Falconry Files- Lessons from the Field

By Katherine Grand

When I first started practicing falconry I had never even hunted so the learning curve was often painful.  I have learned so much in my 7 years practicing falconry and I look forward to many more lessons yet to come.  The following are just a couple lessons I’ve learned while practicing the ancient art of falconry.

Lesson #1, Always wear a hat

When out in the field hunting with falconry birds, people often end up being used as perches.  Although the hawks are not treating your head like prey, hawks and falcons will still end up scratching your head with needle sharp talons as they try to gain traction on slippery scalps.  Also any smart ass falconers in the field with you may decide to purse their lips and squeak like a screaming mouse which will make any hawk clamp down on whatever is beneath their feet, namely you.  This is also a good reason to never hold a hawk barehanded as falconers love these types of jokes.  My dog Lucky played this trick on me yesterday by whining while Aurora my current red-tailed hawk was perched on my head.  My red-tail Apollo was much more polite and would perch on my shoulder like a pirate’s parrot instead.  Yaarrr that be much more comfortable

Aurora also enjoys smacking me in the head with her feet as she flies by me if she thinks I am not flushing enough game or calling her frequently enough to the fist for tidbits.  A good ball cap makes the difference between that being mildly annoying and expletive eliciting pain.  Aurora also decided this season that my ponytail periodically looks like a squirrel.  This generally happens on evenings when the weather prevents me from taking her out hunting and I do some backyard training.  I usually keep my hair in a braid and she hangs from my ponytail until I push her off.  So far my Prois caps have prevented stray talons from ending up anywhere with nerve endings.   I also learned this season never to handle her while wearing my faux fur trimmed hooded down jacket that my Mom bought me for Christmas.  You may use your imagination on that one.  Needless to say falconry is not the sport for those with a low pain threshold or fear of talon acupuncture.  Last but not least hats are great for keeping mutes (AKA raptor poop) out of your hair.  Hawks and eagles projectile poop which is called slicing while falcons mute straight down.  Slicing is the reason I have been banned from bringing my hawks on work trips.  While hunting with my first red-tailed hawk Artemis using a T perch he muted and it landed directly on my hat.   I watched it drip off the front of my bill like a giant brown and white glob of snot but luckily it wasn’t sliding down my face.   T Perches are used in flat areas with no or few natural perches to give your hawk a height advantage and added acceleration on prey.  They also put hawks in a great position to mute on you and your friends in the field.  Here is my friend and fellow Colorado falconer Chuck Butler explaining more about T perches (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ojpp5_iyv34).

Lesson#2 Aiming your bird

Photo courtesy of http://chickadeephotoart.com/red-tailed-hawk/

If being pooped on by birds is lucky then I am one of the luckiest girls on the planet.  As a falconer one of the first things I learned was a hawk’s body language when it’s about to mute .  When you are indoors initially manning  (acclimating your new hawk to people and pets) if you have any carpeting or furniture you don’t want pooped on you get very quick at aiming your bird for them to launch a flying hawk shit in the most cleanable direction possible.  Sometimes you can’t redirect them quickly enough.  On my wedding day when I was holding my goshawk Hades during our ceremony I was able to point him away from myself and my maid of honor. He muted into one of the large bouquets instead.  I have accidentally pointed Aurora at my dog Lucky but he was still easier to clean than our area rug.  I did receive an angry and insulted look from Lucky when it happened.  He is a poop connoisseur and much prefers being covered in coyote and fox poop than hawk.  This is yet another reason not to piss off a falconer.  We are crack shots with a muting hawk.  Don’t believe a falconer when they tell you that you being in the line of fire was an accident if they are holding the hawk.

 

Thous Shalt Not Poop on the Bride

Stay tuned for more incredibly serious and very important Falconry Files, Lessons for the Field.

Falconry is the most highly regulated form of hunting.  It requires an extensive licensing process and it is a huge commitment.  Most falconers describe falconry as a lifestyle rather than a hobby.  Please DO NOT attempt falconry without a license.  Please visit http://n-a-f-a.com/AboutFalconry.htm  to learn more about falconry.

