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Prois Pro-Saffer Julie Golob Snags Spot as Top Woman Shooter on Smith & Wesson 2010 Team!

Photo Courtesy of Yamil Sued

Julie Golob top women shooter for 2010 on Team Smith & Wesson
February 7, 2011 by Women’s Outdoor News

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (February 7, 2011) – Smith & Wesson Corp., announced that Team Smith & Wesson members captured a record-setting 142 title wins during the 2010 competitive shooting season, surpassing the previous year’s record by 51 victories. In total, the 26-team members brought home 60 state/sectional, 36 regional/area, 24 national and 22 world titles. With an average of over 11 victories per month, the shooting team along with their wide array of Smith & Wesson firearms kept the competition at bay throughout the course of the season.

Leading the charge for Team Smith & Wesson were the company’s Champion shooters, Jerry Miculek, Julie Golob and Doug Koenig. Known throughout the world for their competitive spirit and shooting prowess, the Champions earned victories in nine different firearm divisions. Especially, but not limited to the world of revolvers, Jerry Miculek once again proved that he is the top competitor to beat, capturing wins in ICORE (International Confederation of Revolver Enthusiasts), Steel Challenge, USPSA (United States Practical Shooting Association), IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association), STC (Sportsman’s Team Challenge) and Multi-Gun matches. His 2010 credentials include an eighteenth consecutive IRC World Championship, a ninth IDPA Indoor National Championship and a fourth USPA Multi-Gun Championship.

Following closely behind Miculek was Team Smith & Wesson Captain Julie Golob. During the 2010 season, Golob earned her tenth USPSA Single Stack title, her second IRC Championship title along with victories in Steel Challenge Production, Steel Challenge Limited and the IDPA National Championships. Not to be outdone was fellow teammate and professional shooter Doug Koenig. Koenig started out the 2010 season by winning his twelfth NRA Bianchi Cup and followed that win with his seventeenth Masters International Championship. Koenig also earned a fourth World Action Pistol Championship title, crushing his own World Record with a new one of 1920 with 189x’s.

With team wins posted in IDPA, USPSA, ICORE, Masters, Steel Challenge, NRA Action, STC, Multi-Gun and Industry Masters competitions, Team Smith & Wesson proved that regardless of the division or firearm used they were up to the challenge. Along with the 142 titles, Team Smith & Wesson also showed that it has a dedicated and talented group of junior shooters ready to take the next step. Comprised of Rachael Crow, Trevor Koenig, Janae Sarabia, Molly Smith, Lena Miculek, Shea Shelf and Coddie Lindsay, the Smith & Wesson Junior Team showed the maturity of veterans and skills to match as they represented both Smith & Wesson and its products at the highest level.

“The skill level and the desire to win was evident in this team from the very first match to the last round fired,” said James Debney, President of Smith & Wesson’s Firearm Division. “We are also proud of the performance of our Smith & Wesson products which we believe helped play an important role in the team’s success.”

Debney continued, “Not only do we have an incredible team lead by our Smith & Wesson Champions, but we also take great pride in supporting the future of the shooting sports with our very talented and inspiring group of junior shooters. On behalf of everyone at Smith & Wesson, we extend a hearty congratulations to all of the shooters who competed under our company banner.”

Team Smith & Wesson Members for 2010 included:

Annette Aysen

Elliot Aysen

Gordon Carrell

John Bagakis

Craig Buckland

Dan Burwell

Rachael Crow

Julie Golob

Doug Koenig

Trevor Koenig

Ernest Langdon

Josh Lentz

Coddie Lindsay

Jerry Miculek

Kay Miculek

Lena Miculek

Curt Nichols

BJ Norris

Dave Olhasso

Tony Phan

Janae Sarabia

Mike Seeklander

Shea Shelf

Molly Smith

Phil Strader

Laura Torres-Reyes

About Smith & Wesson

Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: SWHC) is a U.S.-based, global provider of products and services for safety, security, protection and sport. The company designs and constructs facility perimeter security solutions for military and commercial applications, and delivers a broad portfolio of firearms and related training to the military, law enforcement and sports markets. SWHC companies include Smith & Wesson Corp., the globally recognized manufacturer of quality firearms; Universal Safety Response, a full-service perimeter security integrator, barrier manufacturer and installer; and Thompson/Center Arms Company, Inc., a premier designer and manufacturer of premium hunting firearms. SWHC facilities are located in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Tennessee. For more information on Smith & Wesson and its companies, call (800) 331-0852 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (800) 331-0852 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or log on to www.smith-wesson.com; www.usrgrab.com; or www.tcarms.com.

