Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Product Reviews | Recipes | Home RSS

Birds of Prey Don’t Play

February 5, 2016 - Larry Claypool
Mick Brown has been around birds of prey for a long time. As a Master Falconer he’s seen and experienced just about everything while raising, caring for and hunting with wild hawks. In over 1,000 falconry hunts — spanning over 30 years — Brown has not experienced major problems with larger eagles flying close to his birds of prey. That was until a recent rabbit hunt in Columbiana County, OH. It was early afternoon in late January, Brown had flown two of his three Harris’s hawks before lunch. His third bird, Purdy, a sharp female, was eager to fly after Brown and his crew had taken a lunch break. It was a clear day, temperatures were unusually warm (low 50s) for January. “Purdy was ready to go. She was (getting) high on her perch and seemed real gamey, I’d told Mike (Krock another falconer who’d made the trip). She always gives us her best,” said Brown. “We had gone past a house on the tree farm and headed for a nearby field where we knew rabbits would be. We got halfway up the field and she (Purdy) started acting weird. Someone with us noticed two eagles flying above. One landed about 300 yards away, the other must have flown off. Purdy had noticed the eagles before we did. She quickly went to the ground and went under a pine tree,” added Brown. “I called her to my glove and gave her a tidbit (snack), but she headed back to under the pine tree. She would not hunt! We were done for the day. She was afraid of that eagle, so I got her back and we headed toward the car.” Brown said eagles are very territorial but he’d never experienced anything like that. His hawk would not fly. Windy Hill Tree Farm (where the hunt took place) owner Gregg Ludwig said several eagles had been courting the area for the last year or so, looking for a nesting area. In fact Ludwig and a crew of locals had placed a six-foot wide platform in a large tree at the edge of his farm near Calcutta, OH. “We have a young pair of eagles that have been scouting the area, flying around the platform, and we hope they nest there soon,” said Ludwig. If that does take place Brown said he will no longer be able to hunt his hawks near the tree farm. “I told Gregg that I hope he gets the eagles to nest there but I can’t hunt there if that happens. Eagles are too territorial and that would be too close for us to be there,” said Brown. After three winter-time hunts in the last few years at Windy Hill, Brown said Ludwig has a few other properties in the region that could offer quality falconry hunts for Brown. “We’ll see what happens. We like coming up here,” said Brown, who lives in Martins Ferry, OH. The recent hunt did net one rabbit, thanks to the persistence of Pippa, Brown's first Harris's hawk to fly that day. It was the third bunny kicked up by Brown's miniature daschhounds. The rather large rabbit had circled around Brown's position in a main field after getting chased a second time by the hounds, which led Pippa to spot the speedy rabbit. That led to an interesting chase. Pippa had pounced on the rabbit twice before Brown was able to assist after the rabbit darted under a downed tree. See photos from the Windy Hill Tree Farm hunt on Page 10 of Ohio Valley Outdoor Times February 2016 issue and the Ohio Valley Outdoors-Magazine Facebook page. For information about the Ohio Falconry Association, contact them at: Ohio Falconry Association, P.O Box 103, Gail Ave., Bethesda, OH 43719 or email Contact Mick Brown at:


Article Comments

No comments posted for this article.

Post a Comment

You must first login before you can comment.

*Your email address:
Remember my email address.


I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web

Blog Photos

Master Falconer Mick Brown poses with his Harris's hawk, Pippa, during a hunt in East Liverpool, OH recently. Photo by Larry Claypool