The Okie Hawker
DRONE, The Perfect Pigeon
DUCK HAWKING DON'TS
I am personally dedicated to flying Passage Falcons in my pursuit of the Art of Falconry. That’s just me. I love the challenge of Passage Falcons and I have flown Prairies, Gyrs and of late, Peregrines, both Anatums and a Texas trapped Tundra. So, I normally think of myself as a traditionalist in the way I pursue Falconry. Having said that, I have always been open to new ideas on how to shape these birds into high flying machines capable of delivering for me what I consider to be high quality Falconry.
Today I almost became a victim of duck hawking. When my peregrine stooped through a flock of mallards on the flush I was unable to see exactly what happened. There were a couple of small willows on the side of the hill above the pond blocking the view. To complicate matters, seven mallards and a gadwall had put back in and were swimming around nervously in front of me and would flush if I moved. I knew my bird had whipped around and was on the ground somewhere 200 feet away.
A BIRD'S EYE VIEW
Oklahoma Magazine Article about Oklahoma Falconry. March 2011
I can’t even wait until I get home from
work to get started,” Coleman says. “I
change my clothes at work so I’m ready to
jump out of the truck and head for the birds
once I get home.”
Before he could be eligible to practice the
sport of falconry, Coleman had to serve for
two years as an apprentice under someone
like Ryan VanZant, a master falconer based
MIRACLES DO HAPPEN
It was opening day of duck season and my family and I were supposed to celebrate some birthdays with family. My plan was to run out and fly my gos on some bunnies, and then find a duck flight for my Gyr/Barbary Tiercel. After catching a bunny with my gos, I was off to look for ducks. After about an hour of driving and no ducks sighted, I decided I would let my bird fly and then just call him down to the lure.
JET SEASON 1
My name is Mark Runnels and I am a Master Falconer from Bartlesville OK. In September 2011, I was fortunate to trap the first legally taken passage Tundra Peregrine falcon in Oklahoma since the 1970’s. Due to the historic nature of this bird, I feel that she belongs, in a Zen sorta way, to all of the falconers in Oklahoma. So I thought I would take a few minutes to relay the highlights (and low lights), of our first season together.
OK's FIRST FALCONER
Although falconry has been practiced for less than 100 years in the United States, Oklahomans have witnessed some early, quality falconry dating back to the mid 1930’s.
Fred Casler, a pioneering Oklahoma falconer trapped and trained his first raptor in 1935.
Falconry 101: An Introduction To The Basics And History Of The Sport - Chad Love Field and Stream photo essay on falconry. Photos from 2009 NAFA meet and has photos of a number of Oklahoma Falconers and their birds.
My Experience With an American Kestrel
I started my falconry life like many others. I flew a couple of Red-tails and even a Red-shoulder for a while. After my apprenticeship I switched gears toward flying big longwings and have done so ever since. This year started no different as I got my hybrid and Gyrkin going in the fall and was gearing up for another season of prairie duck hawking in Oklahoma
LANGFORD ART ARTICLE
In the summer of 1975, while working as a summer intern for the New Mexico Game & Fish Dept. out of Santa Fe, NM, I visited John Langford in Albuquerque. John was a little down on his luck and I offered some money which he declined. One of us suggested he do some pencil drawings & we settled on drawing them in a falconry book I had with me, Observations On Modern Falconry. I also left one of my falconry journals with photographic prints glued to some pages. What I later retrieved was a wonderful collection of 9 drawings (i.e., 3 gyrfalcon, 2 peregrine falcon, & 4 prairie falcon). My intent was to help a friend out, not to get John to do drawings. The situation, however, sparked the existence of the 9 works which should be preserved.
