2012 SPOTLIGHT

 

Name?

Gary Hale

 

Where do you live? 

Tulsa

 

Job or School? 

 Artist, principally wildlife sculpture

 

Family? 

Wife Mary and two daughters, Dana and Lauren

 

What got you interested in falconry?

Too long ago to remember but the sight of any raptor used to get my motor running and in truth still does.

My younger brother Randy was similarly afflicted. We would buy a set of welders gloves, he would take one and I would use the other (which is the reason that today I still hold a bird on my right fist  (couldn't hood a bird with my right hand if I tried).

We were largely on our own. Eventually we started meeting some other falconers in the area; Mark Waller, Kevin Leggett and Dave Eslicker, and Rob Huber. We learned from each others successes and failures.

  

What birds do you currently fly?

None at present, need to concentrate on other things so I'm trying hard to resist the temptation.

 

What birds have you flown in the past?

Many redtails and harris hawks mostly passage, a gos, coopers, couple of sharpies, kestrels, prairies (tiercels) and a jack merlin last year (with a little help from my friends)

 

What was your favorite bird and why?

Tough question...probably one of the passage redtails. Particularly in their first season they have little self regard for their own well being and show such reckless abandon when they go for something. That being said the jack Richardsons I flew last year was a lot of fun!

 

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

More of the smaller accipters, the aplomado and would love to try another merlin,  just wished I was closer to more suitable terrain.

  

Do you have other animals?

Two terriers (one too many) 

 

Favorite falconry story?

At one of the NAFA meets in the early 70's Mark Waller and I had the opportunity to see Al Nye fly his female german gos at rabbits.  We arrived early in the morning at the hunt site, an area of fields surrounded by industrial buildings and criss-crossed with train tracks.  The skies were overcast, winds were qualm and the humid air still held a chill from the nightime lows.  The kind of conditions where sound really travels.

Soon after entering the field a rabbit broke from cover and all I remember seeing is a long grey streak as the gos overtook it.I had never seen anything move that fast!  As the goshawk stood victorious over her prize she let loose with her 'victory cry'... a series of loud cacs that rang out, echoing back and forth off the surrounding buildings. Would love to see a replay of that flight!

 

Funniest falconry story?

 One winter in the early 70's Mark W. and I had the opportunity to visit the well known falconer and author Hal Webster at his home south of Denver. Mark (15 1/2) had just received his 'learners' driving permit so I was the 'licensed driver in the front seat' that the law required.

Driving back to Mr. Websters house late one night following the days adventures we were having considerable difficulty trying to distinguish the twisting snow covered road from the equally snow covered landscape. The dim penlights that the VW beetle had for headlights weren't helping. I can still hear myself yelling "left...Left...NO LEFT!!!!  Whomp! We were in the ditch up to our gills in snow and there was no getting out. No cell phones (not invented yet!) so it was walk out or freeze to death. As we began the long walk for help I looked up at the clear night sky to see the constellation Orion smiling down on us (or was he

laughing?). After an eternity, Eureka!...a light on the horizon, coming from the window of a tiny cabin, wood smoke drifting out of thechimney. A kind old rancher invited us inside to warm up by the crackling fire and to use his antique dial phone. It worked and before long Mr. Webster arrived and pulled us out with his 4WD and we were back on our way.

To this day whenever I see the Orion constellation in the winter sky I think of that night and hear a distant voice calling 

left...LEFT!... 

 

Favorite quote?

Before you think outside the box you have to know what's in the box!

 

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

See above quote and keep it in perspective. Don't let it control your life to the detriment of the relationships that are important in your life. More then a few relationships have been on  the rocks because a falconers priorities were out of wack. Just my opinion. It is somewhat in the nature of the sport and hey it's the American way...'If so much is good, more is better and too much is just enough!'

 

Who have you sponsored?

Matt  Gould

 

What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

A merlin would be one bird I would love to try again...they are such cool little birds.  I would also like to try to get a redtail to hunt from a pitch...I know it's been done and I'd love to try it. 

 

Contact Info you want public?

gary-hale@cox.net

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Name?

Lauren McGough

                                                                       

How long have you been an OFA member?

 Since 2001

 

Positions in OFA?

 Former President

 

 Where do you live?

 Although I currently live in St Andrews, Scotland, I often come home to NW Oklahoma City.

 

Job or School?

 I’m currently working on my PhD in Cultural Anthropology at the University of St Andrews.

 

 Family?

 I’ve got an extremely supportive mom and dad, and a great little sister.

 

What got you interested in falconry?

 I’ve always loved the outdoors and raptors; I remember growing up in New Mexico watching wild golden eagles on the soar. I stumbled across falconry in a “Reptiles” magazine article about OFA member Bob Clark. Shortly thereafter I read Steve Bodio’s book ‘A Rage for Falcons’ and that was it. I almost feel like I was born a falconer, it just took until that moment for me to realize it.

