I’M HERE, NOW WHAT?!
An often overlooked part of the aspiring and new falconers career is once you are in the field what exactly are you supposed to do, what should you wear, should I talk or stay quiet, etc. It’s often an overwhelming experience the first few times trying to absorb the information, terminology, what you should and shouldn’t be doing. Hopefully this page helps you a little bit in being prepared on your first hunts.
We will cover attire, things to bring, places to stand, what you should and shouldn’t do, etc. A lot of this will be picked up on after a few times in the field as well.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR AND BRING WITH?
First and foremost, as with anything in falconry when you are with someone else and their bird always communicate with them. Ask what kind of terrain you will be in, etc. A good example is I often hunt dairy farms for starlings and pigeons and have had people come out in “hiking shoes” and then come to find out they need to cross 6-8″ deep manure. Another fine example is hunting bramble patches you will need some type of abrasion and thorn resistant attire. But don’t worry, at some point you’ll wear something funny and some good natured ribbing will occur, it’s just the nature of falconry. In fact, my first hunt I wore my camo hunting clothes… I still pay for that to this day!
An example list of attire:
1) Comfortable shoes fitting for the hunt
2) Eye protection
3) Brush pants or chaps
4) Jeans that can get muddy and bloody
5) Stick to beat brush
Cold weather gear appropriate for the hunt, remember if you’re dirt hawking you’re going to be hiking and pushing and can easily overdress so bring multiples if needed
Water bottle – an easily forgotten thing you’ll thank me for
Thick skin..cause the new guys always get a little verbal abuse 😉
If you want to bring a camera make sure you ask for permission first. As surprising as this sounds some birds, especially imprints, do not do well with foreign objects they are not used to in the field.