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  #851  
Old 23-01-2018, 02:23 PM
ShaneShac ShaneShac is offline
Shane
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Default Re: Zeus- a muddled diary in pics and words!

Sounds like an awesome slip, unlucky! Good luck tomorrow

Do you need welders gloves to carry a Phoenix?
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  #852  
Old 23-01-2018, 09:39 PM
Sharpster Sharpster is offline
Dave Sharpe
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Default Re: Zeus- a muddled diary in pics and words!

they do work but to be honest unless you spend £260 on a 'proper' pheonix glove the falconry snobs slate you on facebook!!

Today 8lb 10oz

Lots of office work and everything else to get done this morning, then upto see my folks and my 98 year old Nan. The reason for the visit was to see if my dad was going to commit to coming with me and my son for my sons 21st birthday pressie: A week fishing for 200lb wels catfish on the river ebro, spain! Sadly he is now looking at a heart pacemaker soon so We are gutted as Kyle and I wanted three generations of Sharpe fishermen on this trip!

Not to worry , Off we headed to the estate.
I got out the van and kitted up, as usual to the soundtrack of a whining pointer desperate to get on the fields!

The weather was lovely, clear skies and quite warm sunshine, just the gentlest of breeze and even the birds were singing it was so springlike. OF COURSE IT WASN'T!! it was thick grey sky, damp and blowing an absolute hooley across the open fields!! It was however quite mild...no birds were singing not even a Robin!

Todays action plan was to trapse accross the fields taking in many in one pass and heading to the fringes of the estate, fields here that we havent walked this year. Actually heading for various little patches of rough, islands within the cultivated fields, islands that often hold a hare.

The first of these islands we reached I sent the dog in among the tall dry stems of last years cow parsleys and grasses. The pup ran through and came out, her nose telling her nothing home. I didnt believe her or her big conk, so walked through the weather bleached stems myself. Russle,clatter and out burst a hare right infront of me!

Straight into the strong wind and away, The hood was removed from the birds head in a millisecond and Zeus was away, as keen as mustard. The dog went to chase, AUXI!! She sat and waited. The hare absolutely streaked away into the ferocious wind. Zeus powered after it, using his more typical up into the headwind style (which he likes but Im not convinced about as best strategy) Zeus was none the less determined and used big deep scoopfuls of air to battle onward, the hare made it to a thicket in the distant field corner and Zeus sailed above the mark high in the wind. The hare never ran on and Zeus soared over the spot and circled 'round. The golden Eagle was now in his element, none of this off the glove low level work, he was up there where he belonged, a master of what nature made him for. He gained more height as he scanned for hares! HEY! HEY! HEY! He turned to my shouts and sailed back to me, still with height and as he was nearly above me he looked away, still hopeful of a hare somewhere, ZEUS! He looked down and hit the glove from a vertical descent.

Beautiful stuff but an empty bag. We trudged two huge fields of two inch high wheat, soaked mud that stuck to the wellies at best or sunk beneath six inches at worst, my back ached badly. We tried great little hare holding spots of yesteryear but nothing. We trudged back a long way to the van, the pup working strategically away from me downwind. She found anything with feathers on but didnt bump up one harem despite her range of hundreds of yards.
I got back to the van, sweating and aching and then the rain hit as we changed the jesses etc. phew!

6 miles of walking hard terrain for one slip again. next day out Saturday, but to be honest Im biding my time now untill Feb, end of Pheasant shooting season and the whole estate is our playground for a short while!
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  #853  
Old 24-01-2018, 09:55 AM
ShaneShac ShaneShac is offline
Shane
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Default Re: Zeus- a muddled diary in pics and words!

Those catfish on the Ebro are monsters. Good luck with that

Unlucky run on those hares. You'd think a pointer would sniff them out no problem considering how strong they smell but that one went undetected.

Have you managed to lift a hare when Zeus has been up waiting on?
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  #854  
Old 24-01-2018, 01:00 PM
Sharpster Sharpster is offline
Dave Sharpe
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Default Re: Zeus- a muddled diary in pics and words!

