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?

Jeff Byrum

 

Where do you live?

Tulsa Oklahoma

 

Family?

I have a lovely Wife, Kim, two sons Kevin and Jeff, and my daughter Megan (the other falconer in the family).

 

What got you interested in falconry?

I happened across a copy of Robert Murphy's book "Varda the flight of a falcon in 1967, that started the obsession. In 1969 I saw the Disney version "Varda the Peregrine Falcon", that sealed the deal.

 

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

Mark Waller and Kevin Leggett were my greatest influences, we started out together in the early '70's. Waller is still a mentor and a great influence, as well as others who are just a phone call away. Scott Dillon, Dave Eslicker,  Rob Summers, John PeadenRyan VanZantSteve Sherrod and many others help shape my thinking and practice of the sport.

 

What birds do you currently fly?

A one time intermewed female Kestrel, EP

 

What birds have you flown in the past?

Kestrel, Red-tail, Goshawk, Passage Harris, Coopers Hawk, Sharpie, Gyr-Peregrine Hybrid, Peregrine-Merlin Hybrid

 

What was your favorite bird and why?

It seems strange to say, but a little passage female Kestrel was my favorite bird. I've never seen a little bird with such a big heart. If you had told me in 1970 that a passage Kestrel would end her first season with just 4 shy of 400 kills, 21 of which were Grackles, I would have said you were full of it.

"Chuckie" a particularly hilarious imprint Gyr-Peregrine tiercel is right up there with her.

 

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

European Spar, Merlin-AK hybrid, perhaps another Perlin.

 

Favorite Quarry?

As long as it has feathers I'm good.

 

Do you have other animals?

Vizsla bitch, 3 cats. Yes I used the "C" word.

 

Favorite falconry story?

I was out with Scott Dillon and Dave Eslicker. We found a duck slip for Scott's tiercel hybrid "Bullseye". It was a small pond with trees that were Way too close on the south and east and a northwest wind blowing at about 15mph. Dave and I headed east and worked our way back to the pond hoping to flush the flock of Ring-Necks to the west toward the open prairie. Bullseye was waiting on a little upwind and probably too high considering the trees.

Dave and I flushed on Scott's signal, the ducks headed into the wind and into the open,  Bullseye stooped and all of a sudden the ducks did a sharp J hook and headed right for the trees to the east, obviously they had seen the tiercel. 

The first group crashed through the trees, followed closely by a single drake. Bullseye was in a wobbling out of control stoop with a 15mph tailwind, hit the Ring-Neck not 15 feet from the trees. We thought he was going to hit the trees going full tilt, it looked ugly. Instead Bullseye pulled up hard into an inverted loop, scraped his belly on branches at the edge of the trees did a quick wing-over and landed on his kill.

Best duck flight I've ever seen.

 

Funniest falconry story?

Peaden has already told this one but I have to agree. Waller, Peaden, Summers and I were out doing a little Kestrel hawking. We were having a good day so far. Carhawking three Kestrels must look like a group of autistic kids playing lawn-darts to anyone watching, Kestrels going everywhere.

Waller and I got the bright idea of trying a cast, the plan was to slip one the the birds, let it catch, and then slip the second bird a bit late when the starling's buddies came back in to mob the Kestrel on the kill.

I slipped CP and she made a catch, so far so good. Waller slipped Dip Jr. who had a near miss and landed next to CP. I got out to pick up the birds, got half way there when I noticed a squirrel eyeballing the birds. All of a sudden the tree rat broke into a full run headed right for the birds rolled up in a ball just before he got there and went through the birds like a bowling ball, sending Kestrels and Starling tumbling in all directions. The squirrel went on his way, and CP and Dip were none the worse for wear. Never seen a Starling with a bodyguard before.

That was one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

 

Favorite quote?

No living man can, or possibly ever will, understand the instinct of predation that we share with our raptorial servant.  No man-made machine can, or ever will, synthesize that perfect coordination of eye, muscle, and pinion as he stoops to his kill.

Aldo Leopold

 

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

Every day is a school day. Do your best to find a sponsor that has a great deal of Recent experience with the type of bird you want to fly. Find someone who will be hands on and spend as much time as you can with them. Listen carefully, watch closely, and ask as many questions as you can. Make as many quality friends in the falconry community as possible. Watch and listen to what they say and do and file it away in your memory, it will come back to serve you at some time in the future.

Training the bird is quite often the easy part of this sport, learning as much as you can about your intended quarry and the field craft involved in successfully hunting them will often determine whether you succeed or fail as a falconer.

 

What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

To better remember why I got into this sport in the first place: To Have Fun.

 


 
 

Featured Member

January, 2018

Bob Clark


View past featured members
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Featured Raptor

January, 2018

Bullseye


View past featured raptors
click here