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monkeybum

Falconry

I've just joined a falconry club local to me that meet once a month. I don't have a bird yet as I feel I'm just not ready to do the bird full justice. I've been advised to do a year training first which I'm quite prepared to do. Just wondered what advice anyone could give me. I'm reading everything I can get hold of but I'm having difficulty finding a mentor which is making the practical side a tad tough. Any suggestions or just throw all the advice you can at me. I need all the help I can get. Hoping to start with a male Harris but not just yet.
kaz

Well done Monkeybum
I would have thought that through the membership of the club you should be able to find a mentor
monkeybum

You would think so wouldn't you but nobody seems keen to take on new blood in the sport atm. Its ridiculous especially since they are trying to renew the old traditions of the sport, but people just run out, buy a bird and then expect to be able to rear it. Its far more complex than that and I need to learn properly.
Gareth

Here is a web-site that covers just about everything that the budding falconer needs to know:

http://www.themodernapprentice.com/

Other advice that will come in handy is; learn to make as many of the required bits & pieces as you possibly can.... by and large the leather work is straight forward and simple, and you will save a packet.

When you are ready to purchase, tame and train your first bird, let me know and I'll do you a deal on the bow perches, etc. .... they are already in the Cargo Cycles miscellaneous products catalogue; both stainless steel and powder coated mild steel.
monkeybum

Wow thanks for that Gareth, thats a real help. I'm hoping the next year flies by....I can't wait to get started!
Bazzer

Watcha MB. You near Nth. Cornwall by any chance? Can't remember your location now.
Couple of real good guys down that way who rescue and train.
monkeybum

Nearer Bath Bazzer, the closest club I could find is about an hour from me. I've just started tho and haven't really put my stamp on it yet. It'll get better once they get to know me...I hope!  
Bazzer

Just on the off chance.
Knew you were West Country way but couldn't remember how far down.
Shungar...

Re: Falconry

monkeybum wrote:
I've just joined a falconry club local to me that meet once a month. I don't have a bird yet as I feel I'm just not ready to do the bird full justice. I've been advised to do a year training first which I'm quite prepared to do. Just wondered what advice anyone could give me. I'm reading everything I can get hold of but I'm having difficulty finding a mentor which is making the practical side a tad tough. Any suggestions or just throw all the advice you can at me. I need all the help I can get. Hoping to start with a male Harris but not just yet.


Many years ago I joined a local Club as a Full Member, hoping to meet like-minded folk and extend my horizons even though I as'nt new to the sport. But to quote Billly Connolly I was made as welcome as a "fart in a space suit". The regional club was already divided into groups and no-one made the effort to meet-and-greet a newcomer to the club. I have hawked on my own or with close friends ever since.. But the last local meeting I went along to was about 6 years ago, I bumped into a few good people for a chit chat, heard a few stories from falconers/austringers who suffer from big Dick syndrome and fly the biggest goshawks and amongst others in the UK etc, and catch more than any other falconer, so I was left thinking it's the last time I'd bother so I never have done. I saw more disagreements that day from chaps suffering from "big Dick syndrome ?" than I have anywhere else to be honest, but that's the club based near me..
This link may be of some use to you - As the BFC now does an apprenticeship for ALL new members..
http://www.britishfalconersclub.co.uk/clubs/mid-west/
http://www.britishfalconersclub.co.uk/membership/beginners/
http://www.britishfalconersclub.c...bership/lantra-begining-falconry/
Just go for your main essentials first. Obtain the equipment to cater for the bird you're acquiring too. so if its a Harris Hawk or Redtail you need a decent Bow Indoor or outdoor! Glove, Scales, Anklets, Jesses <mews/flying>, leashes, a couple of swivels <one spare>, Bells, Tail mount if requied, Telemetry - no responsible falconer flies a bird without it these days. It should be purchased before the bird.
If you have got a decent book and with some practice you should be able to knock up your own Jesses, anklets, leashes and even hood if you require one.
Normally a trainned bird won't cost you anymore than a bird fresh out of the aviary, the thing you have to take into account is how gennuine is the trainned bird? what bad vices has it picked up? why is it for sale if its that good? how was it reared?, personaly I won't touch a trainned bird from a flying point of view, but have brought them in for breeding stock, if you take a bird fresh out of the aviary Its totally Fresh for Manning and Trainning! the balls in your court as to how this bird turns out, if you have done your homework the bird should turn out fine! but any mistakes made by the handler will be down to you, when you finally take up your new charge and spend the time putting it through the Manning/Trainning process and finally getting the bird Entered and Hunting its one of the most rewarding sports available, its nice to be able to stand back and pat yourself on the back sometimes as to what you have just acheived.
All in all its like any sport. you can cheap skate on equipment or you can go out and buy the best available but it won't make you a better falconer! I'm a DIY cheap skate who beleives you can still have quality at half the expense and make a huge saving on Equipment/Aviaries/Weatherings..
Hope this helps a bit! hopefully some other people will contibute to your post as I'm short of time at the moment..
debbie

Just the other side of Porlock - meaning your side and not the minehead side is a falconary centre.  We did a days experience there and it was absolutely fantastic but for the person who wants to own their own bird they do week long courses.  They are fantastic people with their own B and B and well worth a visit to see if they are suitable for you.  I'll see if I can find their website for you...they will tailor make their courses to your needs and often have young birds they are starting to train.  Its my OH ambition to have his own bird one day (hence the experience day) and one of our neighbours has an HH which he flies sometimes on our land but regularly up on the moor - he often stops and gives us a shout and we both go up with him and fly Kerry from wrist to wrist between the three of us on a sunday morning - a walk on the moor takes on a whole new meaning!  We met him when he knocked on our door one day "excuse me, this is my phone number, I've lost my Harris Hawk - please give me a ring if you spot her whilst you are out riding "
monkeybum