Big Box from a Big Box

By Katherine Grand

Kristin loves big boxes

Today was the second time we have received a refrigerator sized but very light box from one of our big box dealers.  When I saw this box I said “I bet it is a couple returned items and a broken fishing rod.”  New employee Kristin Sidelinger was skeptical but sure enough it was!  Apparently a Prois Jacket and a broken fishing rod can easily be confused more than once.  The empty space in the box was filled with empty boxes and packing paper.  The big box employee was far from amused when I sent her an e-mail with the following photos.  Even though the situation is silly, Kristen and I are quite happy to have this epic box in our midst especially since Prois CEO Kirsite Pike is off adventuring in Ireland and we are unsupervised.  Now we have a spaceship, time machine, lion cave, submarine, or anything else our active imaginations can come up with to play with!  Thank you big box store that shall not be named!!

So nice and roomy!

 

ummmm . . . .

The Lioness' Den. Please hold the cougar comments.

Why you Gotta be so Mean?

Prois Employee and Author Katherine Grand

 

By Katherine Grand

I have been spending a lot of time lately thinking about all the good and bad things social media and our technological world has brought us.  People are more connected than even before via technology but in many ways we are losing our humanity and real human connections.  Through my work at Prois I do a lot of work on social media to promote our brand and with that comes a lot of good, bad, and just plain ugly.  This has especially been evident with hunting celebrity Melissa Bachman’s horrible harassment in response to her legal lion hunt in Africa.  We all know that hunting is controversial and we and everyone else in the hunting industry receive their share of negative comments.  Anti-hunters have become more vicious than ever dolling out horrible threats and wishing death, torture, and worse on hunters and their families.  Attacks on hunting women, especially young attractive ones, are consistently more focused and malicious as we do not fit into the typical stereotype of what a hunter or a woman should be.

The Gorgeous and Talented Melissa Bachman

Most hunters understand how vital hunting is to conservation and preserving the wild places and animals we love.  This is especially true in Africa where without hunting to make protecting the land and animals profitable they would be destroyed.  This is evident in Kenya which banned hunting in 1977 and has since lost 85% of its wildlife . http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2013-11-19-in-defence-of-a-lion-killer/#.UozLL8RQGtb.  One can list all these facts any many more to anti-hunters to no avail.  No amount of scientific evidence will change someone’s mind when it is falling on deaf ears.  What I really don’t understand is why do people seek out images and content they know they will not like?  As a girl before I understood why people hunted I never would look for pictures or videos I knew I would find upsetting.  I did not go out of my way to harass people for doing something I didn’t personally agree with yet.

However this does not just apply to hunting. On the internet I have noticed more and more people leaving awful comments on content that one would think would be immune to criticism.  While this is nothing new for some reason it’s been bothering me a lot more lately.  Even an adorable video of a young girl riding her horse garners criticism on her riding position, her tack, and her mount.  Once you release a photo, blog, or any media into the great beyond, there is no telling who grab hold of it and tear you to pieces.  People often leave comments regarding our company or products with no real regard that we are a small company and there are real people behind the Prois name.  Furthermore we take criticism more personally than we’d like to admit.  We are not just faceless cogs in a corporate world.

It could be worse.  We could be celebrities who people do not see as real people either and mercilessly insult and judge on social media daily.  This was really driven home while watching a segment called mean tweets by Jimmy Kimmel.  This segment is hilarious but really made me think about all the people that are hurt by anonymous people sitting at their computer dolling out brutal comments about everyone and everything on the internet.  If you’ve never seen this segment it’s worth a watch.  This segment features celebrities reading mean tweets written about them by “fans.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRBoPveyETc.

I have always been a big proponent of if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.  Would these people say these things to celebrities if they met them face to face?  Would they threaten Mellissa Bachman and her family if they were able to  confront her  in real life?  Would that anonymous horseback riding critic tell that little girl she was a terrible rider in person?  Perhaps a few would but the majority would not.  It is so much easier to say and do such mean things anonymously to people you don’t know when you aren’t confronting them in real life.  When did manners go out the window?  When did we all become an expert and a critic on everything?  The more I learn the more I realize how little I know and how ill equipped I am to pass judgment on anyone else.  Why not get out and live your own life instead?

I personally try to focus on the positive and if I don’t like something I try to move on and not direct my time and energy towards negative pursuits, comments, and feelings whenever possible.  So, next time you feel motivated to leave a mean or critical comment online picture yourself standing face to face with that person and ask yourself if you would still say the words you are typing.  Is it worth it to spread hate, anger, and negativity?  Do you have all the information you need to pass judgment?  Instead of being against something, why not be for something?  How solidly built is the glass house you are throwing your stones from?  Do you want hate and criticism to be your legacy or instead can you focus on love and positivity?  Just my two cents for the day.  Do something kind and loving for someone today.  Tell someone how special they are.  Recognize another’s accomplishment.   Take the time to notice something beautiful and work to make a positive change in the word.  Our lives become what we focus on and I want my life to be filled with love and happiness.  How about you?

