2017 SPOTLIGHT

 

Name?

Redd Rawlings

How long have you been an OFA member?

5.5 years

 

Have you ever held a position in OFA?

Secretary

 

Where do you live?

Moore, OK

Job or School?

Realtor

 

What got you interested in falconry?

Kid talked about falconry when I was visiting a friend in North Carolina back in 1993.  I couldn't do it then because I was in the U.S. Navy, but once I retired, the interest was re-sparked.

 

 

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

Greg Stipp

 

 

What birds have you flown in the past?

Redtail

 

What was your favorite bird, and why?

I would have to say the red tail, since it's the only bird I have had

 

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

I would like to fly a kestrel....hopefully next year

What is your favorite quarry?

Squirrels

 

Do you have other animals?

Beagle, salt/fresh water fish, tons of bees, and a corn snake

 

Favorite falconry story?

Really don't have one that comes to mind

Funniest falconry story?

At the Wildlife Expo, I was showing a few girls who were around 10 years old the bird, and handed one of them my glove.  I asked her if she knew what she was touching.  When she said she didn't, I replied "Quail guts."  She gave a disgusted look, and dropped the glove.

 

Favorite quote?

"I am serious, and don't call me Shirley!"

 

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

Study/listen to your mentor and for the love of god, stay off of falconry message sites while you are an apprentice.

Who have you sponsored?

No one

What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

To keep learning about the sport, and to pass what I have learned onto others

 

Name?

Bart Russell

 

How long have you been an OFA member?

OFA member since the 1980's

Have you ever held a position in OFA?

No

Where do you live?

I live in rural Blanchard OK, which is in northern Grady county

 

Job or School?

I am a retired special agent with the US Department of Interior

 

Family?

Married to Jami.  Have four sons and three daughters.

 

What got you interested in falconry?

Became interested in falconry in mid 1960 through my scout master and veterinarian friend Dr. Nathan Eskew.

 

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

My sponsor was Jess Woody

 

What bird(s) do you currently fly?

I currently fly two female peregrines.  One 2015 S. Padre passage bird, one 2014 chamber bird.

What birds have you flown in the past?

Passage birds that I have trapped and trained include Kestrels, red tails, harris, prairies, merlin, male goshawks, sharpy, and a peregrine.  Captive bred birds were a gyrXperegrine and an imprint gyrkin.

 

What was your favorite bird, and why?

Favorite bird so far would be Sally, a passage female merlin.  She was so sweet and came around really quick...she liked me and I liked her.  Ended up releasing her.

 

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

I would like to trap and fly a jack merlin and a passage female gos

What is your favorite quarry?

My favorite quarry is wild pheasant.....big scent for the pointers and big, fast, and tough target for your raptor.

 

Do you have other animals?

I have 3 dogs; Lab, GSP, and English pointer, and I have numerous racing pigeons

Favorite falconry story?

Moved my wife and family in 1978 to Midland TX just to fly a passage harris, and to be around wild harris hawks. 

Funniest falconry story?

Funnies story occurred while hunting cottontails in north Texas oil fields.  I would flush rabbits for my passage male harris named Jack.  Method of flushing was to run a sucker rod up the 6 inch diameter pipe skid the pumping unit sat on, and the rabbit would run out the opposite end.  Jack was normally in a nearby mesquite or power pole...or sometimes riding the pumping unit.  He would always make powerful wing over kills that were awesome.  On this occasion I looked in the one end to see if there was a rabbit in the pipe....Jack was already on the ground looking up the other end as if to say "I don't need to fly, I'll stand here and grab it with my foot!"  Had to change our hunting method to the open fields for a while.

Favorite quote?

It's one I added to.  "Everyone is different, but some are more different than others."

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

Don't be shy about asking for help.  We all mess up.  Don't be reluctant to say this sport is not for me.

 

Who have you sponsored?

Daryl Nobis from Lawton

What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

Goals are to trap, train, and hunt falcons/hawks in the highest/healthiest condition possible

 

Contacts for public?

Bart Russell

2364 CR 1205

Blanchard, OK 73010

405-831-9965

bartrussell5@gmail.com

 
 

Name?

Jason Childress

How long have you been an OFA member?

I have been an OFA member off and on for 20 years.

Have you ever held a position in OFA?

No

 

Where do you live?

I live in Cushing right now, but will be moving to Stillwater soon.

Job or School?

C & C construction, asphalt, paving

Family?

Wife Emily Childress, and my two kids Kevan age 19, and Jacee age 13

 

What got you interested in falconry?

When I was 8 I had a wildlife coloring book, and one of the pages had a falconer holding a "duck hawk."

 

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

Mark Runnells, and when I was younger, Matt Gould would take me out flying

 

What bird(s) do you currently fly?

I currently fly a 14 year old PeregrineXGyr, a 4 year old GyrXPeregrine, and a new brown bird, which is a 3/4 PeregrineXGyr

What birds have you flown in the past?

