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  #731  
Old 18-02-2017, 09:45 PM
Sharpster Sharpster is offline
Dave Sharpe
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Default Re: Zeus- a muddled diary in pics and words!

weather: very misty and a rather cool wind first thing as they day went on the wind lessoned and the day cleared to broken cloud.

weight: 8lb 11oz

It was Zeus as well as Mike Wynn and his male Bonellis now wearing his beautiful adult plumage. Robin was along with a female white gos of this year-again a beautiful bird.

with us were my son and his two hunting pals and Lee Featherstone and Will as well as my lucky mascot Rory from the centre.

we walked out from the centre to start the first fields, really productive fields that I have been preserving for these meetings! I said I would slip last to give the guests some sport, so it was Robin then Mike W to fly. we walked the long narrow first field and the wind was with us! Three good hares got up as we walked, all good slippable eagle hares but the white bird blanked them and didn't see them maybe as she was facing the wind-away from the hares. A shame as A this is a very good field and the hares were wasted, and also because to be honest I was expecting more than three hares to be here!! This proved to be the story of the day, with plenty of beaters and a tight line I thought the guys were going to get some serious sport today indeed. but although we saw hares playing and trotting off in the distance we didn't put any hares up close at all and compared to what ive seen of late relatively few flyable hares were put up by us.

The white Gos went onto fly a pheasant that pretended to be a hare as it ran out of some cover! a very lacklustre flight and very disappointing especially after Robin had assured us she had recently taken hare after a super long slip! Turns out once she switched on a little later this bird was superb! I do forget how fast a Gos leaves the fist and the long shape of the white one with the long rather pointy wings made for a bird that not only went fast but also took on long slips and she really did motor hundreds of yards after the hares she slipped at. really exciting and great bird to see fly. She was unlucky as although she snagged a couple of her targets and got some fur she didn't hold one today. Lovely well mannered bird too and almost silent. One bonus even at very long distance you could clearly see where your bird was!!

As for the male Bonelis he too had a few slips, again nothing close by and he also put in a great effort and covered the ground fast with great wingbeats. he came very close and then got kicked off a hare. Finally though due to the beaters working hard pushing towards us through a woodland his hare came. it came out the side of the wood and the eagle had to cover some ground and the latter half of the flight was up hill, The bird took the hare well and with both feet on the head balled the hare up and waited an age while the old geezer 'ran' to assist! The bird was very well rewarded with hot grub well deserved.

Mike hasn't seen many hares with this eagle but he flies them with gusto when he sees them. hes taken rabbit and pheasant with him this year. almost to the day on the same meeting last year this bird caught its last hare! great end to the season for Mike!

I only had one slip today as with far less slips than I hoped Id rather have let the guest birds , both young ones, to get a good chance and some slips.

At one point I said ill take a turn, we were in a huge field that we were going to do three passes up and down to cover to some extent.
Just as we were going to start walking someone saw two walkers right over the far side. I said just in case they have a dog (they didn't as it happened) 'you slip Robin, and Ill take a turn later when they've gone.' We walked one long pass of the field.
we then walked back the opposite way nearer the middle of the field. And the almost in unison everyone said 'dave! theres a muntjac. Sure enough way ahead of us a muntjack was running down the field sort of towards us but much further over, its silly 'piggy' gait trotting along. I weighed it up, it was a very long slip but the deer was a long way from cover so I Slipped Zeus and he was away! I started to run instantly as It would be nice if he could hold this one! I had maybe covered less than fifty yards and again almost as one I heard the others say 'oh no it look like a dog!' it was. I ran as fast as I could but was already getting upset as I knew A : it was a 100% that this animal was not going to evade the eagle and B: the distance I had to cover would mean I wasn't going to save the animal by the time I got there. As a dog lover this feeling was awful, I was running and just watching the eagle eating up the ground and waiting for the dreadful moment.

To my utter disbelief Zeus just carried on past the dog maybe 10 yards to the left and completely blanked it exactly as he does my pointer. He flew on probably wondering what id slipped him at and much further ahead landed on the deck near the end of the field!