 

Falconry Files, Much Ado about Moulting

By Katherine Grand

Katherine Grand and Aurora during their first season hunting together

Many people ask me questions about what it is falconers and falconry birds do during the summer so I thought I write a little blog with answers to my most frequently asked questions. During the summer most hunting seasons are closed for both falconry and other hunting methods. Furthermore raptors are moulting during this time which means they are losing their feathers from the previous season and growing in new ones. During this time falconry birds need to be kept at a higher weight than their ideal hunting weight for the increase metabolic demand of feather production. Poor diet, disease, or starvation can result in feather deformities. In falconry a raptor’s weight is very important to its performance while hunting and responding to its falconer. Falconers weigh their birds daily while they are hunting them, often times multiple times a day. Also growing feathers are much more susceptible to being damaged, sometimes resulting in permanent damage to a feathers. For these reasons the majority of falconers do not hunt their birds during the moult.

A moulted juvenile tail feather from Aurora

All my previous red-tailed hawks I have trapped in the fall as juveniles, hunted during the winter, then released in the spring. I am keeping Aurora through the moult this summer which is called intermewing. The transition between juvenile feathers and adult feathers in red-tailed hawks is especially dramatic and exciting as typical juveniles have brown tail feathers (AKA train feathers in falconry speak) and most adults have brick red tail feathers which are the red-tails namesake.

This photo shows Aurora's adult brick red train feathers coming in. The brown feathers are her juvenile feathers which have since moulted.

Many people ask me if raptors are still able to fly while moulting. Healthy raptors do not lose all their feathers at once, in the wild they continue to hunt and fly year round. They lose their feathers gradually so they are always able to fly. There are of course exceptions to every rule. Raptors that are unable to fly would die of starvation or predation. To learn more about raptor feathers and moulting visit http://www.themodernapprentice.com/feathers.htm.
So what do falconers do with their birds during the moult? I like to continue to work with my birds handling, training, and flying them throughout the moult. Some falconers just leave their birds alone in their mews (raptor aviary http://www.themodernapprentice.com/mews.htm) while other handle them extensively. I enjoy feeding Aurora from the fist (on my falconry glove AKA gauntlet). As you have probably already guessed falconry has its own extensive vocabulary. I also enjoy flying her outside on a creance. A creance is essentially a leash that you tie your bird to so they can’t fly away.

Creance training flight with Aurora in the back yard mid-moult

It’s used during initial training before you trust the bird not to fly away and in situations like during the molt when the bird’s weight is high and they may not return to the falconer. (http://www.themodernapprentice.com/creance.htm) My favorite creance material is fly line. Furthermore I work with her do indoors doing flights in our garage and jump-ups where the bird flies from a low perch straight up to your fist while holding your hand as high as possible (http://www.themodernapprentice.com/games.htm). When doing multiple repetitions this is great exercise. To learn more about falconry you can visit http://www.themodernapprentice.com/ and http://www.n-a-f-a.com/.

A good view of Aurora's growing adult tail feathers during another creance flight.

Stay tuned for future fun filed Falconry Files from your favorite falconer, Katherine Grand!

The Things that Scare Horses Make No Sense

By Katherine Grand

The past two weekends my husband Eric and I have gone for long high country rides  in the unit we’ll be hunting in Colorado’s gorgeous Gunnison county.  We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful area with so much public land and awesome hunting opportunities.  After years of being horseless last spring I was given a beautiful grey mare we named Fiona and we found Eric a great Missouri Fox Trotter gelding named Remington.  I taught Eric to ride and he has turned out to be a natural horseman.  I grew up riding and competing out east in English and jumping so we both have learned a lot hunting and backcountry riding with horses.  Back east where I rode horses were kept in stalls, they were let out individually in small pens so as not to hurt each other, ridden in indoor arenas and generally coddled and protected in every way possible.  Here in Gunnison horses roam large pastures in herds, they are loaded into stock trailers fully tacked without shipping boots, and cuts and scrapes are almost an everyday occurrence.  Rather than being fearful of the outdoors like our babied eastern horses, they are afraid of man-made objects and totally at home in the wild.