 

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

Rob Rainey was my Sponsor – I was so lucky to have his guidance in falconry. Mitch Wishon was a huge help in my first years of falconry as well. Jeff Byrum and Greg Stipp helped me greatly in my forays into flying a peregrine. Neil Hunter and Andrew Knowles-Brown in Scotland are my mentors for flying golden eagles. A Kazakh eagle falconer named Kukan taught me the nuances of flying passage golden eagles.

 

What birds do you currently fly?

 I’m currently flying a captive-bred male golden eagle.  

 

 What birds have you flown in the past?

 Red-tailed hawks, Harris, American kestrel, peregrine and golden eagles.

 

What was your favorite bird and why?

 Alema my female passage golden eagle from Mongolia has probably been my favorite . She was trapped in her second year and it only took a month from trap to first fox. She was wonderful to handle and trade – I was never footed. She took ten foxes and had a flight style that left my heart in my throat. She would power out above the fox (I was slipping her from a mountaintop to a fox in a valley below) and fold into a vertical stoop directly above it. They were beautiful flights, staggeringly loud stoops, and fantastic collisions with the foxes. It seems like our time with the really wonderful birds is always limited – I was only able to spend one season with her.

 

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

 There is a lot of falconry I’d love to do. I’ll always come back to golden eagles – one day I’d like to focus on waiting-on golden eagles and specialize in different kinds of quarry. But outside that, high flying peregrines  is something I want to do more of. When I’m in the right location, pursuit flying with desert falcons on hares with the aid of sighthounds is another.  Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Turkmen falconry are what I’m really interested in currently, but my ultimate dream would be a cadge of peregrines for grouse and few golden eagles for hares on a Scottish moor. I’d never leave!

 

Favorite Quarry?

 Hares. Jackrabbits are the perfect quarry for golden eagles – they’re fast, wily, and can be found in large numbers to offer lots of action and an endless variety of challenging slips. Of all the hare species, I think the Scottish blue, or mountain hare, is my favorite. They aren’t as big as black-tailed jackrabbits or brown hares, but turn a stunning white in the winter and know exactly how to use the lay of the land to their advantage. They cross hills in no time and an eagle must be experienced in wind and hills in order to bring one to bag. Even in off-the-fist flights, they can require an eagle to be aerial and I’m often impressed at the way the eagle and blue hare manage to outsmart each other.

 

Do you have other animals?

I used to keep several reptile species, but unfortunately, I move too much to continue to keep them.

 

Favorite falconry story?

An Oklahoma story: my peregrine once knocked a duck down that made it back to water. I didn’t have a dog and very much doubted that I’d be able to get the duck off the large pond.  As I waited for her to remount she caught a thermal and specked out. She was just a dot in my binoculars. At that moment a drake mallard came cruising in to land in the pond. Right beneath my falcon. She went vertical for longer than I’d seen a peregrine stoop before, bells screaming, pulling up right beneath the drake and binding to him in a shower of feathers.  It was such a surprise and the first time I’d ever seen a mega stoop before – I’ll always remember it! I wrote a little more about that day here:  http://aquiling.blogspot.com/2009/02/whither-fly-ye-what-game-spy-ye.html

 

Funniest falconry story?

A few years ago I was with OFA member Greg Stipp at a falconry meet in Arkansas. His gyr/peregrine tiercel has uncharacteristically flown off and suddenly the signal went dead. We passed a house with a helicopter and a small airplane parked in front and Greg thought to ask if he could bum a ride. To my complete surprise, they were more than happy to oblige! I couldn’t believe it; the helicopter was powered up and Greg took off, receiver in hand! Greg zipped all over Arkansas in that thing and was able to pinpoint the location of the signal. However, on the ground we only found the transmitter itself, no falcon. Fearing the worst, we continued the search with lure and kite. Amazingly, several miles away from us, the falcon landed next to a farmer as he picked up decoys off his pond. The farmer called the Wildlife Department who called the local falconers who called us. We drove to the area and picked up TG, hungry but OK. That was an eventful meet!   

 

Favorite quote?

 Frederick II put it perfectly: A falconer should strive to “catch the quarry he desires in the manner he chooses with birds trained through his own ingenuity.” Although his warning, “A fat hawk maketh a lean horse, a weary falconer and an empty purse” comes in a close second.

 

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

 Give it your best and keep it at it. I look back and cringe at the way I flew my first hawk, or my first falcon, or my first eagle. Get out in the field as much as you can and surround yourself with falconers that know what they are doing. Keep an open mind, keep learning and never settle for a mediocre hawk.