My love has always been longwings.  I've mainly flown peales falcons and Gyr hybrids

What was your favorite bird, and why?

Favorite birds are GyrXPeregrines.  To me, they are super falcons with huge hearts.

 

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

I would like to fly a European sparrow hawk, or an imprint cooper's hawk

What is your favorite quarry?

My favorite quarries are pheasants and ducks

 

Do you have other animals?

I have 5 dogs; Sal and English setting, Jack and Jill my hunting jack Russell's, and Thumper and Winston my dachshunds.  I also have homing pigeons.

Favorite falconry story?

I was flying pheasants with Mark Runnells, my GP struck a rooster, the bird remounted, and struck the bird again.  He tail chased the pheasant, and though I could tell the rooster was hurt, he barely beat the falcon to the woods.  I was preparing to call the bird down, when Jill (my jack Russell) comes running out of the woods, with a half dead rooster in her mouth.

Favorite quote?

"In every difficulty, lies opportunity"

-Albert Einstein-

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

Try to hunt your birds everyday, and never stop learning

 

Who have you sponsored?

Jason Hazleton, and my son Kevan Beeler.  Both are currently inactive.

What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

Really high flights, and catching lots of pheasants and ducks

Contacts for public?

jasonchildress50@yahoo.com

 

Social Media?

Facebook

Name? 

Daniel Olson

 

How long have you been an OFA member?

I joined for 3 years, then took a short break, and rejoined recently.

 

Have you ever held a position in OFA? 

No

 

Where do you live? 

Tulsa, OK

 

Job or School? 

Indian Health Care and Resource Center as a Network Support Specialist, which is shorthand for all things Computer and phone related.

 

Family? 

Lovely girlfriend who will be starting her falconry journey later this year and her daughter, along with a collection of furry “kids.”

 

What got you interested in falconry? 

I think my first interest appeared when doing a nature hike with the cub scouts and we saw a Red Tail and the leader pointed it out.  I always knew about it from that point on, but did not know how to enter it.  Many years later, I found out one of the gentlemen who I shot sporting clays with in Colorado did falconry, and had a short chat.  My final introduction and move to it was when my ex-wife contacted my sponsor and decided she wanted to do falconry.

 

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

Bob Aanonsen was my sponsor, though I think of Mark Runnels as my co-sponsor as I learned a great deal from both of them.

 

What bird(s) do you currently fly? 

I fly a 2-year-old Great Horned Owl and a 6-year-old Peruvian Harris’s Hawk.

 

What birds have you flown in the past? 

My first bird was a Red Tailed hawk.

 

What was your favorite bird, and why? 

This is hard to answer, as I do not really have a favorite at this point.  They have been/are my favorites at this time.  All three of the birds are my favorite birds for their own reasons.  However, I if I had to choose, it would be my Peruvian Harris’s Hawk.  He has a fun personality in the field, yet keeps you on your toes at home.

 

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

This is hard to answer.  I am pretty content right now, but I have been thinking of flying either a Sharp Shinned Hawk or an Alpamado Falcon from some inner city starling hunting.

 

What is your favorite quarry? 

At this time, rabbits, though I am looking forward to expanding my quarry base to other challenges in the future.

 

Do you have other animals? 

I feel like I own a zoo.  Also included in the house is a 6 toed cat, 3 dogs (2 German Schnauzers and 1 long haired Chihuahua), and 3 ferrets.

 

Favorite falconry story? 

We were hunting with Mark Runnels in one of the fields he has permission.  He had his male and female Harris’s Hawks, Gus and Nola respectively, flying with my ex-wife’s Harris’s Hawk, Beagh.   A rabbit busted and both the males went after the rabbit.  Each of the males went down on the rabbit, just missing it.   After both males missed, Nola came in from a completely different angle.  Just as she went in from the kills, the rabbit leapt up and over Nola, and took off for cover.  Everyone in the field stopped and shouted in awe.

 

Funniest falconry story? 

See the previous story

 

Favorite quote? 

A Master Falconer just means that I have experienced more learning opportunities than an apprentice or general falconer.

 

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

Find a sponsor and/or a mentor as soon as possible, even if you know you will not have the test done or facilities ready for months away.   Spend as much time as you can with your sponsor during what I like to call the “Pre-apprenticeship.”  I found this makes the knowledge you need for the test easier to relate too and therefore easier to remember.  More importantly, you are far more calm and confident when working with that first Red Tail or Kestrel if you have spent the past several months working with your sponsor’s bird.

 

Who have you sponsored? 

No one yet.  I am still a few months away from legally being able to sponsor anyone.

 

What goals do you have for your falconry experience? 

My biggest goal is to successfully and consistently hunt with owls.  I have learned a great deal working with my current owl and I know we are very close to successful hunts in the field.  I also want to continue to educate the public about the beauty of these creatures, and their important part in our world.

 

Contact Info you want public? 

Email:  vampdrgn3@att.net

 

Social Networks? 

Facebook

 

Anything else? 