 

Remington checking out a highly suspicious ranch goat

This winter the awesome backcountry horses I had become accustomed to seemed to lose their minds.  Fiona injured her eye, cut a large gash in her chest and they  both became terrified of everything from birds, nesting waterfowl, blue tarps, and the ranch goats they had walked past a million times at the ranch.  One particular corridor of willows we aptly names the gauntlet which we had to ride through EVERYDAY was always greeted with terror alert RED.   Any sign of movement would send them leaping through the air and riding them felt like riding a stick of dynamite.  After Fiona healed we have ridden the heck out of our two crazies this spring and they have regained their composure.  Two weekend ago on out ride I was trotting around a corner on a high country trail when I heard a thrashing through the brush.  The large butt of a big cinnamon bear was bounding away from only 20 yards away.  I exclaimed “OH BEAR!!” and the horses didn’t even flinch.  Me and the bear were far more startled than the horses.  This is coming from horses that can find an electrical box, trash bag, or a fly mask that has been hung from a fence petrifying.  Stepping over a hose is akin to an anaconda, but a bear?  No problem.  Crazy horses.

No big deal, it's just a bear

Prois Pranks

By Katherine Grand

After my most recent prank of freezing boss lady’s, AKA Kirstie Pike’s, AKA Manshoe’s prized perfectly sharpened pencils I decided to do a internet search of other fun office pranks to try out.

This video was hilarious but impractical as our offices share space with our warehouse and the ceilings are very high.  Also I am not experienced with dry wall.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0XdthbOkMU

This prank would also be hysterical so I will have to keep my eyes peeled for a used toilet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6bZloBt6d4

This prank looks promising though I have always been terrible at wrapping gifts

This next prank would work well as we ofter eat at our desk and I am sure there is already some great growing medium stored in Kirstie’s keyboard.

I have continued to come back to this prank time and time again though my husband Eric convinced me out of it for Kirstie’s pencils because of the stickiness factor.  I have been getting many great ideas from The Office.  The goal is to get a laugh and generate shenanigans without ruining office equipment or getting fired.  For some strange reason I am always the #1 suspect.

This prank would also be pretty hilarious.  Also I like shinny things :-)

I planned on doing this prank on Monday but I have had so many issues renting a bear

This one would be very appropriate if I used Flaming Cheetos given Kirstie’s love for said snack but I am thinking the resulting cheese stains would enrage my clean freak boss. (See Cleanliness is next to Kirstieness http://www.proishunting.com/community/?p=2479)

Finally I am considering this prank as there are many jokes around the office about my bowl movements and I have been gifted air freshener more than once.  When you office nickname is Two Flush this prank looks better and better,

Let me know your favorite prank for next week!  MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  MUAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Only at Prois . . .

By Katherine Grand

Prois is unlike any job I’ve ever had.  I can truly be myself and there is no limit to the shenanigans and “your mom” jokes that can occur within the course of a day.  This blog will celebrate some of the occurrences that could only happen at Prois.

1. Only at Prois could you freeze your bosses prized pencils and then have to negotiate the release of your kidnapped beta fish all in the course of a morning.  Said beta fish was kidnapped in order to secure the return of said prized pencils.  Finally said fish was located by yours truly during a game of Hotter/Colder.

Kirstie Pike's prize pencils in their frozen tomb

This picture was posted this morning with the caption "OK, Katherine Grand....return the pencils and I will return Jazz Hands."

2.  Only at Prois could you find the following To Do list posted next to the companies “Corporate Strategic Plan”

Joni Viles prioritizes her day . . .

3.  Only at Prois do rabbits perform tricks for beer.

Dance BunBun! Dance!

4.  Only at Prois does labeling a package with “Caution: Unicorns Inside” get your request processed in record time.

A package lovingly labeled from Prois Field Staffer Britney Starr

5. Only at Prois can you come back from lunch to a new ‘pet” trapped under a margarita glass on your desk.

To: Joni Viles From: Kirstie Pike and Katherine Grand

6.  Only at Prois is there a real danger of super hero action figures getting into your snack stash.

Hulk really enjoyed Joni's meringues

&.  Only at Prois does the CEO of the company magically transform into a friendly robot called Coronabot

Coronabot, we love you a lot

7.  Only at Prois does the boss’ desk get used for yoga practice while she is away.

Nice form Joni!

8. Only at Prois does employee satisfaction directly correlate to the amount of time our CEO spends reading us stories.

Joni especially loves stories about friesians

9.  Only on trips for Prois is throwing ninja stars an acceptable hotel activity.

Your accuracy is really improving Joni!