 

What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

To push the envelope of success with golden eagles in this country and elsewhere - to fly them to the absolute highest standard possible. To never stop learning and improving.

 

Contact Info you want public?

E-mail – Berkutchi at gmail dot com

 

Social Networks?

Blog – www.aquiling.blogspot.com

 Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/eaglefalconer

Twitter - https://twitter.com/#!/eaglefalconer

 

Anything Else?

Oklahoma was the perfect state to learn falconry in – we’ve got so many talented and dedicated falconers that hawk incredibly hard across the gambit of falconry – I love hawking here!

 

 

To read about some of Lauren's adventures, please checkout her updates from Mongolia

Name?

David Price


How long have you been an OFA member?

Two years in June 
 

 Positions in OFA?

Member
 

Where do you live? 

Goldsby, Ok 
 

Job or School?

Owner of Sandy Creek Millworks Inc. 

Trim Carpentry mostly residential 
 

Family?

Wonderful Wife, and Two kids, my daughter Brandalyn (16 ) who says she is tired of people saying " oh yeah your dad is the one with the hawk" and my son Sterling (11), who will probably be a future falconer, I really can't say enough good things about my wife she has been very patient with my obsession, especially after I installed misters on the mews while the rest of us sat baking on the back porch during the 110deg summer, 


What got you interested in falconry?

I rescued a Great Horned Owl, as a teenager and have always been intrigued by all the raptors, (ultimate hunting animal)  There was always some reason why I couldn't apply for falconry permit, work school or whatever but I finally decided after almost 25yrs of just watching them, been the greatest decision I've ever made, it is somewhat demanding at times, but very rewarding!

 

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

Peter Tirrell is my sponsor, I guess as long as I fulfill his expectations I will graduate to general in July, he has dubbed me "grasshopper " from the beginning, and said I had received the highest honor when my bird Dixie sliced my NAFA cap from atop her pole perch, 


What birds do you currently fly?

A Female RT named Dixie, kept her through the molt and am currently hunting with her now. a very tame and versatile bird, she will take a shot at anything that moves, fur or feathered, ( this includes raccoons and badgers ) I will be releasing her this spring. Probably with regrets.

 

What was your favorite bird and why?

I am still kind of partial to the RT's they are just plain tough, maybe not fast but they do have the power, and from my limited experience they are a pleasure to fly and watch, 

 

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

I am hoping to fly a coopers hawk next season, going to try some different game as our rabbit population is down and habitat is being destroyed daily,
 

Favorite Quarry?

I do like squirrel hunting with Dixie she is pretty proficient at it, and seems to have the same attitude towards them as I do, 

 

Do you have other animals?

My kids seem to think that we need cats we had 5 at one time (all strays but I paid to have them fixed and fed) now we have 4 as Dixie expressed her desire to turn the tables, during some of her initial training, I am now banned from flying her in the yard, and have rec'd the "you and that damn bird" speech a few times

 

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

Patience! The bird does not speak English, yelling at it won't work! And make sure the mews is nice enough for you to sleep in should you find yourself out of the house

 

What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

I wanted to have something to pass down, to my kids, even if they don't become falconers, they will have an appreciation for the birds themselves.

 

Contact Info you want public?

David Price

sandycreekmill@msn.com

405-613-2100
 

Social Networks?

Facebook

Name?

 Ryan Christensen

 

How long have you been an OFA member?

I have been a member since I was 16 so it has been bout 8 years.

 

Positions in OFA?

Been working pretty hard to steer clear of that stuff

 

 

Where do you live?

Hydro, OK

 

 

Job or School?

I have been attending SWOSU for the past 5 years and will be finally graduating this May with a bachelor’s in Biology.

 

 

Family?

I have a pretty large family and it’s never a surprise to run into somebody around town. In my immediate family: I have my mom and dad and a snot-nosed little sister who will be getting married this August.

 

 

What got you interested in falconry?

 When my family and I moved back up to Hydro from Apache, we were staying with my grandparents until we could get our own place. After a couple months my cousin Chris started to stay on the couch. One day I found one of his books and read it and asked him a few questions. The next thing I knew I was being dragged all over the country side.

 

 

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

I was fortunate enough to have my cousin Chris as my sponsor. He was pretty hard on me but I managed to learn a fair amount from him.

 

 

What birds do you currently fly?

Currently have a 3X intermewed male Kestrel

 

 

What birds have you flown in the past?

Flown mostly Red-tails, a couple Kestrels and a Sharpie

 

 

What was your favorite bird and why?

My current kestrel has been probably one of the coolest birds. He may be a pain in the butt sometimes but that lil guy likes to hunt.

 

 

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

 I would like to fly a Cooper’s Hawk on quail at some point in my life. Caught one once with the Sharpie and that was possibly the coolest thing I had ever seen.