Falconry is a personal sport, and is experienced and performed differently by each of us.  The reasons we love it are similar to each other, yet unique to us as individuals.  I have grown to love the sport tremendously over the past 4 years.  It head lead to many other great adventures and skills that extend beyond falconry.  I look forward to many more years.

 

Name?

Krys Langevin
 

How long have you been an OFA member?

4 months
 

Have you ever held a position in OFA?

No
 

Where do you live?

Lawton, OK
 

Job or School?

Meadow Wood Animal Hospital
 

Family?

I have my dad, brother and sister, but the family I relate to the most is my falconry family; my fellow OFA and NAFA members.
 

What got you interested in falconry?

I’ve always love nature, animals, and the outdoors. I never new falconry was really a thing until I went to work for Dr. Moore. He is a falconer/rehabber/veterinarian and I went out with him and his birds for two years before I took the plunge. I was hooked.
 

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

Greg Moore, DVM was my sponsor but my biggest influence and mentor has been Heather Gast. I started falconry with the goal to fly a male/female cast of HH’s and her guidance has made that a very enjoyable success.
 

What bird(s) do you currently fly?

Cast of HHs
 

What birds have you flown in the past?

2 Female RTs, 1Imprint female Cooper’s Hawk, One Male Imprint Cooper’s Hawk, One passage female Sharp Shinned Hawk, 20+ different HHs mostly CB 3 passage birds , 2 Imprint male NA Goshawks
 

What was your favorite bird, and why?

My favorite two are my current Male CB HH “Dingus” and the passage female Sharpy I flew “Boo”. Dingus will tackle a sparrow and a jack rabbit in the same hunt. I’ve flown him for 10+ years and can’t imagine a season without him. Boo was a phenomenal Sharpy. I manned her at a NAFA meet and she was tame as any imprint. She rode in the truck unhooded and if you blinked you missed the lightning fast flights. 
 

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

I am pulling a female sharpy in June in Indiana. My dream bird is a Black Spar, but I doubt that will ever happen. 
 

What is your favorite quarry?

Jack Rabbits, but I’m in quail central so we will see how the sharpy does.
 

Do you have other animals?

4 dogs and 3 cats
 

Favorite falconry story?

My favorite falconry story has to be all the “firsts”. First head of game, first pheasant, first quail, first jack, etc. Short of that pick any NAFA meet and all the shenanigans that happen there.
 

Funniest falconry story?

I was flying my imprint female Cooper’s hawk “Turbo Dog” and she chased a group of birds out the car window. One of the birds flew directly into the open front window of an unoccupied parked car with Turbo hot on it’s tail. She ended up catching the bird in the back seat of the car and I had to go let myself into the car to retrieve the birds.

 

Favorite quote?

"I do invite you to-morrow morning
to my house to breakfast;
after, we'll a-birding together.
I have a fine hawk for the bush."
The Merry Wives of Windsor, III, iii, 243.

 

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

Pick a good attentive sponsor and then listen to that person and not all the armchair falconers on the internet.
 

Who have you sponsored?

Axel Schardt and Clayton Boyd
 

What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

I want to give back more. I am working on building a hopefully long lasting relationship with the soon to be opened Mountain Park Aquarium & Museum of Natural Science.
 

Contact Info you want public?

817-528-9743 (cell)
 

Social Networks?

Face Book
 

Anything else?

I’m all about helping others. If anyone needs anything, has any questions, or just wants to go hawking give me a call.
 

 

Name?

Barry Bond

 

How long have you been an OFA member?

Two years

 

Have you ever held a position in OFA?

No

 

Where do you live?

Foss, OK

 

Job or School?

Dam Tender at Foss Reservoir

 

Family?

Wife Deana, and son Rowdy 

 

What got you interested in falconry?

Talking with Chris Kimble

 

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

Chris Kimble

 

What bird(s) do you currently fly?

I was flying a redtail, but I let her go after the season ended.

 

What birds have you flown in the past?

Two redtail hawks

 

What was your favorite bird, and why?

The hawk this year was the best.  We caught twenty rabbits, and a six foot bull snake

 

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

I am planning on flying another redtail this coming season. 

 

What is your favorite quarry?

Rabbits

 

Do you have other animals?

Yes I raise pigeons, and I have two bird dogs

 

Favorite falconry story?

The day she caught the snake

 

Who have you sponsored?

No one yet

 

What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

To try out some duck and pheasant hunting

 

Contact Info you want public?

580-331-8440

 

Social Networks?

Face Book

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Name?

Crystal Stacey

 

How long have you been an OFA member?

Since the 2017 OFA Picnic

 

Have you ever held a position in OFA?

No, unless you count newest member! :-)

 

Where do you live?

I live in Luther, OK.  I moved here in 2013 from Pennsylvania.

 

Job or School?

I do educational birds of prey programs across the country with my fiance.  I also make braided falconry equipment.

 

Family?

My fiance, Ash Cary

 

What got you interested in falconry?

I met my now fiance in PA during one of his shows in 2011.  I have been hooked ever since.

