The Virginia Falconers Association came to the North 60

2013-02-28 02:54:36′, ‘

She found a dead crow on the ground. It make a hawk meal
She found a dead crow on the ground. It make a hawk meal

When the Virginia Falconers’ Association (VFA) came to the north 60 to hunt rabbits and squirrels this February, I joined them.  The had a number of groups which went to various areas of the property.  I followed one of the groups based around a fellow who had a red tailed hawk which he carried on his gloved arm as a group of people followed him into the woods.  All of these people carried sticks which they used to walk through the woods.  As we entered the woods the hawk flew up to a tree branch which had a wonderful view of all of us.  The prepared people then used their walking sticks to beat the grasses and piles of branches in order to flush out rabbits.  I discovered that the proper thing to say when someone spotted a rabbit was something like “Ho Ho Hoe”.  Now this was nothing like the way that Santa would say it but but with a different cadence and at a much higher pitch.  I even heard a person go HooOOOoo  HoooooOOOO.  I kinda had trouble understanding what he was saying.  So there was much whapping of sticks and walking thru sticker patches.  The hawk would follow us thru the woods from tree to tree where it had a good view of things.  So occasionally after much whacking, I would hear a chorus of Ho Ho Ho’s and see the bird swoop down but come up empty.  Then the people would rush to the brush pile where the rabbit escaped into and start stomping on the pile and poking their sticke into all the holes in the pile, trying to get the rabbit to run again.  There would then be discussions as to which pile the rabbit was in and people would stomp and whack their piles of choice.  After a couple of minutes of this, they would give up and continue on thru the woods. So I did my stomping around at the fringes of the group and at last I stirred up a rabbit. As I watched its little fuzzy tail hopping down the trail, I pointed and shouted my warning to all who would listen, “Bunnie, Bunnie, Bunnie” in a high sqeekie voice.  Neither the Hawk or anybody else around me paid attention.  My moment was past, and nobody noticed. While Eddie an I were walking we found a dead crow which was mostly feathers and bones on the ground and later we found out the one of the hawk owners had scavagened some crow meat that loooked like black jerky from the carcass.  The owner treated us to the sight of her hawk chomping away at the crow jerky while we took pictures. When Big Ed started working on his ATV, he found a mouse nest with 5 mieces in it.  He started smashing and tossing the miece out into the grass.  We told Little Eddie to offer a mouse to one of the raptor owners for thier hawk.  The Lady that Eddie talked to took the mouse but wanted to know if the mouse had been poisened.  She thanked Eddie and when he left, she threw the mouse away.  Later on we were talking with another Raptor owner and offered him one of the mice.  He gave it to his Hawk which ate it with one byte.’, ‘

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