@22guy: the rabbits are his, for the most part. It tastes OK but to me there are far better meats out there. If I can get him to take ducks & pheasant, those will be mine.
@bullseye: he has a slight tendency to want to drag (we call it 'carry') the rabbit into cover. I keep one foot on it until he realizes he can't go anywhere with it, settles and gets to chowing down. He'll eventually stop trying to carry. Right now I don't want to draw his ire by getting my hands in there to kill the rabbit, as much as I'd like to. So the foot also keeps the bunny from running away. These days I'm sticking it in the side with an awl so it dies a little faster.@jeff: 3 main pieces to starting: - take the test from F&G, - build housing for your bird, - find a sponsor. The third is the hard part since apprenticeship is a minimum of 2 years and good sponsors are hard to find. (There are falconers who will sign up anyone, but they're not likely to give you a whole lot of help either. If you kind of know what you're doing, i.e. you can read the books and talk to other falconers and figure it out, then this might be a perfectly good option. But if you need some hand-holding, you'll want someone more involved.) You will be initially outlaying $1000 at least -- books/videos, building materials, perches, leashes, gloves, all the hardware. And this is all before you get the hawk. (You better be sure you want to do it before you do it
) Best thing is to just go hawking with people & see what it's all about.Count on an hour minimum per day with your bird, and several when you're hunting. I hunt 4 days a week usually about 1.5 hrs for the hunting, and I have 2 hrs driving on top of that. Yeah, my gas bill sucks. That is the closest field I have, I'd like to find something in Livermore which is only 25 minutes for me -- I scouted 3 spots today, 2 were nothing, 1 had jacks but no bunnies. I did find a small covey of quail, though
There's no reason to pay for classes... join CHC and go to the meet (January, Bakersfield), meet people. There's a fair number of falconers around Sac.You'll trap either a redtail or a kestrel. Technically speaking, someone can transfer a Harris hawk to you, but I don't recommend it because Harrises are too friggin' easy. Trap a wild bird, tame it down, train it to come to you, go hunting. It's an amazing process you'll never forget. The more time you put in, the faster your bird will learn and be a good hunter with you. If you only deal with the bird on weekends, it's had 5 days to forget what it's learned... know what I'm saying?That was a little scattered but I hope it answers your question. If I didn't, keep asking.