 

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

My sponsor is my fiance.  Not something I would recommend to most people! :p

 

What bird(s) do you currently fly?

This is my first year as a general.  I happened to have the option of an eyass Great Horned Owl, and decided to take it.  I am also hoping to trap a Red Tail in the fall as well.

 

What birds have you flown in the past?

I have flown two male Red Tails.  The first one was not well when I trapped him, so I never took game with him.  My second was a monster of a male, fly at 1070 to 1100 grams.

 

What was your favorite bird, and why?

My second Red Tail.  He was trained and flying free in about five days.  I could have taken the creance off by day three, with how hard he hit the lure the first time.  I doubt I will have another bird as willing as he was.  He was gorgeous too!

 

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

I plan to fly several Red Tails over the next several years.  I would love to fly an imprint female Cooper's Hawk someday. 

 

What is your favorite quarry?

My favorite quarry has to be squirrels.  There is so much going on in a good squirrel chase.  I feel such a rush and sense of accomplishment for my bird when a squirrel is caught.  I usually hunt rabbits though, as I find them more often.

 

Do you have other animals?

I have a dog, four rats, and a mouse.  Plus all of our education birds.  I also help care for eleven horses.

 

Funniest falconry story?

My favorite falconry story has to be from the 2016 NAFA meet in Elk City.  I had gone out with several people that morning, and we went to a guy's farm.  We had walked between 1/4 and 1/2 mile to get through the gates in the fence, while beating along the fence to get to a patch of tall grass.  We didn't have much luck, and decided to head back to the trucks.  Instead of taking the long walk back to the gates (which we had done several times at this point between all of the birds), we decided to hop a few fences.  We got over a few barbed wire fences, and came across one last fence before having a straight shot to the cars.  I swung a leg over the top wire and tried to hold it down so the guy with the bird could get over easier.  Little did any of us know, the middle strand of wire was not barbed wire.  It was a hot wire, and boy was it HOT!  I zapped the inside of my knee and just about rocketed off that fence to the other side.  I spent the rest of the meet with friends asking if I wanted to test the fence.  It will be hard to live that one down!

 

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

Don't bother getting into the sport unless you have the passion and drive (and common sense)!

 

Who have you sponsored?

No one

 

What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

Hunting, preferably in good company

 

Contact Info you want public?

E-mail: edgefeatherphotos@yahoo.com

Phone: 717-823-2366

 

Social Networks?

Face Book

 

Anything else?

I make and sell braided falconry equipment.  You can check it out here!

Name?

Adam Shriver

 

How long have you been an OFA member?

2017

 

Have you ever held a position in OFA?

No

 

Where do you live?

Yukon, OK

 

Job or School?

Outside sales Core Lifting Products

 

Family?

I have three beautiful kids, and an awesome wife who tolerates me.

 

What got you interested in falconry?

I have always loved birds of prey ever since I can remember.  However, when my brother Benton Shriver decided to become a falconer, I was shortly right behind him.

 

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

My sponsor is David Price.  With his blessings, I will upgrade to general in November of 2017.  I have looked up to a few others, and have had help from both Ricky Harris (Pawpa) and Gary Brewer.

 

What bird(s) do you currently fly?

I currently do not have any birds.

 

What birds have you flown in the past?

I have flown both a male and a female red tailed hawk.

 

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

I think red tails have a special place in my heart.  I will probably always be a red tailer.  In time, I would like to see what a gos is all about.

 

What is your favorite quarry?

My favorite quarry by far, is squirrels.  It's the crack of falconry in my opinion.

 

Do you have other animals?

I own two dogs.  Harley, a 9 year old pitbull, and Camden, which is a 6 month old mountain feist.

 

Favorite falconry story?

My favorite story would have to be last season with Mazzo, my hen red tail.  She was a late trapped bird, and we had little time to get going, and to get a full season in on squirrels.  We made it happen though.  Mazzo was relentless, and nothing less than hell on squirrels.  Too many good stories to tell with that bird, but one that rings a bell at this time would be at a local park.  I was just getting her going, but the locals knew who both of us where by that point.  As I started across the park with Mazzo following close behind, I started to notice that my group was no longer just her and I.

I had every kid and elderly person in the park hawking with us, with the exception of a soccer mom who passed by, giving us "The look."  Mazzo started in on the squirrels, and shortly got a foot on one, bringing is down right in front of out group.  I moved in, helped dispatch the squirrel, and looked up and said "Wow!  Wasn't that just tons of fun!"  Everyone was beside themselves.  Withing 15 minutes of the soccer mom passing, the cops showed up.  I was half expecting this to happen, and was planning on it.  They also couldn't believe what was going on, and wanted to see what this whole falconry deal was about first hand.  So...I put Mazzo back up in the trees, and we were at it again.  By this point we had lost a few of the original group, but we now had three officers, and half of the locals at the park hawking.  ALL EYES WERE ON MAZZO!  This was our first double.

 

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

The best tip I can give is that this sport takes lots of time and patients.  It is NOT for everyone.

