Sunday, December 2, 2012

Falconry: Day 1

Falconry is one of the oldest forms of hunting known to man dating back to somewhere between 3000-5000 B.C. It is a partnership between a man and a wild falcon or hawk that is mutually beneficial. The hawk has a greater chance of survival than it would in the wild and the man (or woman) has the chance to hunt with a bird of prey. 

Al Jordan, the falconer who has allowed me to begin the story, has three birds named Kit (6 months), Tess (about 18 months), and Z (24 months). A bird can be trained in 17 days from being wild to hunting with a falconer. They could read a newspaper across a football field. Jordan's hawks were bred in captivity with the purpose of hunting but when released, as he will some day do, they will be perfectly capable of transitioning. His Harris hawks are not indigenous to the northeast but are found in the deep mid-south in and around Texas. They are one of the only breed of hawk than hunts together.

Both days I've gone, his hawks have caught four squirrels in about an hour. Jordan takes his hawks out every day during the season and has one of the highest kill rates in the country. 

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