 

 

Favorite Quarry?

Starlings are a lot of fun to catch but have had some good times catching cottontails too.

 

 

Do you have other animals?

Well I have a pair of Leopard Geckos, somewhere around 9 tarantulas of different species, gerbils and also raise roaches as feeders.

 

 

Favorite falconry story?

There has been too many good stories to really pick one out.

 

 

Funniest falconry story?

We were out on a golf course one winter and the hawk had flown into a tree chasing a squirrel. Out of nowhere this squirrel makes a Hail Mary out of the tree and as soon as it hits the ground it just starts bee lining it for me. I start running backwards waving my arms and yelling at the stupid thing but it continued chasing after me for a little while until it finally decided I wouldn't be the best tree to climb to evade the bird. 

 

What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

 Like to learn as much as I can about the sport, and continue to improve upon myself.

 

 

Contact Info you want public?

  rchris10s@yahoo.com

 

 

Social Networks?

 Facebook

Name?

Kent Carbaugh

 

How long have you been an OFA member?

About 8 years.

 

Positions in OFA?

I am currently the Treasurer.

 

 

Where do you live?

Bartlesville

 

 

Job or School?

I have been with ConocoPhillips for 31 years.  Currently, I am Information Security Lead for the Americas.

 

 

Family?

I have a great preacher wife, Tari and two daughters.  Rusty attends college at Newman University in Wichita, KS and Loni is a Junior at Dewey High School.

 

 

What got you interested in falconry?

When I was young I saw a halftime show put on by the Air Force Academy.  When that falcon went out of sight and stooped the lure, I thought to myself, “how did they get a bird to do that?”  I was hooked right then. I read about it but was never in the right place or time to practice it.  About 15 years ago I was in England and had the opportunity to go hunting with some falconers there and actually got to hold a hybrid.  It was great and the hook was set.  Then as fate would have it we moved to Bartlesville and a friend of a friend (who later became my first mentor) came to my house for a BBQ, we started talking about falconry and he offered to sponsor me.  It took me about 6 months and I started out on my falconry journey.

 

 

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

Ken Riddle was my sponsor and when he went to Abu Dhabi, Ryan VanZant took me under his wing.  I would have to say that Ryan and Ken had the biggest influence on me.  I also have hunted a lot with Jonathan Coleman and Daniel Murray.

 

 

What birds do you currently fly?

I currently have 2 male Harris’ Hawks.

 

 

What birds have you flown in the past?

Red Tails, Kestrel, Cooper’s Hawk, and Harris’.

 

 

What was your favorite bird and why?

Favorite, that’s hard.  I like all the birds I have had.  I have to say that the first female red tail that I trapped has a soft spot with me.  She was hard hitting and liked to bust the briars after the bunnies.  Maybe when the Harris are working well together, I’ll change my mind.

 

 

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

After I retire, I’d like to put the time in on hybrids or Peregrines.

 

 

Favorite Quarry?

I like to chase bunnies.  Also, chasing birds with a Kestrel is a blast.

 

 

Do you have other animals?

I have a German Shorthair, named Bronc.  The family also has a basset hound, a box turtle, and a green cheek conure.

 

 

Favorite falconry story?

As far as hunting it would have to be when Jonathan’s red tail caught 4 rabbits (read about it in his past featured member bio).

 

 

Funniest falconry story?

So many non-falconry stories while out hunting, especially the one about Chris Kimble’s truck (he probably doesn’t think it is funny).  I guess the funny story I have is once while hunting with Ryan my red tail caught a 6 ft bull snake.  It took both Ryan and I to get them separated.  Of course everyone else will probably say that it would be something about my Harris that prefers reptiles and has caught lizards, frogs, and a turtle……….

 

 

Favorite quote?

“Look they’re holding hands.” – Ryan VanZant (usually when your red tail has just grabbed your hand…….).

 

 

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

Read everything you can, there is a lot on this sport.  Learn from all those around you and be prepared for the ups and downs along the way.  Also, get a kindle, it makes carrying all those books easier.

 

 

Who have you sponsored?

No one.  I’m still new to this.  ; ^ )

 

 

What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

Catch a deer with an eagle, like those YouTube videos…..seriously, just to have fun and learn from my birds and other falconers.

 

 

Anything Else?

I wish my dad was alive, he would have loved this.

Name?

Kelly Smith 

 

 

How long have you been an OFA member?

2 years 

 

Positions in OFA?

Secretary 

 

Where do you live?

OKC, OK 

 

Job or School?

I've got a biology degree and a teaching degree as well as some graduate hours. 

 

Family?

I've got two great younger siblings, Aron (17) and Sarah (23).  My husband, Adam is always supportive and puts up with a number of animals going in and out of the house as well as the occasional squirrel in the icebox every once in a while.  

