Sunday, November 29, 2009

Amarillo 2009

Happy Thanksgiving All. Just a few pictures from my last-week trip to the Texas Panhandle. Photographs by Eric Edwards and Brian Millsap.

Some scenes from hawking cottontails and jackrabbits with the Harris' hawks:

We caught quite a few cottontails and ate most of them. Here's one that got away:

And one that didn't:

Ernie's first jack, a nice catch in tall cover. He got to it first but needed "air support" from Brian's female hawk and another flown by Heather Gast. Together they had it dead to rights. Group hunting is common for trained Harris hawks as it is for the wild ones. In jack hawking, the first hawk to make contact and hold the rabbit gets the spoils:

Several in our party flew longwings, too. Here's Matt Reidy's peregrine, Playa, about to bind and barely miss:

And later, binding and holding on:

Our host Jimmy Walker flies a great tiercel prairie. Here's Harley on a pintail, his first of that species:

And here's Jimmy goshawk about to catch a scaled quail:

And finally a nice shot of Eric Edwards' new passage peregrine waiting on above a duck pond. You may recall that a limited number of wild, first-year peregrines have been made available to falconers this year after a 4-decade hiatus in their use in American falconry. Eric was instrumental in arranging for wild take in Florida, which will happen next year; and this year he received a permit from Maryland to harvest one of about 5 allotted to that state.

The bird is trained now and has been chasing ducks for about a week:


Teddy said...

Thanks for the great hawking photos and congrats to Ernie on his big catch!

Anonymous said...

WOW! You guys are enjoying the best of America. My dad says that man was created to hunt and fish. What an experience. It takes me back to the forties when folk was still bagging wild catch for the evening meal. I have eaten many rabbits and wild ducks with white sweet potatoes for "supper"

Margie "35"

Falconry Solutions said...

Thanks Matt, awesome shots. Seeing Eric's new falcon(tiercel) up there is extra awesome.

Matt Mullenix said...

Thanks for comments, yall. Looking forward to adding jackrabbit to next gumbo, on theory that boiling anything long enough will make it tender...

Doug said...

Looks like a great time! keep up the hunting posts (congrats to Ernie).


mdmnm said...


Glad to see you all made it out to your big hunt. Great photos and congrats to you and Ernie on the first jack! That's got to be about the cape buffalo of Harris hawking, I'd think.

Henry Chappell said...

Matt, I'm way late getting to this. Great photos! They put me in mind of our meet-up back in February. Congrats on Ernie's first jack! I hope you're season is going well overall.