 

Who have you sponsored?

I have not sponsored anyone, though I will be working closely with another apprentice this coming season.

 

What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

The only goal I have is to be the best that I can be, to fly my birds in good health, and to hawk as much as possible.

 

Contact Info you want public?

Phone: 405-845-3283

Name?

Phil Salvati

 

How long have you been an OFA member?

Four Years

 

Have you ever held a position in OFA?

Not an official position.  My wife and I set up the 2017 Club Picnic in Perry.  I am also serving as the apprentice Coordinator for the eastern portion of the state.

 

Where do you live?

Perry, OK

 

Job or School?

Gayla and I own and operate a graphics design business.  We design logos, screen print, embroider, make custom clothes, laser engrave, etc, etc.  Just about anything to brand your business or outing!

 

Family?

I am a "damn yankee" from the Republic of New York.  My siblings and family are scattered along the east coast.  I've called Oklahoma my home for the last twelve years.  My in-laws are pretty much concentrated in Noble County.

 

What got you interested in falconry?

I've been interested in birds of prey since childhood when my father brought home a wounded red-tailed hawk.  It went to out veterinarian and never learned of her outcome.  Later in years, while working on set of an opera in NYC, I met a falconer whose bird was one of the starts!  I quizzed him for days...learning about what it takes to start my journey.  Keeping a career in show business working 80+ hours a week and falconry just didn't mix.  Now, after making our business a success, I am afforded the time for the better things in life...

 

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

My sponsor will always be Tim Jessell.  As far as influences...just about everyone who has offered advice, took me hawking, or was willing to lend a hand....Mitch Wishon, Rob Rainey, Daniel Murray, Chris Kimble, and Jerel Collins...this club is what it is because of members like you!

 

What bird(s) do you currently fly?

My wife Gayla and I do just about everything together.  We have two Harris' hawks...a 1 year old named Argo, and a 4 year old female named Nola (on load).  We intend to trap another Red-tail this fall.

 

What birds have you flown in the past?

Red-tailed hawk.

 

What was your favorite bird, and why?

I can't say there is a favorite, as they are too few.  The experience of taking a wild bird and hunting with it within a few weeks has been the best part!

 

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

I would like to look into a goshawk and/or a prairie falcon in the future.  I plan to stick with Red-Tails and Harris' for a while though.

 

What is your favorite quarry?

At home, ducks and cottontails.  After witnessing some of the flights on jacks at the 2017 Winter meet, I am determined to get Nola on as many as I can this year.

 

Do you have other animals?

Yes, several horses, a Chesapeake Bay retriever, a Vizsla, and a Decker terrier.

 

Favorite falconry story?

The day after the 2016 NAFA meet in Elk City, OK.  Bella (my RT) and I connected on our first kill.  The Murray's, watching from the sidelines, were waiting to hear the story when we returned to the truck.  Daniel and Parker flew their red tail and Gayla flew her Harris, and we called an end to a great weekend.  Goodbyes all around and we packed up...before pulling out, Daniel came back to my truck and handed me his rabbit game pin from the actual meet, and congratulated me.  Good times!!!

 

Funniest falconry story?

Nothing better than the same trapping story Gayla told on her M.O.M. page

 

Favorite Quote?

"The journey IS the reward!"

 

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

Stay the line, and don't give up.  Be sure you know what you are getting into...this is the toughest fun you will ever have!  The only way to succeed is....Get Up, Suite Up, and Shut Up!

 

Who have you sponsored?

No one yet

 

What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

To be as good as my dogs and birds think I am.  I would like to hawk with as many seasoned falconers as possible.  Watching a well trained animal perform to the best of their ability is fascinating as well as exhilarating!

 

Contact Info you want public?

Cell: 580-336-7684

Work: 580-336-9970

 

Social Networks?

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/phil.salvati

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/pjsalvati/

Company Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/red_earth_dsigns/

 

Anything Else?

I'm looking forward to the outings planned for this year.  I hope to see you in the field at one of them!  Have a great 2017/2018 season!

It’s been seven years since we last caught up with Chris Kimble.  Let’s see how he is doing!

 

 

What’s new with you and the family?

Well, the last time we did this I was single! Im now married to my lovely wife Jessica, who is also now a falconer. And we have two children, Ally and Wesley, ages 9 and 4.

 

Have you held any OFA board positions since we last spoke?

Treasurer and currently Vice President

 

Have you sponsored anyone new recently?

Jerrel Collins, Barry Bond, Shane Bullard, and Jessica Kimble

 

What bird(s) have you flown between then and now?

A few redtails and a passage male Harris Hawk.

 

Which one did you enjoy hawking the most, and why?

My passage harris, Sylar. I like him the most because I put the most effort into him.

 

Favorite hawking story involving that bird?