 

What got you interested in falconry?

I've always been interested in "animals" in general and have done quite a bit of rehab volunteer work.  My initial contact with the falconry world was through Eric Pribil and Lauren McGough, both were helpful with all of my silly questions. 

 

 

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

Rob Rainey is my patient mentor.  Mitch Wishon has also had quite a large impact on my falconry experience thus far as well.  

 

What birds do you currently fly?

I've only flown PFRT's 

 

What birds have you flown in the past?

PFRT's 

 

What was your favorite bird and why?

I'm sure this will change with the progression of my falconry career but I can undoubtedly say that my first redtail was my favorite.  She trained quick and as i've learned now she let me get away with a lot.  She was also a fantastic squirrel hunter.

 

 

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

I'd like to fly a Cooper's, Goshawk, Gyrfalcon, and a Merlin in the foreseeable future. 

 

 

Favorite Quarry?

Squirrels thus far are my favorite, but I would love to hunt pigeons and duck 

 

Do you have other animals?

I've got a German Wirehair pointer named Nala who is about a year old and a skunk that is about three (yea you read that right an actual Mephitis mephitis) 

 

Favorite falconry story?

My favorite falconry story is probably my first urban hawking double kill with Tiva.  Later in the season after we had a fair bit of game under our belt we were carhawking squirrels and she was nailing most of the slips I gave her.  I slipped her and she caught her first squirrel of the day; tidbitting her and bagging the game we hopped back into the car.  I thought maybe we were quick enough that I'd be able to catch another on the ground so made a round around the park.  Not five minutes later I slipped her at a squirrel and she nailed it.  Needless to say that is one of my favorite days, when I knew all that conditioning and training had paid off.  Even better was that both squirrels were taken before even reaching the tree.   

 

Funniest falconry story?

I think the funniest story has got to involve a group falconry hunt with newly acquired birds.  I was out urban squirrel hawking with Jere Korthanke and his apprentice Scott.  Now, when it was my turn to try my bird on a treed squirrel I took her out of the box and pitched her up in the tree.  We moved the squirrel around and she seemed sort of interested in it but she kept looking at the ground and none of us could figure out why.  This treed squirrel happened to be in front of someone's house and the owner came out and supported us in our effort to get rid of her electricity chewing tree rats.  All of a sudden my bird dives almost straight down about 25 feet and binds to Scotts leather-sheathed squirrel shank, which of course happens to be conveniently placed hanging right in front of his belt buckle.  I don't think I have seen Scott move so fast trying to get away from a bird who was very bound to this leather sheath.  Of course, being inexperienced I have no idea what to do so Jere rushes over manages to dislodge her.  This situation became even funnier when we looked back and saw the lady standing there with her mouth half open asking us if this was a normal occurrence.  I am fairly certain that Scott doesn't hang his leather shank there anymore.  

 

Favorite quote?

May the odds be ever in your favor -Katniss

 

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

Be patient and listen to your sponsor.  Ask them questions, chances are if they have been in the sport this long they definitely have much to teach you.

 

What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

I'd always say to never be satisfied with being a mediocre falconer always striving to learn new things about falconry from those around me.  I would also say a goal of mine is to be as helpful as my sponsor has been to me and welcoming to those who are new to the way of the bird.

 

Contact Info you want public?

email:  kellyasmith87@gmail.com

 

Social Networks?

facebook.com/misskellygreen

 

Anything Else?

I encourage everyone to learn as much as they can and ask as many questions to better understand how we can preserve this sport to the highest standards including our day to day habits with our birds. 

Name?

Chris Kunze
 

How long have you been an OFA member?

one year

Positions in OFA?

new member

Where do you live?

Tecumseh, OK

Job or School?

RN

Family?

wife Ellen, one son in pharmacy school, one son in PA school, also wife's niece Amber AKA "the critter" living with us


What got you interested in falconry?

as a child i raised parakeets, love birds, had multiple other pets. After reading The Other Side of the Mountain, when i was fishing or shooting nutria in rice canals (S Texas), i starting noticing all the hawks, and have practiced falconry on an off ever since


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

First sponsor was in 1969-forget his name, but he was a herptologist at Houston Zoo at the time. Then after moving to Oklahoma, I either let my license lapse, or maybe had something to do with regualtions, needed a sponsor here, so a gentleman in Norman did me the courtsey some time in the 1980s

What birds do you currently fly? last bird flown was female Cooper, released about month ago

What birds have you flown in the past?

red tails, kestrels, harris, and one coopers hawk in a pair tree.
I guess I would have to confess to being an occasional falconer. I may fly a few years, then take a few off, then fly again.
i am 56  and have practiced falconry on and off since age 14.


What was your favorite bird and why?

