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Thread: Hunting Jack Rabbits with a Golden Eagle

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Wamego, Ks
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    242

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    This is the most bad ass thing I've seen in a long time. Very cool.

    Hope to run into you someday to watch your eagle in motion.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Mid Missouri
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    Quote Originally Posted by chase0109 View Post
    Hi V-John,

    Kansas is very strong for jacks. WY has the biggest herds of winter whitetails I've seen in awhile. I'll try to figure out how to post videos.
    I've taken jacks with Dexter in ND, MN, NE, KS, OK, TX, NM, CO, WY, AZ, and NV.
    That's the beauty of jack rabbits. They are fast, smart, and extremely evasive. My job is to flush them and Dexter's job is to catch them. If I could only do 1 type of hunting it would be jacks with an eagle.

    Hunting with a dog is new and exciting for me. I'm learning what to do and not do. Also what behaviors I want and don't. Greta chased jacks off the bat, but learned really quick not to do that. Her job is to flush, Dexters is to catch. I am really excited to get them to a solid team. Raptors are easy for me after 18 years and over 100 birds. But the dog is new and very different! Completely a newbie with her.

    I have lots of friends that fly Prairie Chickens and Sage Grouse. Way too much work for me lol. Usually its 1 flight per bird per day. Maybe morning and evening. Plus big running dogs to get the points. EP seem to be favored grouse dogs for falconers. I love to watch the flights! But the time and dedication required to make a good falcon and dog team is incredible! Usually 3-5 years before a falcon is really good. And at any time your falcon can get killed and then you start all over. Have a friend who spends every with in NE hunting PC's. Had 2 seasoned falcons killed in 24 hours last winter. Set him back 5 years in 1 day.

    Thanks,

    Chase
    Couple of statements and a couple of questions...It's actually the dog's job to point, not flush. You can make your pointing dog flush but that's another thing you have to train it to do. You still will have to go in and flush probably. Then send the hawk out to catch it. I know falconers like pointers instead of flushers because it gives them time to get into position before the chase is on. Questions: Have you ever had a hawk bring back a hen pheasant? I;m guessing you cant pheasant hunt with them but has it ever happened while hunting other game? And, how did your buddy's hawks die? Sorry, I'm very interested.
    Some people talk about it, some people live it!

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    SE MN
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    15

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    Maybe a dumb question, but what are they usually killed by? Collisions with objects, or??

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Manhattan, Kansas
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    In KS, falconers can possess 2 pheasant hens. If the bird kills anything else you don't have a permit for, you have to leave it lay. The bird can eat it where it kills it, but you can't possess it.

    @ OP, I am a first year apprentice, so it's all new to me.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
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    23

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    Quote Originally Posted by PheasantWhisperer View Post
    Couple of statements and a couple of questions...It's actually the dog's job to point, not flush. You can make your pointing dog flush but that's another thing you have to train it to do. You still will have to go in and flush probably. Then send the hawk out to catch it. I know falconers like pointers instead of flushers because it gives them time to get into position before the chase is on. Questions: Have you ever had a hawk bring back a hen pheasant? I;m guessing you cant pheasant hunt with them but has it ever happened while hunting other game? And, how did your buddy's hawks die? Sorry, I'm very interested.
    You are correct. Her job is to point. But in my case I am cutting some corners. I would prefer she would point jacks. But very rarely will a jack hold long enough for a dog to point. Coyotes are their main predator and they break pretty quick. I have only had 1 jack hold for a point. I'm perfecty fine with her bumping jacks. Really for Dexter any well trained dog would work as I just need a dog that stays close and quarters well to cover the field in front of me. I do not want Greta to knowingly flush for me. With birds she always points.
    As for the hawk we don't get to send them with any type of command. Its just natural for them to launch soon as game flushes.

    A high view of falconry to hopefully explain. Saying Falconry is akin to saying gundog. There are alot of types and styles of hunting dogs just like the birds we fly. Pointers are used by longwingers (guys flying falcons). They want a solid point and can then release a falcon to pin the birds. Allowing the falconer to flush when the falcon is in the desired position.
    A shortwinger (someone who flies hawks) will go with a pointer or flusher depending. You can hunt pheasants over a point with a goshawk. But for Redtails or Harris Hawks alot of people use beagles, JRT, or dachshounds. Basically any dog that will flush cottontails out of cover.

