Monday, September 26, 2005

a jack a week, that's all we ask

The flying was stupendous this weekend because the wind went down and stayed down for days. Three calm days and we flew two of them, and yet nothing got caught! It happens. Today we went out, mild 6-8 mph wind, occasional gusts up to 20-25. (I'm really starting to rely on the online weather to figure out when to go. There's usually a 5-8 mph difference between where I live and where I hawk.)

It was calm when we started and steadily picked up as the hour went on. The birds passed up two excellent flushes, giving a good start but giving up quickly. It took about 45 minutes to get those two flushes. We took a little break and started up again. Now both birds took excellent positions on poles overlooking one of the sections, and I began flushing in earnest, asking the deities for a good flush.

The deities answered. Polya, as usual, was on it and all locked up by the time I arrived ten seconds later. Squeaky, as usual, stepped in at the last minute. Polya was extra-possessive and wouldn't let go despite the tempting bloody chunk I offered. By the time he released it, the jack was in shock, and I stuffed it, hoping it would be out of shock by the time I got to the car. (Jackrabbits are surprisingly durable, as wild animals go.) The birds munched happily on dinner while I snapped them to their perches.

The jack, however, was still in shock, which was a bummer. Polya had drilled quite thoroughly into it, which I hadn't seen in the chaos of trying to get him to release. So I had to put that one down as well. :-(

Next one I'll try to do better. It's pretty difficult when Polya gets possessive, his feet turn into solid steel and he has to really concentrate to unlock them. I think next time when Squeaks steps off, I'll move Polya and rabbit a distance away. That way he'll feel less competitive pressue, which may assuage the possessiveness.

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