I like to catch passages and release them later, so i guess releaseable birds. But I have to admit I really enjoyed Harris, easy disposition , easy and fun to fly.


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

I would like to fly 2 of the classic falconry birds before I die, a Goshawk and a full size falcon, a prarie I guess.

Favorite Quarry?
the most abundant. mainly have hunted rabbits.


Do you have other animals?

before my wifes cancer we had a goat herd for milk and cheese, chickens. She has several Great Danes.

Favorite falconry story?
The time i stepped over a rise into view of farm pond , and Harris spotted a great blue heron and gave chase

Funniest falconry story?
the time I wore my new  and freshly knitted hat given, to me by my wife. When i released my red tail it circled and grabbed it right off my head. He took it to a tree and finely figured out that there was no meat inside.


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

do not choose falconry if you do not love nature and birds

Who have you sponsored?
no one, tend to stay to myself


What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

I have always been satisfied with one mew and one bird. But my  mew is 25 years old and needs some repairs, I might build another one.
I have lived in a wooded area (Crosstimbers) so access to open land for flying falcon has been a problem, but I would like to fly larger falcon someday.

Contact Info you want public?

Email:  xoutpost@netscape.com
 

Name?

Robert Huber

 

How long have you been an OFA member?

I was at the original meeting back in the 70’s when Woody got a bunch of us together to discuss developing falconry regulations and how we would have a better chance of being heard if we had a state club.  Since then I have been involved off and on as family and time allowed, but have been very active since the club was officially formed.

 

Positions in OFA?

I had the honor of serving as president the first year that the club adopted its bylaws and I have served as raffle coordinator several times.

 

Where do you live?

Stillwater Oklahoma

 

Job or School?

I am what you would call a “Cowooner”.  I have my BS from OSU and my MS from OU.  My loyalties are to OSU however.  For 32 years I have worked as an Environmental Specialist.  First with the Oklahoma Health Department and currently with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.

 

Family?

I have been married for 35 years to my wonderful partner Julie, three children Nicholas, Hilary and Kelly and three grandkids.

 

What got you interested in falconry?

I have always been interested in birds leaning toward hawks.  I really got interested in falconry when I watched a Wild Kingdom episode with Jim Fowler beach trapping Peregrines.  I was 13 at the time.

 

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

My father who had the wisdom to purchase me my first falconry book, “Manual of Falconry” by Woodford.  I think he was hoping it was just a teenager’s curiosity.  After that it was Hersh Talley who helped me through the early years.  I should also include Mark Waller.  We spent many days in the field when we were in High School.

 

What birds do you currently fly?
Gus, my thirteen year old hybrid.  I often tell people it is a like/hate relationship.  I like him and he hates me.  I must say though he is very steady and I rarely have to go chase him.

 

What birds have you flown in the past?

Red-tails, Kestrels, Harris, Cooper’s, Goshawk and hopefully in the near future a passage peregrine.

 

What was your favorite bird and why?
That is really difficult.  I think they are all my favorite when I have them.  As Rob Rainey often states when introducing his daughters, this is my favorite youngest, favorite middle or favorite oldest daughter.  Well stated Rob, they are all special

 

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

If lucky next month as I spend a week sky fishing, a passage peregrine.

 

Favorite Quarry?

Falls into the same category as my favorite bird.  If I am flying it, it is my favorite quarry at that time.

 

Do you have other animals?

A cute little Sheltie and of course pigeons.

 

Favorite falconry story?

I have always leaned toward being a solitary falconer so don’t have many.  Probably it was when Mark Waller had a male Gos and I had a male Harris (high school days).  We both thought our bird was the fastest and the best until the day we flushed that lone quail right in front of us (I think Mark was closer).  Naturally being gentleman falconers we let our birds go at the quail, then looked at each other with one of those why did you do that looks?  Well the Gos won the race by a couple of feet half a foot and had the quail.  Of course I have always believed that Mark released his Gos first and he really was a few steps in front of me. So I suppose that means my Harris was really faster.  I suspect Mark has a different recollection.

 

Funniest falconry story?

Probably watching Mathew Kirkwood strip to bare minimum to wade into a partially frozen pond to retrieve his falcon with a duck on the ice.  People really do turn blue when they are really cold.  Maybe you had to be there to get the full effect.  Since that day I leave ponds with ice alone.

 

Favorite quote?

Life is not fair, get over it.  My kids are really tired of hearing that.

 

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

It is not a sport, it is a passion that will consume your life.  Are you sure you are ready for that commitment?  If so then give it everything you can, when you can and always have fun.

 

Who have you sponsored?

My son Nicholas.  But in this club with the way we communicate we all are sponsors to each other.

 

What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

To keep flying birds to the best of my ability.  I am looking forward to the day that I can retire and fly whenever I want.

