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2014/15 Season


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It's nearly time to start hunting again, my hawks about two weeks away from being brought out again. I'll try and keep an updated diary of how the season goes for us. I've started getting the pointer

I was late getting back from work today and by the time I'd grabbed my hawk and gear it was almost 7 pm. With the light starting to fade in an area of heavy cover I wasn't expecting much but she was k

It's been too windy to do anything this week and my season is over. I power washed her aviary out and changed the window bars and AstroTurf. It feels strange putting her away after a seven month seaso

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I was late getting the dogs out last night and I wasn't sure what they were marking under some old rotten boards and plywood that one of the allotment lads must have dumped on the waste ground. I dragged the mutts away and ran back home before grabbing a lamp and the hawk. After moving a few bits of the rubbish a rat bolted for a simple catch. I wish I could get her kills like this so easily every day.


This morning I was back out with Fourtrak73 on his land for a bit of ferreting before the forecast rain started. She got a few good flights catching two rabbits and missing others. The sky was darkening as we headed back to the car but a rabbit was flushed and after a long flight and a bit of a battle at the end she managed to secure it and was rewarded with a good feed. Definately her best flight of the season, the rabbit was flying and was well away before she left the glove. Brilliant stuff, I only wish I'd had the GoPro I bought yesterday with us.

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Had another good session today with some nice flights, my mates hawk got to catch a black rabbit which didn't give up easily and had broke free twice before finally being secured. My hawk caught a rabbit in the air as it leapt over the edge of a steep bank, quite dramatic!!!!!!. They caught seven between them and the ferret killed others.


My hawk is back on form after she had been going terrible for a couple of weeks. I'm wondering if she was injured or sick in some way that I couldn't detect. Whatever the reason she worked well this weekend.


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I had her out for half an hour before dark today and I was pleased to see her following the dog. Nothing was found and then she took off to a hedge where she knows from experience usually has a rat or two running along it. She dived down into the cover and I expected to find her on a rat but instead she was plucking away at a long dead bird. It had clearly been dead for a few days and showed signs of having been partly eaten by rats. I eventually got her off it, I hate it when she lands on dead stuff, thankfully it dosent happen very often.

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She's had 108 kills. I keep a note of what she gets but I don't have it to hand, mostly rabbit with about twenty rats and a few various. Quarry numbers on my local bits of land have been very low this season, if I didn't travel to better hunting grounds she would catch nothing.

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The wind this week stopped us from going lamping on good ground and there was nothing to fly at when I checked out local fields. She did follow on reasonably well out with the dog on two occasions and got to catch another rat. Yesterday we went ferreting with both Hawks but the wind made it very difficult for them to fly at the bolting rabbits but we didn't blank. I had mine back out on the afternoon where she had a flight over the pointer but went out of sight and I couldn't find her. I wasn't getting a good reading on the receiver but after getting out of the dip onto higher ground I located her as it was getting dark. She was well away from where I thought she was happily eating a huge amount of her kill which will put her over weight for a day or two.

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She caught two rabbits tonight out lamping and couldn't hold another plus a few more good flights. She also grabbed a feral pigeons leg but didn't hold on as they tumbled down, it was her first time on the Ferals but like everything else i'm sure she would learn the game with more practise.

Really enjoyable night.

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I'm about ready to stop hunting but we went to a local spot on Saturday as it was too windy up the dales. The Hawks missed a few things but it was a good session. My mate had walked ahead whilst I checked out another bit of cover. My hawk ended up having a superb hunt on a squirrel which had her getting stuck in a bush, crashing into a stream and at one point hawk and squirrel were running towards each other on the ground which was an unusual thing to witness. My hawk would have more success at times if she was to fly back up and attack again from height but she loves a bit of running and bushing, she should have been born a terrier. We ended up going home empty handed as the squirrel disappeared probably down a rabbit hole on the streams bank but it was such an enjoyable thing to watch i didn't care. If my mates hawk had been flying with mine as it had been earlier that squirrel would have almost certainly been caught so good luck to it.


I know squirrels are dangerous and my hawk still has a cut from one she had at Christmas time but they provide fantastic sport. We rarely bump into them so it makes a change from the usual flights at rabbit.

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The Wind has stopped us doing much this week but she's had two kills. One was a biggish rat that was jumping up lifting my hawk a few inches of the ground until she killed it. It was a lump and I thought it might have gone 18 inches long which is what I consider to be a big rat so I brought it home with us but it was only about 17 inches so just a normal sized one. I don't catch many big rats and haven't had one all season so I got a bit excited when I saw this one jumping around under the bird lol.



Also had three good hunts on squirrel this week but they all escaped. The hawk tried hard for them and only the ivy covered trees and thick bushes stopped her catching them. In these situations I do wish another hawk was out with us.

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The weather has stopped us doing much but I've managed to get out for a few short sessions. The hunting has actually been very enjoyable with enough action but no kills. Her weight had crept up on Sunday and whilst she looked keen she was suffering from near miss syndrome missing a squirrel and several rabbits. Yesterday was going well and we had a good hunt on a rat as it ran along the inside of a hedge. It eventually got to ground. We were walking back towards the car when my pointer stopped dead and whipped around on point. My hawk then flew out of a tree and hovered above a bush before taking off after a pheasant that flushed out. As they are out of season this sort of thing is a nightmare. These high flying wild birds are unlikely to be caught but take my hawk silly distances out of sight and result in telemetry searches. They aren't worth the energy she spends pursuing them and it often results in the short sessions available to us being ruined. These are all lost opportunities for her to catch other quarry. I tracked her to a tree where she was staring down into the bushes below her. Not wanting a re-flush I had the dog sit in the middle of the field whilst I tried to get her back. After five minutes or so she reluctantly returned to me. I really do hate pheasants.


After work today it started raining so I thought I was out of luck but by 5.30 it had stopped and the wind had dropped. I quickly grabbed the hawk and drove to a local spot. I walked her as quietly as I could along the side of a hedge. There's a tree half way along which I let her fly into. A few seconds later she dived down into the field and I had to run along the hedge to the gate before I could run back up to her. I thought she had caught a small rabbit but it was a big rat.


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Our season is over but until I get around to fully cleaning the aviary, replacing window bars and AstroTurf I'll mess about flying her around local fields. Just short sessions and not serious hunting, my mates Harris has already dropped a few feathers and I'll put mine away by the end of the week. She's been having a few more hunts on rat but most get away in the cover. She missed eight over the last few outings catching two. At least it gives her sonething to do as the rabbit population is almost zero where I'm going.


The pointer pup has started to hunt going on a sort of point all the time. Usually it's just a blackbird. She goes off searching about and often comes back with a dead and sometimes rotting carcass. I haven't done any retrieving with her but she likes to fetch me things and I have to act pleased when I'm presented with something that died days ago. On Saturday she brought me a crow through a wood. I do like her and look forward to working her next season out with Hawks.


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