© 2011, Women’s Outdoor News. All rights reserved. Please provide a link to The Women’s Outdoor News if you republish this post. www.womensoutdoornews.com

Blame it on the Boys

Kendra Petska
November 2010

For as long as I can remember I’ve had the “bug”. That bug that caused me to shoot out of bed at 4:00 a.m. opening morning of deer season, strap on my oversized camo, and run upstairs to get dad up and going. I remember driving around with Dad or Grandpa scouting the river bottoms and canyons during rifle season, eyes peeled, sitting on my knees to see out the pickup window, anticipating the infamous “There he is!” as the pickup jerked to a stop.

Luckily I am no longer hunting in oversized camo. My Prois gear is not only quiet during a stalk, but it is comfortable and fits in a way as to not be a hindrance. So many times when hunting gear doesn’t fit you or your hunting situation, you become focused on how uncomfortable you feel or that the clothing is getting in the way, rather than your pursuit. Thankfully, Prois makes a line of women’s hunting apparel that is tailored to fit a woman’s body and her pursuit of various game.

I would like to say that I blame my hunting obsession on the boys in my life. Dad and I would always go out that second weekend of November when the bucks were chasing. And if he had his shot at a big one and I wasn’t quite old enough to tag along, Grandpa would come and pick me up and we would watch from a distance.

I have hunted since I was old enough to buy a license. I’ve always chased whitetails because they were pretty much all I could come across on our land in Central Nebraska. I had seen a few mule deer here and there but they were usually smaller, younger bucks. Not until I began dating Sam was I exposed to the “Muley Magic”.

Sam always talked about how big mule deer get and that they are “just different”. Not until about a year into the relationship did I really comprehend or even grasp the concept of how big they actually do get and what kind of obsession it was that consumed him. The more mule deer filled magazines I was shown and the hours of Muley Crazy DVDs I sat through, the more I began to maybe form my own little “Muley Bug”.

After passing and filming a few nice grower bucks in 2009 with Sam on his family’s horse ranch, The Pitzer Ranch, we decided that we were going to hit the scouting hard in 2010. Since the ranch sits in the Sandhills of North Central Nebraska near the small town of Ericson, it has some great country for mule deer. Throughout the year we watched, filmed and collected pictures of a number of different deer. We had it out for a couple of nice bucks from the year before that didn’t split on a fork or that were just a little young yet. But before Nebraska’s seasoned opened we had to head out to Eastern Colorado for a week.

In October of 2010, I tagged along on Sam’s eastern Colorado mule deer hunt with Wes Atkinson of Atkinson Expeditions. We saw a number of great shooter bucks while we were out there. Not to mention stalking a 187 inch typical to within three yards on day one! After a week solid with a couple of mule deer nuts, I had a new appreciation for the obsession that I had witnessed for months prior.

As opening weekend of rifle season approached in Nebraska, I mentioned to Sam that I thought I wanted to shoot a muley buck this year since I had never taken a one before. Now you have to understand that Sam is super protective of his mule deer. So I reminded him of a deal that we made while we were putting in fence around a food plot on a rather warm August day. He told me if I helped put in this fence that just maybe I would be able to take a buck that was drawn into the area with the plot. So on the second day of rifle season I reminded him of his deal as we glassed through a group of mule deer and I settled my glass on a dark, heavy rack across the river in the late afternoon hours.

We decided to get a closer look at the buck and stalked in to 240 yards along the river bank. After a few minutes I said to Sam “it’s time”. I had actually remained rather calm watching the buck graze for a few minutes, right up until this moment. As I flipped off the safety my heart started going. I settled my gun on the pack and squeezed off a shot. The buck spooked a few yards to the north and continued to graze. I had shot just under him! I kicked in another shell, settled in and squeezed the trigger again. This time the buck humped up, stumbled and went down. I couldn’t see very well in my scope because of the glare of the setting sun, so when Sam told me he was down I was ecstatic! We high fived and re-hashed the stalk for a few minutes and started walking out to put our hands on the rack. As we approached I began to see that he was heavier than I expected, had great fronts, and overall was just an impressive Central Nebraska muley!

After taking this deer, I really appreciate what having some self control can do for your deer herd. We know that we passed this deer last year and it awesome to see what one can grow into if you give them the time to get older.

It is a sweet moment in any woman’s life to prove to society that she can not only hang with the guys, but she can also excel. I take pride in being a woman in a largely male dominated sport, but I must give credit where credit is due. And that is to the boys in my life. They helped grow that little “bug” into my own obsession.