Probably the time that I was hawking with Mitch Wishon, Rob Rainey, and Shane Bullard, and we flushed a cottontail while Sylar was on the T perch. It was pretty cold that day and Sylar was getting tired, but he put in a half hearted attempt and ended up sitting on the ground empty footed. But the cottontail ran right back to us where it paused, surprised by the crowd! We ended up flushing it right back toward Sylar who caught it as it ran by him while he was sitting on the ground! I had seen this almost happen many times with other birds, but it was the first time I’d seen one actually caught by a bird on the ground.

 

We learn something new from every raptor we fly…what insight have you learned recently, that has impacted the way you practice your falconry the most?

If you want something new or something more out of your bird, you have to be willing to push yourself first. To truly get the most out of your falconry, takes complete dedication and sacrifice. I guess that’s why we call it a lifestyle, but the results are worth it!

 

What is the most recent falconry book/article you have read?

I’ve been re-reading The Harris's Hawk Revolution lately, in preparation for trapping a female harris in Texas soon.

 

If someone could only read a single book about falconry, which one would you recommend they pick up and why?

To be honest, I’d pick up a good avian medical book. I don’t know any off hand because I don’t own any, but I wish I did! The harris hawk revolution actually has some pretty good medical resources in it, FYI.

 

What bird(s) are you currently flying?

My 2014 passage male harris, but hes still molting.

 

Favorite hunting story involving you and one of your current birds?

Aside from the one outlined above, Id say it was his first kill. It was not glorious by any standards or even worth describing, but it was special to me because he was a bird I had wanted for many years, and I worked hard to try and make him into a game hawk that I would love hunting with for many years. That first kill was a big milestone for us!

 

Who have you been out hawking with the most lately?

My wife! Its been nothing short of hot, lol. That’s what happens when you trap a bird in August I suppose.

 

Tell your favorite story involving that person, and one of the birds they were flying?

Watching her fly her bird free in the field for the first time. It’s a big deal for an apprentice to make that first leap of faith, and its even more special when all goes as planned. I really enjoyed seeing her efforts pay off.

 

Have you been on any hunting trips recently?  Where did you go, and what were you chasing with your bird(s)?

Made a trip to the panhandle to enter Jess’s bird, and chase bunnies with the terriers. It was fun, but the bird and dog are still green!

 

Have you been attending any of the OFA functions or meets?  If so, which one did you enjoy the most?  Do you have any good stories from it?

Really enjoyed the Kestrel Box Workshop! But the Trapping Workshop and Picnic were both a great time as well!

 

Last time you had some good tips for someone new to the sport.  Do you have any new advice that you feel people entering the sport would benefit from hearing?

Stay off facebook! Or at least take what you find there with a grain of salt. Theres a falconry group for everything falconry related and 3 or 4 for certain topics, and to be completely frank, without some experience its hard to tell what to take seriously! I’ve seen a lot of bad ideas shared on social media. My advice would be to get involved with OFA and NAFA, find a good sponsor and follow their lead! Don’t seek advice from people in public forums.

 

Last time you listed out some good goals for your falconry experience?  Do you have any new ones?

Im planning to trap another passage harris this year. My goal is to fly a male/female cast. The challenge will be getting my current male to accept her, and also to make her into a game hawk at least half as good as him.

 

Contact info you want public?

OKfishsticker@yahoo.com

580-816-0308

 

Social Networks?

Linkedin, facebook

 

Anything else?

Have fun, be safe, and represent the whole!

It’s been seven years since we last caught up with Tim Jessell.  Let’s see how he is doing!

 

 

What’s new with you and the family?

Oldest daughter Abby graduated from OSU and is preparing for med school, Ben is a pre med sophomore at OSU, and Molly is a junior in high school - playing softball and basketball. 1 year and 4 months ago, we opened Attaboy Boarding Kennels.

 

Have you held any OFA board positions since we last spoke?

I think the last time I held an OFA position was before we all had e-mail :-) 

 

Have you sponsored anyone new recently?

Yes, Phil and Gayla Salvati.

 

What bird(s) have you flown between then and now?

Blue, Bolt’s brother -3 years apart. Bolt was tragically killed doing mach 1 after smashing a greenwing teal into an unseen barbed wire fence, from over a 1000 feet, he then too hit the fence after initial impact (teal was stone dead). Bolt survived the night and surgery at OSU hospital, but died later that next day from internal injuries. I still miss him. - Blue is now back in Dave Knutson’s breeding project. He’s one of the few voluntary (key) semen giving peales imprint in the country. Otis, 2nd year tiercel peales (chamber bird) from Brian Sullivan, and Buzz, 1st year tiercel peales (chamber bird).

 

Which one did you enjoy hawking the most, and why?

Blue - like his brother in most respects. Flew high and liked killing ducks.

 

Favorite hawking story involving that bird?

On nice cold calm days, Mitch Wishon and I would head to pheasant country. On this day, I knew I could not take my eyes of of Blue or he would be gone (height). So Mitch walked to the flush, while I had to walk backwards with neck craned up. I’m guessing Blue was 1500 feet or higher when he melted into the blue. We had a bagger so at that point we just wanted to reward the flight. Heck of stoop - we could hear it before we saw him. Great morning.