 

Social Networks?

Facebook

 

Anything Else?

Let me know if you need a hood.

www.huberhoods.com

Name?

Ron Lloyd

 

 

How long have you been an OFA member?

5 years

 

 

Where do you live?

Edmond

 

 

Job or School?

Retired Fire Chief for the City of Edmond where I worked for 30 years.

 

 

Family?

Wife Gloria, we celebrated 50 years of marriage in 2012, one son and 3 grandchildren.

 

 

What got you interested in falconry?

I was a member of Boy Scout Troop 21 in Edmond with my grandson and became interested in falconry through a member of the troop named Eric Pribil. I have always had animals around, mostly reptiles, and falconry was a whole new realm for me to explore and I quickly became hooked.

 

 

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

Bob Clark was my sponsor. I was already acquainted with Bob through our mutual love of reptiles and I knew he was a falconer so he was my obvious choice.  Many others have helped, mentored, and instructed me, such as Greg Stipp, Mark Runnels, Mitch Wishon, and Dave Stevens.

 

 

What birds do you currently fly?

I am currently without a bird but hope to remedy that situation within the next few weeks.

 

 

What birds have you flown in the past?

I have flown mostly Redtails, including one Harlan's and one Krider's. I also flew a Cooper's briefly.

 

 

What was your favorite bird and why?

Like many others have stated, my favorite bird is usually the one that I am flying at the time. Each one has their own personality and as you hunt and spend time together you become bonded with one another.

 

 

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

I would like to fly many other species in the future to gain experience, such as a Gos, Harris, Prairie Falcon, Kestrel, and Cooper’s.

 

 

Favorite Quarry?

Favorite quarry so far has been rabbits but would certainly like to expand into other game such as ducks and pheasants.

 

 

Do you have other animals?

I have had many other animals my entire life. In high school is when I really started catching and collecting snakes. My collection grew to about 150 snakes at one time. I have kept or handled literally some of the most venomous snakes in the world, including but not limited to rattlesnakes, cobras, mambas, boomslangs, gaboon vipers, puff adders, etc. I have been bitten by venomous snakes 3 times in my life, once by a copperhead and twice by Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes. I don't plan to add to that number. The only animal I currently have is a Gila Monster.

 

 

Favorite falconry story?

I don't have a favorite falconry story to relate but each season seems to bring new experiences. The OFA meetings in the Panhandle will always be some of my favorite outings.

 

 

Funniest falconry story?

I don't think anything truly funny has happened thus far, but I am always surprised when one of my Redtails has chased unintended quarry that I had not expected, such as a Roadrunner or a box turtle.

 

 

Favorite quote?

"Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid."  -John Wayne

 

 

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

My only tips for anyone new in falconry or thinking of becoming involved in falconry are pretty much the same as others have already stated: read as much as you can before you start, learn from others already practicing falconry, spend as much time as possible with the birds and other falconers.

 

 

Who have you sponsored?

I have not sponsored anyone as yet. I don't think I have achieved a level that I feel qualified to sponsor someone.

 

 

What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

My goals are simple, keep flying, keep learning, keep expanding in all areas of falconry.

 

 

Social Networks?

I guess I am of the wrong generation for social networks. I prefer face to face meetings, phone calls are good, and e-mails are the main means of communication anymore.  rhlloyd@att.net

 

 

Anything Else?

I do want to add that many members of the OFA have been helpful and I believe Oklahoma has a really good falconry organization that elevates the sport of modern falconry.

Name?

Stephen Olner


How long have you been an OFA member?

4 years
 


Where do you live?

I now live in Bartlesville, moved here 6 months
ago. Before that Colbert Oklahoma.

 


Job or School?

I work for ConocoPhillips as the TFS Administrator


Family?

Latrell my wife, Shelby, Katie, Matthew and Nathan my children.


What got you interested in falconry?

I read a book by Phillip Glasier
when i was 11 called As the Falcon Her Bells.


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

Steve Armstrong was my sponsor, Jay Lehmer and Ryan VanZant have been very helpful. I try and learn something from everyone.
 


What birds do you currently fly?

Passage Cooper’s Hawk


What birds have you flown in the past?

I have only ever flown passage Red-tails and a Hybrid.


What was your favorite bird and why?

My last redtail was my favorite.
We had started to do soar hawking. It was pretty amazing to watch and
be part of.


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

I eventually want to have a go at flying everything but for now a passage coopers hawk would be awesome and some sort of falcon


Favorite Quarry?

Only ever flown on Rabbits and Squirrels


Do you have other animals?

3 dogs.


Favorite falconry story?

I don't really have a favorite other than the first time my male redtail soared above a group of us. He was up about 200 feet and just soaring in circles overhead, it was amazing
to watch.