Prois Hunting Apparel Caption Contest – February 2011

Jump in and take part in the fun! Prois Hunting Apparel for Women is sponsoring a monthly photo caption contest which will be posted here, on the Prois Community Blog. This month’s photo was chosen in the spirit of Valentine’s Day! The story behind this photo is actually quite touching. Ana Julia Torres, who runs the Villa Lorena animal shelter in Cali, fed and nursed Jupiter the African lion back to health years ago after it was found abused and emaciated in a traveling circus.
Jupiter often affectionately greets Ana with kisses and hugs.

Why should you participate? Well, for starters it’s fun! BUT- the winner that is chosen by the Prois staff will become the proud new owner of a of our brand new BULLSEYE Longsleeve shirt in Deep Heather. What are you waiting for!? Give us YOUR caption!

Barnes Twins Take Germany By Storm!

Identical Twins Tracey and Lanny Barnes are Prois Pro-Staff members and Olympic biathletes. They are incredible athletes, huntresses, and they compete around the world in biathlon. During their latest competition the Barnes Twins finished on the podium in first race at the German Cup in Oberhof, Germany. Lanny had perfect shooting for the weekend to place 1st & 4th in German Cup, Tracy was not far behind with a 3rd and 7th!

1/30- Oberhof, Germany- Tracy and Lanny Barnes finished a tough weekend of racing in Oberhof, Germany home of biggest Biathlon World Cup stadium in Europe. They completed an individual race on Saturday and a sprint race on Sunday against some of the top athletes from Germany. Lanny walked away with a win in the individual race with perfect shooting. She hit 20 of 20 targets and recorded the best and fastest shooting of the day for men and women. Tracy followed up in 3rd place hitting 18 of 20 targets.

Saturday and Sunday were rare days in Oberhof with the sun shining and blue bird skies. Normal conditions in Oberhof bring heavy wind and fog, but on these two rare days, the athletes enjoyed almost perfect conditions for biathlon. In Saturday’s race, Lanny managed to be the fastest shot in the race in all 4 stages, hitting the all 20 for 20 shots and being the only one in both the men’s and women’s field to do so. Tracy missed one shot in each of her prone stages shooting 18 for 20 and having the 3rd fastest shooting time. They both skied well, and Lanny ended up winning the race, followed by Nicole Wotzel of Germany and Tracy rounded out the podium in third.

The following day was a shorter 7.5 kilometer sprint race. Having beat the German’s in their own race the day before both Lanny and Tracy felt that that target on their back was growing and that the German’s would be gunning for them. Lanny skied a bit better that the previous day and Tracy suffered a bit from the lack of sleep from the night before the race and felt exhausted. Lanny again shot clean, hitting all 10 of her targets, shooting clean for the weekend! With her clean shooting Lanny ended up 4th only seconds out of 3rd place. Tracy missed just one shot in each stage to grab on to seven place, just seconds behind Brigitte Roksund of Norway. Check out their website for more updates and pictures and results for our races next week- www.twinbiathletes.com, also check out our blog the Women’s Outdoor Media Association Website- http://thewoma.com/category/the-road-to-russia/.

Vivian’s First Elk

The Elk Herd Reduction Process December 2010

It was a very cold winter day, in December….in North Dakota. There was over 14 inches of snow on the ground, the temperature was minus 13 degrees and with the wind chill, it was almost unbearable, until…….. I made the shot that dropped the huge cow elk – one shot, 120 yards – my first elk! At that point the temperature, the snow and the wind chill really didn’t matter!! The next day was colder and the wind was much stronger – I was lucky to drop my second cow elk with one nice shot at 240 yards.

Let me take you back a few months. After 5 years of planning a decision was made by the National Park Service to reduce the elk herd in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. The elk population had increased and sharpshooters would be brought in to reduce the elk herd in a humane and effective manner with the meat being donated to food banks, etc., there would be no waste. The sharpshooters would have to qualify in order to participate. We spent the morning in a training session and in the afternoon we had to qualify at the rifle range. I was shooting my .270 Winchester and missed qualifying by one inch. Each volunteer had to shoot 3 out 5 in an 8 inch target at 200 yards shooting in the prone position. Hard to believe what a difference one inch can make.