 

We learn something new from every raptor we fly…what insight have you learned recently, that has impacted the way you practice your falconry the most?

In recent terms, that would be the 2nd year tiercel peales, Otis. Since adopting the kite program (now drone), he was the first bird I’ve flown where the kite just didn’t seem to totally sink in w/ desired results (I can not tell you why, either). On his best day, he would not go higher than 500 feet on his own (my kite birds usually flew higher than that on their first free flights). There are things about him I like, but his lack of sky busting was disappointing. So, I committed to finishing out last season making sure any kills were from on high - and "start over" this Fall. I am now employing Scott Larsen’s drone technique - which in phase 2 makes the drone like an "electronic pigeon”. On paper, it's based on very sound and well known hawking principles, yet combined with the electronic/computer age. Larsen’s method greatly expands on just using the drone as an electronic kite. It’s intriguing and is reported to be highly successful. I hope to concur with that - we will see...

 

What is the most recent falconry book/article you have read?

The Flying of Falcons by Ed Pitcher & Ricardo Velarde, and Scott Larsen’s 3 drone articles.

 

If someone could only read a single book about falconry, which one would you recommend they pick up and why?

For the “how to” - the “bible” "North American Falconry & Hunting Hawks". For the non “how to” - not even close - Dan O’Brien’s "The Rites of Autumn". Read it a long time ago at Steve Trent’s house. I devoured it. It's sequel “Equinox" is not as impactful, in my view.

 

What bird(s) are you currently flying?

Otis, 2nd year tiercel peales (chamber bird) & Buzz, 1st year tiercel peales (chamber bird).

 

Favorite hunting story involving you and one of your current birds?

Otis mounted well 7 times in a very stiff wind to take an intimidated and hurt gadwall last season. I was just about to throw in the towel but he kept going - said a little prayer for one more shot and it worked out.

 

Who have you been out hawking with the most lately?

My college roommate came down for the the TU vs OSU football game, and we went and flew Buzz the next morning. Dave was my roommate when I got my first red tail. 31 years later he was in the field w/ me again… he took the pic of Buzz and I that is inserted above. Over all in recent years it was w/ Mitch Wishon, as we were the only members of the OK Tiercel Peregrine Club ;)

 

Tell your favorite story involving that person, and one of the birds they were flying?

Mitch’s Clyde (passage peregrine). You quite never know what you were gonna get w/ Clyde - despite that he was very, very tame I don’t think we could get a handle on what days he was gonna go literally out of sight - or 400 feet. In the end, only he knew. But he was ALWAYS gamey (and hit stuff hard!). Big time killer. It was treat to do so much hawking w/ him

 

Have you been on any hunting trips recently?  Where did you go, and what were you chasing with your bird(s)?

Last season I was doing illustrations (my day gig), running the boarding kennel, my oldest daughter and I traveling to dog shows w/ our Alaskan Malamute - he is 2 points away from his championship, having won his two majors already, and teaching a class at OSU - great thing about hawing ducks, is you don’t need to go far for a trip - as you can tell, my free time is at a premium - trips for now aren’t really practical. Plus I’m a bit cynical about taking young birds on hawking trips - often, it seems better to stay closer to home that first year.

 

Have you been attending any of the OFA functions or meets?  If so, which one did you enjoy the most?  Do you have any good stories from it?

Not the meets, but after years and years of always being at softball/baseball tournaments I was able to attend the last two picnics. It was great seeing some “old timers” (believe me, I remember being the young whipper snapper at these gatherings), meeting new faces (to me), and seeing how the club was benefiting from enthusiastic and energetic leadership from folks like Daniel Murray.

 

Last time you had some good tips for someone new to the sport.  Do you have any new advice that you feel people entering the sport would benefit from hearing?

Like much in life, perseverance is a key to success:

Using Phil Salvati as an example, I told him I was flat out more impressed that his interest in falconry had lasted so long than, say, his extensive background in bird dogs. It’s one of the main reasons I agreed to sponsor him. The best apprentices/future falconers don’t need, or dare I say deserve, an easy path, all they need is a hint of a path to push through and begin walking it.

 

Last time you listed out some good goals for your falconry experience?  Do you have any new ones?

I would like to hawk huns w/ one of my tiercel peales, someday. Perfect quarry for them.

 

Social Networks?

FB, twitter, Instagram (not very active there). I have snapchat but lever look at it. The only reason you need something more than FB (I find Instagram oddly somewhat redundant to FB) is because the “youngsters” moved away when they realized their parents were on it - so uncool.

 

 

Anything else?

To quote Stan Lee, “‘Nuff said”.

 

Thank you, Tim

It’s been seven years since we last caught up with Jonathan Coleman.  Let’s see how he is doing!

 

 

What’s new with you and the family?

I have a five year old grandson who's interested in what his Dedah does (falconry), and a two year old granddaughter who's beautiful.  Due to the cuts in education funding, I am no longer working for OU/Sutton Avian Research Center, and have re-entered the Developmental Disabilities Field.