To be honest thebpupnhardkybever smells them, she's probably only pointed two. They don't seem to smell much compared to feather. I'm more relying on her covering so much ground that she bumps them up. Also on short crops where a lump ahead looks like a sitting hare I can send the pup in once I've gotten in position some way back.
As for soaring I do everything not to let him get one like that. Last thing I want is him soaring high up as he can then see so far I wouldn't be happy in this overpopulated part of the world. I would worry about people walking yourkshire terriers a mile away or something. That flying is the preserve of those lucky enough to live in the Highlands.
The glove in the pic is new, about fourty quid in spain. Very soft with its of feel, the layers on top down to single thickness on fingers. Oddly the I have a mac falcon glove that cost the same and is going strong five seasons later. Sometimes cheap is best!
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  #855  
Old 26-01-2018, 10:08 PM
Sharpster Sharpster is offline
Dave Sharpe
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Default Re: Zeus- a muddled diary in pics and words!

Weight 8lb 8oz (exactly what I wanted)
Great morning at a local village school, made all the nicer after the hellish journey home from a regular school in Catford, London yesterday.
Back home for some crumpet...s which were very nice and a couple of cuppas to wash them down and then filling the van with dog, two eagles and kit. Zeus had a Rabbit leg two days ago and no food yesterday. He was hungry and bored too, He jumped onto the glove and put all his talons hard into my elbow area. He released instantly but he did get called,very loudly, a couple of words my wife doenst like hearing! In such cases I instantly put my right hand around the back of his head and neck, hand cupped not gripping! And push his head down towards his feet and then proceed to stroke and ruffle his head and neck feather. The key thing is I let him raise his head when I see fit not when he tries to. In my mind I’m transferring dominance without hurting him in anyway, indeed Im stroking him! I have never yet seen a single Eagle that has become a pleasant eagle after being reprimanded by being physically hit or hurt after it showed negative behaviour. It might make the falconer feel better but I have never seen it turn a bad tempered Eagle into a nice eagle to work with!
Once at the centre the Bald Eagle was put out to weather next to his sister while Zeus, Auxi and I headed to three very big fields on the estate These fields have held hares in previous years but last year were lifeless, hence I haven’t bothered with them this year thus far.
Van parked, wellies on, and we crossed the road into the first field through its nice wooden double gates.Thes gates have one of those big galvanised latches over the top that you have to drop down once youve lined both gates up again, satisfying .
All these fields were set with winter wheat,now just a few inches high. The soil here is different to the other part of the estate as it is sandier with a lot of small sandstone pieces among it. Better drained, dryer and fiemer to walk on! We walked across these pleasant fields to what was a large corner of rough ground at the end of the third field.
Nothing moving, no sign of form sitting hares and no empty forms seen either. Once at the rough patch sadly it had been mowed! I instructed the pup to run the patch anyway in a criss cross pattern whilst I waited much higher up (this huge field is flat on one half but the other side rolls like huge waves.) Nothing moved.We walked back to the van across the other sides of these fields and again nothing moved! Time to get in the van and drive elsewhere!
Parking up at the usual spot my new plan was to walk straight across some usual fields to try fields that I have only walked once so far this season (seeing hares in them that time in ones or twos) We walked and walked, taking wide zigzags across these fields. Nothing! We came to another huge field with the nearest side running down steeply into the field that then became flat across the rest of its width. I stood at the high side ten feet from the hedge behind me. The pup worked the whole field below, running, stopping to point and flush the odd pipit or lark and then tongue lolling and mouth open she would carry on her search. I had a pefect view and my eyes scanned ahead of the pup now running 400 yards away to the far side of the field. Zeus and I were in the perfect position for eagle falconry! Nothing moved!
We walked the fields all the way back to the van, three large Roe raced across the landscape keeping tight to the hedge in the far distance, my side and their white rumps catching my attention. I was by now very defeated so unhooded Zeus just to see what he would do. He was away instantly and gaining height as he flew towards the distant deer. When two thirds of the way towarda them I could see him looking back at me over his shoulder and sure enough he circled back to the glove. It was good to see him airborne! I have no issues at all with him not pursuing such large deer at all. I genuinely am not sure if I would want him taking such large game, in season or otherwise. I worry a lot about Golden Eagles and dogs and although Zeus has shown me now that he will ignore even small dogs I think an eagle happy to take down largish deer would juct make me worry more. Muntjac I can carry home and fit in my freezer!
We trudged onward to the van and I was now not paying attention, infact I was head down and in my own thoughts mulling over the Roe and all the hassle it would have caused me if he had pursued them, not least with the gamekeeper! Unconsciously I noticed the pup running away to my right, my head cleared to see a small deer running ahead of the dog. Deer?! Idiot, a Hare! By now the phone said I had walked six miles and I had took my eye off the ball and wasted the only slip! I unhooded Zeus in the very vain hope the hare would not stay in the thick hedge he had now almost reached. AUXI! AUXI! AUXIIIII!! The whistle not in my mouth I resorted to shouting at the chasing pup! She stopped bless her. Zeus was away and covered the ground well before rising up high over the hedge, he pumped his wings and got more height and continued to soar a big circuit over the next field before returning to the glove for half a doc. The hare had stayed put!
Back at the van and back to the Falconry Centre to do a little work with the Bald Eagle. I have finally sorted out another Eagle Box from a nice guy called John Courton, All my other boxes made by Falcon Fabrication. The Bald Eagle hasn’t even left my property for a few weeks now so today just a short glove to glove session with my friend Jo Askew at the centre. Her passion is vultures but she manages well with this heavy eagle and its potential bad manners.
Almost time to fly on the good side of the estate!I sure hope that’s where the hares are!
Im forming a potential plan for next year already due to the lowish hare numbers. Eagle season may be later and shorter. The African Goshawk I put a deposit on a couple of years ago but hasn’t come off yet, now doesn’t fit in with my work plans so the deposit has been put on a Sparrowhawk instead. A Musket....Best laid plans so I guess wait and see, but I have unfinished business on the Musket front.
To be honest only the German Short Haired Pointer saved today, just to watch her work and see how she has come along is a real thrill indeed. I have trained her well but to be honest she flatters me as she has trained herself, her instincts being strong. Ive essentially just been strict and steadfast with the obedience of this pup from a very headstrong line! Today was true ‘wrong bird syndrome’ as Auxi pointed so many Pheasants I lost count! A Goshawk today would have had so many flights and I would for sure have had a decent tea ! Seeing her hold a point now, for a long time itself is thrilling to behold, and then the explosion as she goes into the flush. She works to the whistle at speed and with never ending stamina upto hundreds and hundreds of yards away, she’s no spaniel! And to top off all that she is one beautiful dog! She will be two and a half next season and with a couple of falconers interested I may well put her with a friends dog from this same line of headstrong but natural working pointers.
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  #856  
Old 26-01-2018, 11:09 PM
I Love My Dog's Avatar
I Love My Dog I Love My Dog is offline
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Default Re: Zeus- a muddled diary in pics and words!

