Well I am only going to be flying Abby on weekends just to keep her in shape so I can spend more time on Biggio which is hunting. I am going to release her around March in a rat field I have picked out. If she starts chasing bunny on weekends, I may start hunting her more, but it does not look promising.
Well I have not posted in a while because there just really not much to talk about. Abby has lost all interest in squirrel. I have taken her out a number of times an she just will not commit to the chase. It is almost like she is just playing with them. At first I thought maybe the rest from the squirrel bite took her out of shape. But I have flown her a lot and she seems to be physically in shape. Than I thought it was I was just not getting her enough squirrel slips. Well today there were squirrels every where. At one point there were three squirrels in the same tree with them. She acted the same, play with them. So I thought maybe it was a weight issue, but I have hunted her this last month, fat and under weight. And always hungry. So I will work on getting her to try to hunt rabbits again, and if that does not work, chasing rats. Than release her in probably late March or early April. 1-1-09
Well I took Abby to a field in Fort Worth. It was very windy but I was hopping we could work that in our favor. I put her up in a tree and was going to walk to the far end of the field and flush the rabbits to her. Instead she was following real close. We had a dozen or so flushes, but Abby is used to short flights on squirrels and almost every flush was a long tail chase and she is not in shape for that and the wind was kicking our ass. She did pull fur once on a really long chase that was down wind. I am just cursed I guess. 12-15-08 1010 grams
Took her to our favorite squirrel area yesterday. Put her up in a tree and we had to walk around a while before we saw any squirrels. She followed great and rewarded her with a tidbit twice. She was flying from tree to tree as if looking for the squirrels, which I am sure is what she was doing. After a bit she stopped following and when I blew my whistle for her to come, she bolted in a different direction. So I ran to where she was and she was jumping from limb to limb in a tree. I looked around and saw the squirrel. We played battle of wits with this squirrel for a while, but it eventually disappeared. I found another squirrel and called Abby to the tree, with a lot of hesitation. Eventually she came over, but the squirrel escaped somewhere that I could not see. After a little longer and no more squirrels to see, I took Abby and put her in the box. I think she may still be a little heavy so I am going to drop her about 20 more grams. 12/10/08 1050 grams no kills
I took Abby to Lucy park and put her in the first big tree, where there so happened to be a squirrel at the top. She immediacy laddered up the tree and the game of wits began. It went back and forth about 30 minutes till the squirrel finally found a hole. We walked through the park about another 45 minutes but no other squirrels, so called her to the lure and fed her up pretty good. 12/5/08 1038 grams no kills
Well we survived Amarillo. Took Abby to a field Wednesday with a group and Abby did her usual in a group. She was not acting like she was on weight but I know she was. All she wanted to do was sit in a tree and ignore us. She gave one chase on a Jack Rabbit, but did not pursue very hard. I called her to the lure and we went back to motel. Thursday I went out on my own, to see if she would chase with no one around. I went to a field that i was told had Jacks. I waited to take Abby's hood off when we were way out in the field and put her on the T-perch. She immediately flew a good 100 yards to the road side and got on a post. I got her to fly pack and we continued through the field. But every time a jack would slip she would leave the perch and than bale to the ground. She did chase one cotton tail a good ways but it was up wind, and it was a pretty windy day. After a while she would not ride the t-perch any more and just kept jumping off to the ground, so I called it a day. Well I decided to just get what she does best, squirrels. So A small group took Abby to a cemetery. I put Abby up a tree and it did not take her long to set on a squirrel. This will be a squirrel I will always remember. She chased and re-chased this squirrel and it was a battle of wits. Abby finally grabbed the squirrel and it started biting Abby's chaps. This was one of the few times Abby did not get the squirrels head. I kept waiting for them to fall to the ground so I could assist, but they were in a V in the tree. After a bit Abby started pulling fur off the squirrels underside. Then a very scary thing happend, The squirrel let go of the chaps and bit Abby in the head. Than Abby went limp. I was going crazy not able to do a thing, Finally gravity took over and they fell to the ground, Abby was still limp, but still had her talons in the squirrel but the squirrel had its upper teeth in Abby skull right above the cere and it lowere teeth in I thought her eye. I could not get the squirrel to let go, so I pulled out my knife and cut the squirrel underside open and it finally went limp. I was able to pull the squirrel off her head now and when I did she looked up at me. I was very happy to see she was alive, but her actions was very lethorgic. I could not tell if it was her injury or tired, or shock. We sat there on the ground a little trying to let her relax. After a bit she started to regain herself, but not much. Than she started to try to eat the squirrel but would not step off onto the lure. I was finally able to get her on the fist. We rode back to the hotel with her on my fist. After we could not find the meet vet I saw she was acting okay but still worried. So I put her in the giant hood as we tried to find the vet. We found out he was out hunting in the field and was able to get ahold of his cell and said he would be there in about 30 to 45 minutes. When Dr. Jones out of Tennesse got there we took Abby up to his room. We cast her and he proceeded to treat the wound. He irigated the wound and it appeared to not have pinitrated the skull. He plucked some fethers from around the wound so he could expose skin so as to close the wound with three stiches. We put her in the hood and he gave me anti-biotics for her. I will take her to a local vet in 10 days to check the wound. It is now 2 days later and she is eating well and acting normal in her chamber. She looks funny with the bald spot on her head. I am happy she is ok and I never want to see my bird fall from a tree like that again. One of the falconers with me took pictures of the whole deal and I am waiting on the pics.
We went to the new pecan grove and it was 52 degrees and winds about 10 mph. Abby was following great. We were walking through the trees and I was using the Mr. Squirrel call and the "kiss of death" and was not seeing squirrels. I was shooting marbles in the few nest I saw with no results. Abby took a flight to a tree that was not in my direction so I was watching her than I saw the squirrel. So did she. She hit the squirrel up in the tree and was wrapped up in some limbs. I could tell the way the squirrel was balled up it was bitting Abby or her chaps. I started getting worried. Finally she and the squirrel hit the ground. I ran over to her her and grabbed the squirrels head and it let go, and I covered the squirrel with my glove and threw the lure and Abby traded off great. I dispatched the squirrel and put it in the bag. Got Abby on my glove and her left foot was cover in blood. I could see a small puncture between two of her toes. It did not look serious. I put her back up in a tree and she followed to the truck. I offered her the lure, than hooded her. I sprayed off her feet, and than sprayed anti-biotic on the wound. Very small puncture. We got home and I put ointment on the wound. It looked fine the next day. All in all a very good day and Abby's second squirrel this year. 11/22/08 1028 grams 1 squirrel