 

Have you held any OFA board positions since we last spoke?

I was president elect for the last couple of years, and am now the current President of the club.

 

Have you sponsored anyone new recently?

I currently have two apprentices.  Rita White, and Stacie Stoneman/Price.

 

What bird(s) have you flown between then and now?

I've flown and hunted with a Harlan's red tail, a Kestrel, two male coopers hawks, and several western red tails.

 

Which one did you enjoy hawking the most, and why?

I've had fun with all of the hawks that I've been blessed to do falconry with.

 

We learn something new from every raptor we fly…what insight have you learned recently, that has impacted the way you practice your falconry the most?

Pay close attention to your bird's behavior.

 

What is the most recent falconry book/article you have read?

Articles by Jerry Liguori on Harlan's hawks and Oklahoma's own Jim Lish's book Winters Hawk, which deals with red tails.  I've also been re-reading North American Falconry and Hunting Hawks by Frank Bebee & Hal Webster.  It is a great introductory book of falconry as done in the United States, and it gets updated to what is happening in falconry by various falconers on the birds we use here in the Americas.

 

If someone could only read a single book about falconry, which one would you recommend they pick up and why?

Understanding the Bird of Prey by Nick Fox has a lot of information on anatomy, behavior, and illness/treatments for raptors.  Pick all you can find and borrow though.  You'll learn something new about falconry, if it's a falconry book.

 

What bird(s) are you currently flying?

Two times intermewed Harlan's red tailed hawk.

 

Who have you been out hawking with the most lately?

Basically, it's just been my bird and I, as it is most of the time due to work hours.

 

Have you been on any hunting trips recently?  Where did you go, and what were you chasing with your bird(s)?

My trips abroad for hawking havn't been as I (or others) would like them to be.  I'm on a budget!!!

 

Last time you had some good tips for someone new to the sport.  Do you have any new advice that you feel people entering the sport would benefit from hearing?

Go out in the field with as many different people as you can, so that you can see if falconry is for YOU!

 

Anything else?

I'll go on record and say this...falconry is HUNTING with a trained raptor.  If you want a pet hawk, falcon, or owl, or if hunting and seeing the blood of that cute bunny or bird your raptor catches bothers you....then falconry might not be for you.

Name?

Bob Clark

 

Have you ever held a position in OFA?

No

 

Where do you live?

Oklahoma City

 

Job or School?

Reptile Breeder, Univ. of Kansas BS Biology, MA Systematic

 

Family?

Widowed.  Courtney 30, Haley 28, and Bob 26

 

What got you interested in falconry?

I don't remember "getting" interested, I just WAS interested

 

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

I started in the sport before it was regulated, so I didn't have a sponsor.  I got my info from books, mostly OLD books, but eventually found North American Falconry and Hunting Hawks by Webster and Beebe.

 

What bird(s) do you currently fly?

I currently fly a FinnishXSiberian Goshawk

 

What birds have you flown in the past?

Red-tailed hawks, harris', peregrines, peregrine hybrids, and goshawks

 

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

I like the variety!  No plans for anything different.

 

What is your favorite quarry?

I think ducks with a peregrine are probably my favorite quarry.

 

Do you have other animals?

I breed pythons for a living, so I've got lots of snakes, a few lizards, and quite a few turtles including one i've had for 47 years!

 

Funniest falconry story?

This one is a little painful to tell, but I'll do it for the laugh.  A few years ago a group of Oklahoma falconers were in town and hunting in an area which I hunted daily.  My job as unofficial guide, was to find someone good duck slips.  Things had been going well, and we'd seen some good flights and taken some ducks.  Then it was my turn.  Most of the members of the hunting party were accomplished falconers that I respected and when it was my turn, I hoped my bird would do well making me look good in the process.  My peregrine took a mediocre pitch over the pond, and then halfheartedly chased the ducks out of the pointy end of the pond.  She came back over the water and as I tried to flush a couple of stragglers, my bird came from the sky and bound to my head!  Well, nothing bleeds like your head!  Humiliating!  I was wounded in more ways than one.  I never saw that behavior before or after.  My bird was used to hopping in the truck and chasing ducks a few minutes later.  I think she build some resentment, after riding in the car all day.

 

Favorite Quote?

The question isn't "Who's going to let me," it's "who's going to stop me!"

Ayn Rand

 

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

Falconry has given me so much enjoyment over the years.  There is real value in that.  I hope someone starting in the sport can recognize all it has to offer, and get the most from it.  Have fun!

 

What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

I hope i'm kicking brush piles, rushing ponds, and hopping fences until my last day.  That's a good goal for me.

 

Contact Info you want public?

405-659-3608

bob@bobclark.com

 

Social Networks?

Personal Facebook - Bob Clark

Business Facebook - Bob Clark Reptiles

Twitter - @ pythonbobclark

Instagram - bobclarkreptiles

Company Website - www.bobclark.com

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