If someone did not qualify the first time, they had the option to use another rifle and shoot up to five times, without any practice shots, and make 3 out of the 5 in the 8 inch target at the 200 yard range. Our son handed me his .300 Winchester magnum and said, “Here, shoot three in the target.” – he just handed me a rifle that possesses a “whallop” of a kick (and leaves a pretty black & blue area) and this was a rifle that I had never shot before……. and, he expected me to qualify? Well, I did just that, I assumed the prone position, shot 3 times – all in the bull’s eye – and I qualified!! I was not the only one that did not qualify the first time, however, I was lucky to qualify the second time, the other volunteer wasn’t as lucky – he did not qualify and he was sent home. Did I mention that I was the only female out of 17 other volunteers for this time period? In fact, during the 20 week period of volunteer sharpshooters, there were only two women participating, and I was one of them.

Over 30,000 applicants from 46 states applied for this volunteer task. I was one of the lucky ones, in fact, my family was lucky also. We submitted our application and were drawn to participate the week of December 20 – 24. Four of us were on the application – my husband, our two sons and I. What a great experience to be a part of and what a great family event.

We purchased the necessary supplies, considering the nasty winter weather; warm clothing was second on the list after lead-free ammunition, which was required for this herd reduction. I have been hunting for more than 35 years and have never been happy with the hunting clothes that I have had to wear. The men’s clothing just didn’t fit – if you know what I mean – and I was always wearing the heavy winter jackets, etc. that really didn’t keep me warm – they were just heavy.

So….., I decided to give the Prois Pro-Edition Pullover a try. I was a little apprehensive because it didn’t seem to be “heavy” enough, or, at least it wasn’t what I was used to wearing. The pullover was tapered enough to provide a great fit and the drop pocket across my shoulder blades was perfect for my heat activated hand warmers! The 3 ply fabric took care of any doubts that I may have had. This pullover kept me warm by eliminating the bulk and provided the comfortable fit that I needed. I wore fewer layers of clothing and kept warm and dry. IT was awesome and I highly recommend this pullover. In extreme temperatures and adverse weather, wearing the proper clothing allows you to be in the field longer and contributes to the success of the hunt. I can attest to that.

I am an avid deer and antelope hunter and also enjoy hunting turkey. After bagging this elk I am looking forward to bigger hunting trips. When my husband rolls his eyes in reply to my request, all I can say is, “it’s your fault, and you got me into this.” We have enjoyed many family outings while hunting and these opportunities have provided priceless memories and we created many hunting albums!

I am looking forward to getting several new pieces of Prois hunting apparel for my next hunt. However, I may have to order extras, my daughter-in-laws enjoy hunting also and they certainly admired my pullover!
Getting back to my opening paragraph – the weather was cold; it was a family event, we were doing our part as volunteers for the national park and I shot my first elk……life is not measured by the breathes that you take – but by the moments that take your breath away. This…., was one of those moments….what else can I say.

Proudly Submitted,
Vivian
Vivian Bernotas

ANGIE HAAS-TENNISON CROWNED 2011 ‘XTREME’ HUNTRESS

Próis Hunting and Field Apparel, creator of female hunting clothing that screams ‘Xtreme’ performance and unmatched quality, is proud to announce the winner of its 5-month long contest and search for the most ‘xtreme’ and passionate female hunter at the 2011 ATA and SHOT Shows. Along with a slew of industry sponsors, and contest partner Tahoe Films, Próis was thrilled to present the award to Angie Haas-Tennison of Kila, Montana. “From the moment I first heard about the “Xtreme Huntress Contest” I just knew this was something I had to do. Like anything I put my mind to I went full-throttle. I poured my heart and soul into it, raising awareness of the contest, its great sponsors and of my love and devotion to hunting,” said Tennison. “Over the last two months I received an amazing amount of support from my friends, family, community and even some fellow hunters from across the globe. I am truly honored to be the Xtreme Huntress winner for 2011 and I hope to be a positive role model to women hunters everywhere,” she added.

As the new ‘Xtreme Huntress’, Tennison is awarded with an all-expense paid hunt of a lifetime in New Zealand to pursue Gold Medal Estate Stag, Fallow Deer and Tahr Free Range Chamois, provided by Fraser Safaris of New Zealand — which will also be filmed for a future episode of Primal Adventures. In addition to this amazing hunt, prestigious title — and bragging rights amongst fellow competitors — Tennison is taking home
a myriad of ‘xtremely’ cool gear from contest sponsors including Próis Hunting and Field Apparel, Otis Technologies, Aimpoint, Bowtech, BOG Gear, Swarovski, Schnee’s, Brownells and Badlands Packs — an all-inclusive package to be valued at more than $15,000.