Wow thanks for the advice guys. Shungar I know exactly what you mean. They weren't very forthcoming but I'm gonna try again next month. If its a no go then I'll find another way. Thanks too Debbie, there's a club near me (closer to Wiltshire) that does courses too so I'm going to enrole in one in the new year and really try and get sorted.  
escape

http://www.wiltshirefalconry.com/index.htm are just up the road from me and not too far off J15 so should be ok from Bath

Been looking at falconry for a while and contacted them back last year, just not got into it yet  
monkeybum

That's the company I've been looking at Escape. Gonna get Xmas over then enrole.
escape

Cool  

Would be intrested to know how you get on
Gareth

During the first week in our new house, Lois & I sat down and discussed Paddy & Genevieve; my breeding pair of Red Tail Hawks:



They have been resident at my friends place near Lowestoft, and in our breeding project for a little over four years now. Some of you may remember that last year when I was stony broke I had to sell my Gyr and Saker Falcons as I could not afford their daily up keep. Basically I sold these Falcons to my friend Peter and the fair price that I received just covered their housing and feed bill for the year, and also covered an extra 12 months housing expenses for Paddy & Genevieve. That 12 months has recently come and gone, and although we now have a garden large enough to accommodate my Red Tails, I have decided to give them free of charge to Peter. But it doesn't end there; part of the agreement is that 2 of the chicks from next year's brood will be mine; a Male and a Female. One of these I will exchange with another falconer; probably the female for another female from a larger than average RTH bloodline. As Paddy and Genevieve are both larger than average RTH's it is hoped that I can start my own bloodline of larger than average RTH's breeding from these new birds.

I now have 10 months to build a new aviary and accommodation, repair, refurbish or replace my existing falconry gear, and begin all over again with the taming, training and entering processes; I am relishing this challenge.

Earlier this month, the local steel stockholders that I use to purchase material from for Cargo Cycles got in a one off special offer deal: 15 mm X 15 mm X 1.6 mm square galvanised weld mesh on 1.5 mtr X 25 mtr rolls @£30 per roll. Needless to say I bought 4 rolls of it. That is more than enough weld mesh for me to build Lois a new chicken run, and me two new RTH aviaries.
Shungar...

monkeybum wrote:
Wow thanks for the advice guys. Shungar I know exactly what you mean. They weren't very forthcoming but I'm gonna try again next month. If its a no go then I'll find another way. Thanks too Debbie, there's a club near me (closer to Wiltshire) that does courses too so I'm going to enrole in one in the new year and really try and get sorted.  


Courses that are structured to do the basics have their place for the uninitiated - it will give the  very basic understanding of what falconry is all about.. You may realise that falconry isn't for you, or wanting to learn more and maybe  attend a more advanced course and learn some more and hopefully find a mentor. A Five day course is a huge contraint to subject matter, therefore one would never touched upon features such as fitness but without doubt the single biggest failing - no preparation for hunting ?  Then again finding a mentor that actually knows his craft that's a whole different debate.
I would advise a mentor initially, then go on a recognised course recommended by the BFC or the Welsh Hawking Club or one on the other large clubs and hopefully learn the basics that might show a potential mentor you want to learn and not waster his/or her time. I don't know enough about the Lantra course but have heard mixed reviews, but is this down to the instructor - I don't know.
For me personally, I would advocate a mentoring system but if you can't find a mentor you will have to pursue the course option.. Good luck on whatever option you decide  
yeeharr

Gareth, why do you want to breed larger Redtails? Do you have specific reason for doing this? I flew Gyrs with some clients in Dubai, an excellent days sport, what type was yours, how did it fly?
Shungar...

Gareth wrote:


When you are ready to purchase, tame and train your first bird, let me know and I'll do you a deal on the bow perches, etc. .... they are already in the Cargo Cycles miscellaneous products catalogue; both stainless steel and powder coated mild steel.


Hi Gareth,  
Seen you can make Bow perches from the above post.. Could you make
a rotating 4 ft high perch for an eagle ?  .. 3" rubber
It's approx 2ft inch diameter, and the rubber is 20" in length..

[/img]
Gareth

I don't see why not



I've got one of these; a manual tube rolling machine.



I can roll tubes of 5/8" ų through to 1 & 1/4" ų  into almost any size of diameter circle you may desire.



Sorry Yeeharr .... I missed your earlier post mate. I and several of my friends prefer larger than average RTHs. Both Paddy & Genevieve  are larger than average Red Tails and have no trouble dispatching the prey caught (with the exception of Foxes and Muntjac ..... both of which they have bought down and have needed the administration of the Coup de gras). The chicks are almost always booked and paid for in advance of sale because of their larger than average parents.
yeeharr

Foxes and Muntjac? Superb!!! What weight do the adults fly at, roughly? Loads of questions I know, but I am a nosey b****er!
Gareth

Male flies and hunts actively at 2lbs 10-12oz, female flies and hunts vigorously up to 3lbs 8-9oz, and just perches at anything over that. They both hunt exceptionally well 1 day after being fed 1/2 Quail each. But feed them a rat each and they are both lethargic for a couple of days.

I have never deliberately entered them to either Fox or Muntjac, but they've taken them down as opportunity prey, subduing them but not managing an outright kill.

It's a little interesting to say the least trying to dispatch a Fox with a pocket knife while a Red Tail is still attached to it's head.

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