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2022 Picnic
2022 ANNUAL PICNIC

 

Oklahoma Falconers Assoc.

Annual Picnic

Saturday June 4, 2022

 

Perfect weather, great food and the best gathering of friends one could ask for, was on par for the OFA annual get together!

Our picnic and business meeting was held at The ODWC Education center at Arcadia Lake in Edmond again this year. We can't say how grateful we are to have such a proficient working relationship with our State Officials.

The morning started with Matt Mullenix making a presentation on micro hawking and The Four Fundamentals of Falconry. We appreciate Matt making the drive from his home in Louisiana to share his knowledge!

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Thank you to Daniel, who volunteered to whip up a Cajun shrimp boil for our lunch! Like always, the OFA sponsors the food and asks the membership to bring sides or a dessert. Thank you also goes to Phil & Gayla for flying in fresh crayfish to sweeten the pot!

I look forward to our picnic every year. It's  chance to mingle with old friends, make some new ones and reminisce about the old days!

We were fortunate to have a great turnout. Most of the membership, many newcomers, Becky from the State Office and several members of The Kansas Hawking Club all helped make our day!

Following our business meeting, our usual annual raffle was a go!!! We can't thank Chris and Jessica enough for all the leg work gathering all the exceptional items! You really outdid yourselves this year! If you see any of the companies, artisans and members that are listed to the right, remember to thank them for their ongoing support. Without them we wouldn't be able to raise the monies to sustain the club.

Another year is in the books friends. I hope the rest of your summer goes well and your birds have a clean molt.

I hope we meet in the fall with bird in hand and game to chase!

Cheers till then!

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SQUIRREL BILL HB 1112
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 Left to right, Rep. Talley’s assistant, Rep. Talley’s wife Carol, Rep. Talley, Robert Huber, the Gov, Corey Jager, Wildlife Leg. Liaison, J.D. Strong, Director Wildlife, Sen. Allen and his wife.

Exciting news happening for squirrel season in Oklahoma! Thanks to the combined efforts of Director Huber, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife, local legislature, and others, the first wildlife bill signed into law this year in Oklahoma was focused on Squirrel Season and biology. In years past, the season was not determined by the Dept of Wildlife but rather the legislature. Director Huber explains below,

“The squirrel season was set by statute in Oklahoma most likely back in the 1920s or 1930’s when squirrel was a primary food source for Oklahomans. In order for Oklahoma falconers to request an extended squirrel season we had to request a bill to remove the season dates from statutes. I volunteered to spearhead the process for the Oklahoma Falconers Association and drafted a bill to remove season dates and empower the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife to set season dates based on biology.“

The bill is a wonderful collaborative success for falconers and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife.

2023 Picnic
2023 ANNUAL PICNIC

 The 2023 Picnic was another great OFA gathering. The comradery, the food, the raffle always seems to set the bar higher every time!

 

This year we added a few unique things to the agenda.

Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who helped putting this year's event on. Joel made all the arrangements for feeding everyone. Hannah gathered some real nice donations for our raffle and everyone that helped set up, tear down and clean up! Without all your help, this event would not be possible.

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This year we had our board elections. Unfortunately, we couldn't thank our outgoing President personally, as he had a previous engagement. Kris served as President Elect and President for four years, donating his time and expertise to our association. I personally want to thank him for his dedication to our club and the sport of kings in Oklahoma.

I stepped up from President Elect to President, Samantha was voted in as President elect, Robert is now our Vice President, Dave remains as our Secretary, and Chris is staying our Treasurer. I am honored to serve your club with this very proactive panel and look forward to the next two years.

Our club gained a few new members this year, with new members and new apprentices. I hope they are blessed with a great season with bountiful slips. 

We were also able to spend some time with many of the original founding members as well. I regret not getting the chance to visit with all of them, but there is always next year!

Falconry experience runs deep in Oklahoma and we are lucky to have some of the best in the country in our club!

That leads me to our umiqe additions to the agenda this year.

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Two years ago, it was presented to the membership, that we honor and recognize, a select few that have gone over and above for the art of falconry in the State of Oklahoma. It was also agreed, we should only have two honorary lifetime members at any given time.

The board, unanimously voted to honor two gentlemen that deserve more than I can convey. To say thank you is not nearly enough. To honor them with a lifetime membership, doesn't do their service justice. But I digress...

 

We asked Robert Huber to present and introduce Dr. Kenton Riddle and Robert Summers to do the same for Steve Sherrod.

These two gentlemen built their carriers around falconry and rose to the top of their fields. The wealth of experience and information Ken and Steve retain is invaluable to all falconers across our nation! I personally, thank you for offering your knowledge to any falconer willing to ask for help!

Our other unique addition to our meeting was to recognize and thank, Becky Rouner for her 24 years of dedicated service to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. 21 of those years, she served as our point of contact for falconry at the State level.

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Thank you for your years of dedication to the ODWC and the sport of falconry. Good luck on your retirement Becky. I hope your new endeavors bring you all the health and happiness you deserve.

This brought a close to our annual meeting, with only leaving two more important things on the tables! We had two raffles this year. Our usual fundraising raffle that had some very nice items to take a chance on. The second raffle was spearheaded by Chris and Jessica Kimble, specifically to raise funds to have Oscar Pack's name installed on the Wall of Remembrance. Again, Hannah did an excellent job, with several tables of prizes to take home. Chris and Jess donated many of the items to raise the money for Oscar. I am happy to say they raised more than enough to get the feat accomplished!!

I am proud to be a part of the OFA. I have never met a better group of like minded people!

Till next time friends. I hope your summer goes well and your birds have a clean molt. See you in the field with bird in hand!

2023 Apprentice rksop
2023 APPRENTICE WORKSHOP
GSP Trapping week
2023 RIDGE TRAPPING EVENT
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For those planning to attend this year's trapping expedition at Great Salt Plains, we will be going a couple weeks later to see if we better align with the migration. We will be there from 13-Oct thru 22-Oct (or earlier if no one is staying).

The annual demo we do for the locals will be on Saturday 14-Oct. It will be at 10:00 in the River Road Campground unless otherwise notified.

Clean up day will be announced later, but will be in early September

It is not too early to start collecting pigeons. That is a struggle every year.

Hope to see you there!

Mark Runnels and David Price

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