The search for the ‘Xtreme Huntress’ began in August of 2010 where the most hardcore female hunters at heart were encouraged to enter, and share their story. Hundreds of essays and pictures were submitted, and then carefully reviewed by a panel of celebrity judges. The top 10 finalists were then chosen and posted online for the hunting community to select their favorite.

This year’s celebrity panel of judges included: Diana Rupp, Editor in Chief of Sports Afield Magazine; Guy Eastman, publisher of Eastman Hunting Journals; Larry Weishuhn of Winchester World of Whitetails; Rebecca Francis, 2010 Extreme Huntress Winner; Kirstie Pike, CEO Próis Hunting & Field Apparel and Tom Opre of Tahoe Films.

For complete contest rules and regulations, visit www.Próishunting.com or www.tahoefilms.com. For more information about Próis’ innovative line of serious, high performance hunting apparel for women, contact the
company at 28001-B US Highway 50, Gunnison, CO 81230 • (970) 641-3355 • www.Próishunting.com.

To check out the latest updates on Próis field and pro staff and company news, visit the Próis blog at http://Próishunting.com/community/index.php.

Editor’s Note: For hi-res images and releases, please visit our online Press Room at www.full-throttlecommunications.com

Prois Hunting Apparel Caption Contest – January 2011

This month’s photo features Prois Pro-Staffers Barbara Baird and Lanny Barnes, photo courtesy of Jason Baird. Jump in and take part in the fun! Prois Hunting Apparel for Women is sponsoring a monthly photo caption contest which will be posted here, on the Prois Community Blog.

How do you participate? Simply supply a unique caption to go with our posted photo in the comments section listed below.

Why should you participate? Well, for starters it’s fun! BUT- the winner that is chosen by the Prois staff will become the proud new owner of a Real Women T-Shirt in Black, Grey, Brown, or White. What are you waiting for!? Give us YOUR caption!

Falconry Files- Training Ares

Training a bird of prey is an experience unlike any other.  You are taking a wild bird that is very fearful of you and turning it into a hunting companion that looks to you for food and returns to you when flying free.  Most people can’t believe that such a thing can be done, but if one is consistent and committed you can have a wild bird flying free and coming to you for food rewards in less then a month.  The following are the basic steps to training a passage (immature) red-tail hawk, many of which apply to other birds of prey.  As with any sport there are many opinions on training and everything for that matter and some falconers would not agree with these basic methods.   Perhaps the most important part of this process is weighing you bird daily on an accurate scale.  Falconry is all about weight management and finding the weight when they are best responding, or their flying weight.  Unless your bird is very thin when trapped most falconers begin reducing their bird’s weight slowly and steadily during the training process and recording the birds response carefully in a log book along with the amount and type of food they are feeding.  Finally I have recently been turned onto a training method where when you are working with your bird good things are happening.  The rest of the time the bird is hooded or in the dark so all its experiences with you are positive ones.  Birds of prey are very visual creatures so if they are hooded and cannot see they will just sit quietly.  This also reduces stress and the likelihood of injury or the bird becoming entangled.  As always do not attempt this without a falconry permit.

STEP 1:  Getting you bird to sit on you fist (gloved hand).  When you first arrive home with your bird you begin a process called manning (or womaning as I like to call it J) where the bird gets used to being indoors with you and gets used to your pets and your family.  I have always imagined being captured by a falconer as akin to being abducted by aliens.  Everything is unfamiliar and frightening.  When I first got my red-tail Ares home and removed the hood he sat on my fist with his eyes wide, wings spread, feathers puffed out and his tongue sticking out.  This is pretty typical behavior for a fresh trapped hawk.  Initially you want the room to be dimly lit and for things to be quiet and calm.  After sitting for a moment Ares bated (jumped from the fist) and hung upside-down by his jesses (the leather straps around a falconry birds feet).  I call this stage the bat bird stage.  My red-tail Athena was hanging upside-down most of the time I was working with her for the first 3 days.  Luckily Ares caught on more quickly and after gently helping him back on the glove a few times he stopped hanging like a bat and started hopping back up to the fist on his own after bating. Step one was complete.