    Dexter is always on my fist looking for a slip. Soon as a jack flushes he launches and tries to catch it in direct pursuit. If he misses he flies back to the glove and we keep walking.

    To be honest I am not using Greta as a pointer when flying Dexter. Mostly just to cover more ground than I can and bump jacks. But I do use her as a pointer for pheasants/quail. I need good obedience so she doesn't chase the jacks or go in on Dexter on a kill. Lay nearby until I trade him off.

    I can hunt pheasants with raptors. Usually falcons or goshawks. Personally I don't anymore because I would rather watch the dog work and use my shotgun. Pheasants are super ratty and will run and bail on a falcon. I caught a few pheasants including hens 6-7 years ago with a Gyr/Peregrine falcon. But sage grouse, chickens, and huns are much better quarry. They hold better for points and are not as likely to bail back into cover under a falcon. Usually they prefer to dodge/outfly the falcon.

    Every state has its own falconry laws. We usually have a slightly extended bird season than gun hunters. I can hunt pheasants until Feb 28th in Minnesota with a falcon. Our bag limit is 2 roosters a day. Hens are legal. But only 1 per day. So if I catch a hen I'm done for the day. Because I can't control what will flush and if I went for another bird it might be a hen.

    Raptors get killed all the time. Usually by other bigger raptors. But by lots of predators. My buddy had 1 falcon killed by a feral cat while plucking a prairie chicken I had just caught. The next morning another falcon was killed by a golden eagle while plucking a PC it had caught on the morning flight. I've had falcons killed by owls. Great Horned Owls are terrible. Golden eagle kill lots of trained falcons. If falcons tail chase a grouse and catch it a couple miles away there is a very good chance you falcon will be killed an eagle by the time you get there. I have a friend in WY that has a whole mantle dedicated to pics of falcons that have been killed by eagles at his place over the last 30 years. Seen coyotes kill falcons on a kill as well. Plus there are vehicle collisions, power poles, building collisions, feral cats, ect. Even had a friend watch his falcon get beaten to death by a woman who stopped her car to save the duck the falcon had just caught in a cut corn field. Was a 10 year old bird. Its a live by the sword die by the sword life for most raptors. Old age is a special privilage for most falconry birds.

    Dexter is top of the food chain and nothing really bothers him on a kill. In fact he tries to balance the scales and wants to eat every owl he sees. He's taken 3 species of owl so far.

    I'm always happy to answer any questions you have. So feel free to ask

    Thanks,

    Chase

  6. #26
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    Jan 2017
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    Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toad View Post
    In KS, falconers can possess 2 pheasant hens. If the bird kills anything else you don't have a permit for, you have to leave it lay. The bird can eat it where it kills it, but you can't possess it.

    @ OP, I am a first year apprentice, so it's all new to me.
    Your doing great! I just guessed by the passage RT and the welders glove. Alot of us start with a welders glove. I did when I started. Now I swear I own more falconry gear than anyone should be allowed lol.

    Enjoy the RT. If she turns out to be a good bird intermew her and she will only get better. A good friend of mine in MN has her original RT she trapped as a apprentice. We started the same year and "Bonnie" is now in her 18th season. She always catches over 100 grey squirrels a year with her. Just caught a bobcat this year. She uses her GWP to point cottontails for her 3 Harris Hawks. So you have alot to look forward to with your girl.

    Your in the right state for great falconry. I hope to buy 50-100 acres and build a house in KS in 2-3 years. MN is just too cold. Are you in Eastern or Western KS? I'd be happy to hunt with you sometime

    Thanks,

    Chase

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South Central, KS
    Posts
    498

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    Chase,

    Fascinating stuff! Especially the tidbit about the birds falling prey to owls, coyotes and other birds of prey. Had no idea that would happen.