 

Stay tuned for more strange and hilarious happenings that could only happen at Prois in our new blog series “Only at Prois”

 

 

 

BunBun’s Full of Beans

 

BunBun being a hormonal jerk

 

 

Spring is here, animals are pairing up, the birds are nesting, love is in the air!!

And BunBun is pissed.

He has been taking out his lack of a mate on the office and it’s inhabitants.

He is getting into the wires below our desks.

BunBun turns to booze

 

He is turning to alcohol, throwing his treats everywhere and just generally causing a nuisance.

 

Silly rabbit, beers are for people

Life after Falconry

By Katherine Grand

 

I feel depressed, the days feel darker and emptier.  Everyone is excited about spring arriving in the Gunnison valley but I am longing after eternal winter.  What could be causing this you ask?  Or maybe you didn’t ask.  I often break into long winded soliloquies about falconry with little or  no provocation.  In fact when telling our IT person Paul not to ask me about falconry because i will go on and on for hours, he replied “but I didn’t ask.”

Last weekend I came to terms with the fact that Aurora was going into breeding mode when she was half heartily chased bunnies and flew further and further away from us and the dogs while hunting.   Less than a week prior she was hunting with us like a superstar, staying close to us, and giving every rabbit we saw a run for it’s money at the same weight.  This change in attitude is inevitable and  but it marked the end of my time hunting until this coming fall with the best game hawk I have flown.

Aurora's last rabbit of the season

In the summer not only are most hunting seasons closed but falconry birds need to be kept heavier than their normal flying weight (http://www.proishunting.com/community/?p=2509) to produce new feathers while they are molting.  For this reason the majority of falconers do not hunt with their birds during the summer months.  Nutrition is very important during this time for birds to produce strong feathers to carry them through the next hunting season.  Also when spring hormones flood a falconry bird’s system telling them to breed they tend to become much less consistent and responsive to their falconers.  Furthermore when flying a bird during the molt you risk them breaking growing feathers which could permanently damage that feather’s growth, even in future molts .  Since Aurora broke three feathers this year crashing through brush after bunnies that is not a risk I am willing to take not to mention the extended falconry cottontail season ends March 31st.  Birds of prey drop their feathers during the molt over time so they can still fly during the duration of the molt, otherwise they would not be able to survive int the wild.  Healthy birds molt their feathers in a specific order so falconers know by watching their birds and collecting molted feathers when they are finished molting and ready to hunt again.  Most falconers wait until their bird’s feathers are completely finished growing in before resuming hunting.

I am planning on keeping Aurora through the summer which is called intermewing.  The aviary falconers use to house their birds when they are not hunting them  is called a mews and the number of seasons a birds has been flown coincides with the number of times they have been intermewed.  During this time off from hunting I will continue to work with Aurora regularly to keep her from getting bored, keep her in shape, and keep her used to me.  I have already been training her indoors and outdoors and  exercising her with flights to the fist (my falconry glove, AKA gauntlet).  Falconry has a vocabulary of it’s own, and falconers often sound like they are speaking a different language.  Next year Aurora will be a once intermewed passage hen red-tailed hawk.  Say that 3 times fast.  In layman’s terms she is a  female red-tailed hawk that was trapped as a juvenille and kept over the summer during her first molt.

I already miss hunting with Aurora and I am feebly trying to replace that joy with shed hunting, fly fishing, and other sports that bring me great joy but see dull when compared to seeing a Aurora close in on a cottontail from a high perch among the rocky cliffs of Gunnison Colorado.  As my withdrawal symptoms subside and the rivers open enough to float I will happily take to the rivers and spend some much loved time riding my mare Fiona.  Luckily this break gives me a chance to reset and tone my falconry obsession to a level that will frighten fewer people.

When Aurora molts this summer she will grow the beautiful brick red tail feathers that are a red-tail’s namesake.  As she ages her eyes will darken from a golden hay color to a darker brown, and her plumage will change dramatically.  Her flight feathers will be shorter than her juvenile feathers.     I can’t wait to see how she looks as this  will be the first red-tail hawk I intermew.  I also can’t wait to see how she continues to develop as a hunting companion with one season under her belt.  However, I won’t wish away the beautiful Colorado summer in the meantime.    Thanks for reading and happy hunting!