Ares at home hours after trapping him

Ares at home hours after trapping him

 

Step 2:  Getting your bird to eat.  Initially a fresh trapped bird is pretty convinced you are trying to eat them and the idea is totally foreign that you would feed them.  Ares was staring at me suspiciously when I first brought a piece of meat towards him only hours after trapping him.  If you rub the meat on the side of a raptors beak they will often bite the meat reflexively and often when they taste it hunger will take over and they swallow it. I tried this trick with Ares and he bit at the meat and held it in his mouth looking confused.  After sitting for a few moments he finally swallowed it.  I could almost see the wheels turning in Ares’ head when he first tasted the meat.  I did this several times and I whistled every time I gave him a piece.  Just like Pavlov’s dog if you make the same noise every time you feed your bird the bird will start to recognize this sound as an indicator for food.  Like training any animal consistency is incredibly important.  It is also important not to offer tidbits from you fingers for too long after they get comfortable with being fed.  Being bitten by a red-tail hawk or any bird of prey is not to fun and can be avoided by moving onto the next step.  This whole time inside I continue to spend as much time as possible touching the bird, walking around with it, and getting it used to everything.  However, these first steps such as the first time eating with you are done with as little stress and distraction as possible.  During the first two or three days with a new bird you walk around with them inside doing everything you would normally do and hope like hell you significant other doesn’t mind some bird poop.  It is said you don’t man a hawk sitting down so spending the day not moving from the couch is not a good idea. 

 

Step 3: Eating from the glove.  After Ares was comfortable eating from my fingers it was time for Step 3.   Ares was still highly suspicious at this point and I did not attempt this step until day 2.  Bending over to pick up a piece of food from the glove is a vulnerable position where your bird is exposing its back and neck to you.  Most birds have a hard time doing this at first but hunger will eventually rule and they will bend over and eat from you glove.  With Ares we accomplished this on Day 2.  I let him eat a good meal from the glove (but not a full crop) to reinforce this behavior.  As always I whistled every time I gave him a tidbit (piece of meat).  On a side note feeding whole bodied animals including fur and feather is very important to the health of your raptor.  Falconers are tested in the raptor biology, behavior, husbandry, health, and disease before receiving a license.  Attempting this without the support of a sponsor or the proper training could result in the injury or even death of your raptor.  Please go through the proper channels to become a falconer.  It’s hard work but if you are passionate and committed it is more that worthwhile.  Furthermore trapping, training, and hunting with a red-tail hawk will not go unnoticed and you will eventually get found out if you are doing this without a license.  The first two years you are a falconer you are required to have a more experienced falconer as your sponsor.  The knowledge you gain from your sponsor in your first two years (or more) as an apprentice falconer is irreplaceable. 

 

Step 4: Hopping to the glove.  This is by far my favorite step and happened on day 5 with Ares.  This is the leap of faith where your bird makes the jump to you fist.  After this training progresses quickly and flying to the fist is no longer a mental block.  This is accomplished by placing your bird on a solid perch (I favor a saw horse) and holding your garnished glove (glove with a piece of meat on it) just out of reach of you hawk stretching out to get it.  Ares almost fell of the perch trying to stretch for it the first time we tried hopping.  Sometimes just putting your red-tail away for one day without a meal makes all the difference in world (do not attempt this with a kestrel, they could starve to death).  A red-tail can go for a couple days without eating depending on their initial condition and often this is necessary to get them to take that leap.  After one day without eating Ares hopped to me when he had hesitated the day before.

 

Step 5: Flying to you inside.  Using a long leash after the first hop you can start calling you bird for longer and longer indoor flights.  This step is a lot of fun.

An indoor flight with Ares

An indoor flight with Ares

 

Step 6: Flying outside.  When you first take your bird outside after working with them indoors they often get what I call “blue sky syndrome”.  They see the sky and they just try to fly off.  At this stage you often have to reduce their weight and take a couple steps back to do some shorter flights than you were doing indoors.  This was true with Ares but surprisingly he did not try to head for the hills and we managed a few short flights out first day outside on a creance (a long line tied to the bird’s jesses during training to keep them from flying off).  During this stage you also introduce the lure which is your safety net while flying the bird.  The lure can be anything.  I use a padded leather boomerang shaped lure that I made that I can attach a meal to.  Every time you feed your bird from the lure they should get a good meal so when they see the lure they will come readily even if their weight is a little high.  This is also important to call your bird back if it is in a dangerous situation or if you are in danger of losing your bird.  As you are flying outside you increase the length of the creance and as you are reducing the birds weight you watch for immediate response to your whistle.  This is a good indicator that you bird is approaching their flying or hunting weight.  Ares is flying to me outside but he is still not coming immediately or coming a great distance.  Today I put him away without dinner and tomorrow I know he will be getting closer to his flying weight.  Stay tuned for my next addition of falconry files where Ares will be free flying and we will start hunting!