”


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

Make sure your spouse and children are in for the long hall.  Hence, new screaming eyass, dead animals everywhere, live animals everywhere, down still appearing in the house years after  the eyass moved outside, and many other small factors that are too numerous to mention.  Jan helped me answer this.


What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

To get that passage gos someday.


Anything Else?

My favorite story is about what happened with Princel last year.  Click here to read.














 
 

Featured Member

January, 2018

Bob Clark


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Featured Raptor

January, 2018

Bullseye


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