Sunday, November 30, 2008

NAFA 2008

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.

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