HAWKING WITH EAGLES IN MONGOLIA
I'm in the westernmost corner of Mongolia at the moment. Went out for the first time this season today (the 1st) after hares around the city of Olgii (urban hawking - Mongolia style). I was surprised how much they look akin to Black-tailed jacks. A local falconer lent me his eagle to fly for the day (a four year old, mild-mannered imprint) - which incidentally it is great fun flying on these stout little horses. We negotiated some really steep mountain faces and slippery mountainsides - I forgot just how sheer those were and I was, at times, clutching the horn of the saddle in fear.
Lauren's interview for The Falconry Fund!
OFA's own LAUREN MCGOUGH is the guest speaker for episode 10!!
Hosted by Israel Matson for The Falconry Fund, Inc. Lauren McGough joins us for the next installment of the Falconry Fund Podcast. Lauren's falconry career was launched into infamy after her adventures hawking foxes with Golden Eagles in Mongolia caught the attention of many. Since then, she has dedicated the entirety of her career to these magnificent birds of prey, hunting jackrabbits in the wide open spaces of the United States when she's not exploring other falconry abroad, such as her most recent adventure which I can't give away any details for, you'll have to listen to find out! Listen in to hear about Lauren's experiences, and the chain of events that lead to her ending up on 60 minutes!
Tim's interview for The Falconry Fund!
OFA's own Tim Jessell is the guest speaker for episode 14!!
Episode 14: Tim Jessell, Falconry and Art
Tim Jessell, the popular Oklahoma based falconer & illustrator behind Marshall Radio's larger than life new mural, joins us for this episode of the Falconry Told Podcast. Hosted by Israel Matson, this episode takes a look at Tim’s falconry beginnings, as well as how falconry has inspired and shaped his career as an illustrator. There’s something about falconry that inspires so many falconers to pick up a pencil and draw, sculpt beautiful sculptures, and so many other artistic mediums of expressing, that it caught Tim’s attention early on in his career, and as we explore this topic, we learn more about the magic of falconry.
Rob's interview for The Falconry Told!
Another Okie Hawker makes a debut........Diving headfirst out of an airplane with no experience, flying airplanes himself as a pilot, orchestrating falconry hunts at the airport by communicating with the control tower via radio, this guy is a FLIGHT FANATIC. Rob Summers of Oklahoma joins Israel Matson for this episode of the Falconry Told Podcast, and boy is this an interesting episode.
Daniel & Stinger are the topic for this FT blog!
The Stoop of the Perlin
A dust cloud trails the convoy of eight vehicles moving through the prairie hills northwest of Great Bend, Kansas. A gentle breeze whisks it away as the lead vehicle slows and brings the group to a halt between a tilled field and a cut plot bordered with tall, wild grasses. Near the back of the procession, we prepare to get out, but then there’s some commotion ahead and the line u-turns, one by one. Ahead of us in a height-adjusted Tesla Model X, Robert Bagley & the Marshall Radio team cross the shallow ditch bordering the road, driving across the turned soil of the field before regaining the road, it’s comical. A few minutes later and the convoy has returned to the opposite border of the same field, this time, everyone starts getting out.
ADVENTURES IN MONGOLIA
My journeys to Mongolia began when a falconer from Scotland advertised a personal trip with locals rather than a large tourist company.
Samantha Ohlmer, Oklahoma falconer, travels to hawk with the Eagle hunters...
Every falconer hears about the Kazakh hunters and the eagles in Mongolia and I just had to go. I was sure that I would never have that opportunity again for such a personalized trip. So, despite knowing no one on this adventure I packed my bags and flew to Mongolia!
SQUIRREL BILL HB 1112
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.
OK Falconers Assoc.com
The OFA proudly supports these fine organizations.
EVENTS COMING UP
The State no longer registers our falconry birds. You now must register them with the Federal Govt. The link above is a tutorial on how to do so.
Sept. 24-26 2021
2021 Trapping Event
2021 Fall OFA Meet
September 24-26, 2021
Mountain Park, OK
2022 OFA/KHC Friends Meet
Sat. June 4, 2022
November 14-20, 2021