Great write up I feel like i trudged the fields with you. Hope you do a thread on the musket as your write ups are always good.
Donna
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  #857  
Old 26-01-2018, 11:48 PM
Dave 3 Dave 3 is offline
Dave Cross
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Default Re: Zeus- a muddled diary in pics and words!

Having just stumbled across this enjoyable thread and not had chance to read it from the beginning , just wondered are foxes on your quarry list or do you keep away because of similarities to canines ?
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  #858  
Old 27-01-2018, 08:58 AM
Sharpster Sharpster is offline
Dave Sharpe
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Default Re: Zeus- a muddled diary in pics and words!

ILMD:
http://www.falconryforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=121219

Like this, but a better ending?!

Dave, I have flown I think three foxes with zeus, each one making cover well before contact but each one chased. I'm only interested in hares as nothing else is anywhere near the sport but fix and muntjac if they pop up will always be flown!
Fox aren't that big mostly indeed bigger munty look bigger than them. They are dogs I guess but with that tail not too like them. I think flying big quarry with your eagle can only make the risk Increase. Also Zeus is parent reared, most imprint birds I've flown of any species this k they're six foot tall, have less respect for people or anything else and have certainly to begin with more fire in their bellies to kill things. Personal preference to me is always pr hunting birds, I also find it more pure, but that's just what I prefer
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  #859  
Old 27-01-2018, 11:12 AM
Sharpster Sharpster is offline
Dave Sharpe
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Default Re: Zeus- a muddled diary in pics and words!

Dave my Hawk will chase very intently any size muntjac, hes never held one long enough for me too help as im always hundreds of yards off. yet last season he flew at then flew over a very small dog. I can only speak of the experience of one Ive trained and first hand experience of seeing several other eagles fly regularly.
Interestingly in one of Martin Hollinsheads books there is a story of an eagle not looking at foxes until one day a small red dog strayed from the vilage to where the eagle was weathering and promptly got eaten! thereafter the eagle was an avid fox hunter!
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  #860  
Old 27-01-2018, 11:48 AM
Dave 3 Dave 3 is offline
Dave Cross
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Default Re: Zeus- a muddled diary in pics and words!

Ok Dave, thanks for the reply , I'm sure you'd get better sport and more accessible flights at Hare and Muntjac in that area anyway.
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