Funniest falconry story?

Everyone has a skunk story and mines not to dissimilar. I had a large
female redtail that I couldn't get to go on anything. She would just
fly up to a telegraph pole and sit there. One day I managed to get her
to follow me when a skunk came out of a rabbit hole. She was on it.
After about 30 minutes of me throwing up because of the smell, I
called my sponsor. His response was "cut its jesses!" I then called
the wife and we decided to bring her home. Half way home my wife calls
and says "You’re in my car!”  We were traveling to OKC the next day
and the car smelled the whole way.  3 days later we released her and
trapped a male redtail. You could smell my house from 2 blocks away.


Favorite quote?

"If you’re not bleeding you’re not hawking"



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

Take your time and learn from everyone.


Who have you sponsored?

No one yet and I really don't want to. It’s a
great responsibility and not to be taken lightly.


What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

To become the best falconer I can.


Contact Info you want public?
580-380-2056
stephenolner@gmail.com

Social Networks?
Facebook.

Name?

Peter Tirrell

 

How long have you been an OFA member?

12 years


Positions in OFA?

Secretary and Field Meet Organizer 
 

Where do you live?

Norman, OK



Job or School?

Formerly Associate Director of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (I retired this year); still teaching as Adjunct Professor for Museum Studies Program Online, OU College of Liberal Studies; also doing private consulting work


 

Family?

Wife (Sally), two sons, two grandchildren



What got you interested in falconry?

I was always interested in birds from an early age. When I was 14, I was working a part-time job for the Massachusetts Audubon Society at one of their bird sanctuaries. I was handling Kestrels, Broadwings, Red-tails, and other birds and giving little programs for visitors. We invited Heinz Meng, pioneer falconer in the US, to come and give a falconry demonstration. It was the most exciting thing that summer! I can still hear the bells of his prairie falcon! I also spent time recording information and photographing in a blind at a Broadwinged Hawk nest. From then on, I was really interested in raptors. When I was in graduate school in North Dakota. I spent 3 years doing field research on Red-tails, Horned Owls and Swainson's Hawks for my Master's degree. In 1972, I obtained my first falconry license in Minnesota and flew a Red-tail. BTW, the license cost me $10 and I bought it at the City Clerk's Office, no questions asked but he had never sold one before. However, I had to put falconry on a hiatus until year 2000 while raising a family and working.

 

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

Oscar Pack was my sponsor (bless his soul!). I have learned from nearly every falconer I met, but I seem to have learned the most from working with my apprentices when I helped them get started and practice falconry.


What birds do you currently fly?

I am flying a female Red-tail (10 years), a male Harris (7 years), and a Kestrel (1 year)

 

What birds have you flown in the past?

Red-tails, a Horned Owl, Kestrels, and a Broadwing

 


What was your favorite bird and why?

Over time, favorite birds will probably always be Red-tails but whenever I see any raptor, I am fascinated by it.

 


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

I have more the soul of an austringer - I like the company of short wings - but I hope to fly a Prairie someday.



Favorite Quarry?

At the moment, rabbit clan.

 

Do you have other animals?

A Blue Healer dog but have had various birds and reptiles.

 


Favorite falconry story?

I have read several books, or stories, that have been inspirational. The following come to mind: The Rites of Autumn by Dan O'Brian, Golden Eagle Country by Richard R. Olendorff, and Musings of an Afghan Falconer by Sirdar Mohamed Osman. I also like the stories in Game Hawking at Its Very Best (various authors). I've enjoyed the Desert Hawking series of stories by Harry McElroy. I like hearing about the personal experiences of my apprentices and fellow falconers - most falconers love to talk about their birds and I hear the good, the bad, and the ugly!

 

Favorite quote?

"… falconers must be pragmatic, willing to discard what seems not to work, and eager to seek a better way".

- Jim Enderson


 

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

It's very important to read and ask questions before getting into the sport and to keep doing it after getting into the sport. It seems that some falconers don't bother to keep learning and to keep an open mind.



Who have you sponsored?

Gary Clements, Heather Clements, and David Price

 

 

What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

I enjoy learning more about raptors. Falconry also is a very personal experience for me that keeps me in tune with the birds and the environment but at the same time allows my mind to think about the real and abstract influences that raptors have had on human history, culture, arts, and society. I have a long term interest in falconry as intangible heritage. I try to contribute to the practice through organizations such as OFA, NAFA and The Archives of Falconry.

 


Contact Info you want public?

You are welcome to contact me at:

home phone: 405-364-5580 (leave a message)

emails:  pbtirrell@ou.edu
 

Social Networks?

Facebook - you are welcome to contact me 


Anything Else?

I've enjoyed reading about other falconers in Oklahoma, thanks for this feature!

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