 

A Traumatic and Memorable Day

By Katherine Grand

 

The day began with no foreshadowing of events to come; normal as things get here at  Prois.  The morning started with Joni and Kirstie ruthlessly chiding me about my unorganized desk and the fact that I had no leg room under my desk as I was storing things there.   I texted Kirstie a very unattractive picture of me flipping her off as she would not come over and look at my legs fitting comfortably under my desk. Needless to say said photo ended up on facebook.

Do not text your boss pictures that you do not want to end up on facebook

I was saved by the bell when one of my dealers called with some questions and Joni and Kirstie continued to cackle loudly while I diligently worked.  Out of nowhere I looked over and a dying mouse was convulsing next to my chair.  I exclaimed “Oh my God, hold on a second” and immediately put my dealer on hold.  While I regained my composure Joni kindly scooped up the dying mouse and deposited it outside.  The cackling increased exponentially as Joni and Kirstie discussed how there were mice living under my desk.  The timing was impeccable for an animal to crawl out and die next to me.

 

Joni scooping up the dying mouse. Note to self, do not use the blue bowl.

While feeling thoroughly weird about the random dying mouse, my husband appeared in the office to accompany me on a hunt with Aurora our red-tailed hawk and our dogs Lucky and Sadie.  I was sure hunting would make me feel better.  Eric and I started hunting and Aurora was following us well and chasing each rabbit we flushed.  While hunting an immature golden eagle suddenly flew less than 10 feet over Aurora which sent me screaming and waving my arms wildly to scare it off.  Golden eagles will kill and eat other birds of prey when they see an opportunity and many falconers have lost their birds to goldens.  The golden continued out of the valley but our dog Sadie is old and was having trouble with the icy, punchy snow so I suggested Eric to take her back to the truck.  The timing couldn’t have been worse.  While he was gone, I continued to try to flush bunnies when suddenly Aurora made a spectacular dive and loudly crashed into some brush in a ditch below me.  I excitedly ran to where I saw her disappear and found her holding a rabbit and she and the rabbit were totally tangled in the brush.  I stretched the bunny to break its neck and in the excitement of untangling Aurora and her rabbit from the brush she grabbed a hold of my right index finger and sunk her talons into my flesh.  She was super amped up from catching the rabbit and was not going to let go.  The more I tried to pry her off the tighter her grip became.  The pain was intense and I knew that I would need Eric the pry her front and back toes off at the same time which is almost impossible to do one handed.  The other option was to wait until she relaxed which I have had to do in the past while hunting alone.  However, Aurora is one of the strongest birds I have worked with and the pain was excruciating.  Oh the mayhem!  I started screaming for Eric and he heard me as her rounded the corner in our truck with the windows up.  I must have been pretty loud.  I was crying by the time her found me and he pried her talons off my finger, one of which was sunk in over a half an inch right into my joint.  I calmed down and gave Aurora a feast on her bunny.  She quickly forgot the incident and dug into her prize.

 

Owwwwwey owwwwww owwwwww

On the drive back home I realized I was due for my tetanus shot and was concerned over the location of the deepest puncture wound which quickly sealed up trapping in all the awesome bacteria and gore from Aurora’s talons that had just been sunk in the rabbit.  Upon returning to the office CEO Kirstie Pike and certified award winning nurse told me I should go into the doctor because I did not want an infected joint. When I called to make an appointment and the nurses asked me what had happened, it took me a while to explain the circumstances of my injury.  When I arrived at the office the nurses were asking me a million questions and treating me like I was some sort of newly discovered 2 headed creature.  Apparently being home to the oldest consecutive rodeo in the Colorado, they have lots of experience with bull horn injuries but this was their first talon maiming.  After listening to some awful cat bite stories about people that ended up filleted open (he definitely used the word filleted) I was prescribed a course of antibiotics.  Unfortunately there is little literature about the bacteria common to a hawk’s talons so I received the cat bite meds, my tetanus shot,  and was ordered to return in two days.

We still got a bunny!

 

I returned back to the office and retold the harrowing tales of my day to Kirstie, Joni, and Shonda who has since arrived.  It was a thoroughly traumatic and memorable day but I learned some good lessons about the importance of office cleanliness and I now bring an extra leather glove and pruning shears to cut my hawk out of the crazy tangles of brush she crashes into after rabbits.  This suggestion came from another lady falconer,Laura Culley.  Also I learned not text your boss pictures you do not want to end up on facebook if you happen to work for Kirstie Pike.  Thanks Kirstie Pike for putting up with me going on lunch hunts and the subsequent doctor’s visits that are sometimes required.