Monday, November 08, 2010
A meeting in the sage ...
Yesterday afternoon as I was returning home from visiting a friend, I turned down a county road that traverses through the sagebrush uplands next to the New Fork River and noticed a pickup truck out in the sage, with two men near the tailgate, with a bird dog. Intrigued, I drove by slowly, and finally one of the men moved just enough for me to get a glimpse of a peregrine falcon in the back of the truck. I stopped my truck and backed up, shutting off the motor to inquire if they were about to be in pursuit of sagegrouse. When I mentioned that conditions were excellent for a perfect hunt, with the except our thriving golden eagle population, the men invited me to have a look at their birds. Not wanting to cut into their hunting time, we talked briefly, and I invited them to bring their Harris’s hawk to my place to pursue jackrabbits if they were so inclined the next afternoon.
I was happy when my cell phone rang at lunchtime today, with the falconers ready to take me up on the offer. Vahe D’Ala and Gary Beese of California arrived a few minutes later, ready to fly various falcons to the lure, and to hunt the Harris’s. It was an absolute blast. I love watching the peregrines in those dizzying insanely fast stoops, but I also really liked trying to kick up jacks for the five-year old female Harris’s. I’d never before met a Harris’s, let alone watch one hunt, so this was a thrill for me.
Thanks so much Vahe and Gary, for a wonderful afternoon. You’re welcome back anytime.