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A Winter Falconry Hunt in Ohio

January 29, 2013
By Larry Claypool - OVO Editor , Ohio Valley Outdoors

A little dog scurried in and out of the brush, trying to rustle up a few bunnies. From above a hawk skipped from tree to tree, following his teammate. The dog and bird's owner kicked through the brush awaiting any action from either teammate. I followed behind, trying to record the proceedings with my camera.

This was my first falconry hunt. It was Mick Brown's 1,000th+.

The hunt took place in mid-January in eastern Ohio, Belmont County, near St. Clairsville, on a Christmas tree farm. For this January it was one of the warmer days, about 40 degrees, with winds gusting between 20-40 mph. A good day for hunters, a rough day for Zippy, the Harris's hawk, who was in charge of the hunt, along with Brown.

Article Photos

Five-year-old Zippy, a Harris's hawk retreats to his owner, Mick Brown.

This was a great day for two apprentice falconers and one reporter to learn the craft. A rough day for several field mice and one big marsh frog. The few bunnies Zoey (the dog) did flush had a very exciting afternoon but did elude Zippy's eight sharp claws on this day.

Read the next issue of Ohio Valley Outdoors magazine for the full story and more photos.

Fact Box

Falconry has been dated back as far as 2000 BC.



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