    If you keep active in this thread I think it could compete for # of views along with the "drought ends at the Ponderosa" thread.....ha


    Since as you referenced the bird could fly a couple miles before it catches it's prey do you have some sort of tracking device on the bird or do you hang out until it comes back?

    I'd wager if the bird caught some prey on a neighboring place you didn't have permission to be on and the landowner rolled up to see what was going on they'd most likely be tickled pink you were there vs being a hunter with a gun....haha. not that I'm condoning trespassing but you know what I mean...having to catch up to the bird on someone else's place and the owner shows up whIle you're doing so. Bet they find it as fascinating as the rest of us.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Manhattan, Kansas
    Posts
    1,931

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    Quote Originally Posted by chase0109 View Post
    Your doing great! I just guessed by the passage RT and the welders glove. Alot of us start with a welders glove. I did when I started. Now I swear I own more falconry gear than anyone should be allowed lol.

    Enjoy the RT. If she turns out to be a good bird intermew her and she will only get better. A good friend of mine in MN has her original RT she trapped as a apprentice. We started the same year and "Bonnie" is now in her 18th season. She always catches over 100 grey squirrels a year with her. Just caught a bobcat this year. She uses her GWP to point cottontails for her 3 Harris Hawks. So you have alot to look forward to with your girl.

    Your in the right state for great falconry. I hope to buy 50-100 acres and build a house in KS in 2-3 years. MN is just too cold. Are you in Eastern or Western KS? I'd be happy to hunt with you sometime

    Thanks,

    Chase
    Manhattan is in the Eastern side of the state. We have a little bit of everything here (except jacks), but not the best of anything. Whatever bird I settle on after my apprenticeship will be most successful if it is kind of a generalist. There's a lot of game available if you are willing to chase a wide variety of stuff, but it's only a so-so region if you have a very specific quarry.

    I'm definitely letting her go in the Spring so I can get the experience of training another one next Fall. Not that I'm complaining about her. She was a dream to train, and pretty patient, and I enjoy her personality. I'm pretty attached to her, actually, but I hope she'll go make babies and have a long life as a wild hawk.

    I do have a proper glove now. Christmas gift from the family... It's nice having an extra thickness of leather covering the arteries in my wrist. It was unsettling that she would constantly punch through the welding glove right there, not with any intention to hurt me, but just holding on when we walked around.

    I wish I had a jackrabbit field for you, because I would definitely meet you next week! I would love to see a golden eagle in action.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Manhattan, Kansas
    Posts
    1,931

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    KsHusker, when I'm out hunting my red tail, I'm watching out for transformers on power poles first. Then I'm looking for great horned owls as the second concern. After that, my hawk is reasonably "safe" until she is on the ground with quarry. Any predator that sees or hears her on the ground will check it out for a free meal, so I sprint in that direction when I see her dive. I want to have eyes on her as soon as possible, because she is the most vulnerable on the ground.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Wichita,KS.
    Posts
    993

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    Quote Originally Posted by KsHusker View Post
    Chase,

    Fascinating stuff! Especially the tidbit about the birds falling prey to owls, coyotes and other birds of prey. Had no idea that would happen.


    If you keep active in this thread I think it could compete for # of views along with the "drought ends at the Ponderosa" thread.....ha


    Since as you referenced the bird could fly a couple miles before it catches it's prey do you have some sort of tracking device on the bird or do you hang out until it comes back?

    I'd wager if the bird caught some prey on a neighboring place you didn't have permission to be on and the landowner rolled up to see what was going on they'd most likely be tickled pink you were there vs being a hunter with a gun....haha. not that I'm condoning trespassing but you know what I mean...having to catch up to the bird on someone else's place and the owner shows up whIle you're doing so. Bet they find it as fascinating as the rest of us.
    That's what I was thinking. I know the guy we hunt on in Liberal would do cartwheels if you showed up with an eagle. He hates jackrabbits. Add in the cool factor, I'm sure he'd hop on the ranger and take you out. I just haven't seen many jacks out there this year. Chase if you run out of places to hunt let me know I'll put you in touch with him, I think he would be thrilled.
    Last edited by BrownDogsCan2; 01-12-2017 at 07:11 AM.

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