The dog by now was getting near to me so I crouched down low and made silly noises to call it over. It was a very chubby and wooly border terrier cross (which was interesting at it looked a lot bigger at distance!) It couldn't to my mind have looked more tempting to the bird, two tone brown, smallish, slowish and a hairy animal! The dog came over to me and was a little shy but with more silly noises I got him in range and grabbed a front leg! (no collar) He tried to wriggle free so I grabbed with the other hand too and he got scared and pathetically bit my hand, drawing blood but bless him he didn't really mean it. I put him under my arm and comforted him and took him back towards the beaters, calling my son to me to hold him. I now headed for the eagle (I had got the dog just in case the bird had second thoughts!) The eagle was up, hed seen a hare, reeled it in and caught it! It looked all done but then the hare broke free!! he rechased to the hedge and tried again but missed!

As I crested the brow in the field I saw a lady in the distance and she put up her hand. The lie of the land meant she just had a ringside view of the hare chase but couldn't have seen the dog incident at all. I walked over feeling very upset and very cross.

Anyone that knows me will tell you I am the softest most compassionate and non confrontational guy you will ever meet. But as I neared the lady I said (and I did have tears welling up still) 'Did you have a small brown dog?!! because one of the other eagles has just caught it and fkn killed it!!!!! her face fell and tears now were in here eyes 'has it she said trembling'
NO IT FKN HASNT BUT ITS A MIRACLE THIS EAGLE HASNT JUST KILLED IT, IVE JUST SLIPPED THIS EAGLE AT YOUR DOG FOR FK SAKE!! 'slipped? what do you mean?

IVE JUST LET MY EAGLE GO TO CHASE AND CATCH YOUR DOG BECAUSE WE THOUGH IT WAS A FKN HARE (slight fib) IT RECOGNISED IT WAS A DOG AND LEFT IT BUT ITS A MIRACLE, I WOULDNT HAVE GOT THERE IN TIME YOUR DOG WOULD BE DEAD DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!? THIS IS A HUNTING ESTATE AND YOUR DOGS MILES AWAY FROM ANYONE, RUNNING ACCROSS A FIELD, EVEN YOURE NOT NEAR A FOOTPATH!

I was raving and had tears really in my eyes now, more upset as I could see how much id upset her now too! She retorted the dog doesnt usually run off. I said will that have made you feel better if I was holding your dead dog right now?! well she said, what am I supposed to do just keep him on the lead all the time?? YES!! EVEN YOURE NOT ON THE FOOTPATH! THIS IS A PRIVATE HUNTING ESTATE IF YOU WNAT TO LET HIM RUN FREE IT SHOULDNT BE ON HERE!!

Feeling bad for upsetting her I lowered my tone and apologised for swearing and for upsetting her, put my arm around her and said, look Im a dog lover I have four dogs and it would have broke my heart if my eagle had killed your dog. We go to huge lengths as eagle falconers to keep away from walkers and dogs and ive just ran 300 yards thinking about what I was about to witness. I rang my son to bring the dog back to us( everyone was over the crest and couldn't see us) he came over and politely swapped the leads over (he had a spare in his pocket) I apologised again for upsetting her (she still was) and off she went

This evening I phoned the keeper and said he may get a backlash from her (he knew whos she was and they lived near him) because I have upset her and retold the whole story to him
He said she was fibbing because she has twice lost the dog on the estate after its ran off not on the lead and she has already been told to stay on footpaths with the dog on its leash. He will be having words! I said I wasn't ringing to tittletattle and cause her trouble, just to let him know incase he got an irate neighbour moaning about me!

Not an experience I ever want to repeat!ever. Even afterwards everyone (me included) said they were sure it was a muntjack-it even ran like one for heavans sake!

I was so proud of Zeus for just blanking the dog but equally as surprised!! It turned out that was my only slip so he should have held onto that hare!!

A good day but far more hardwork finding hares than I had expected, the beaters worked really hard and Mike W was chuffed! so it turns out it was a good day in the end!!

But a day I will never forget!

Me being me, even though everyone including the keeper said I did exactly the right thing, I feel I should take her a bunch of flowers for upsetting her!
again my Eagle did me proud it really was something to see as he just completely ignored fido!

Lee had the latest marshall kit and we wanted to see how fast Zeus was on a slip but never got the chance, The Bonny clocked 39mph in pursuit but that was uphill! Id like to see more results from this kit it would be very interesting and some fun to find out!

Some greta pics that Ill try and share soon

We walked 8.5 miles as a note
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  #732  
Old 18-02-2017, 10:07 PM
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I Love My Dog I Love My Dog is offline
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Default Re: Zeus- a muddled diary in pics and words!

Sounds like a very frustrating day for you really glad Zeus blanked the dog!!!! you've trained him well.

Hopefully the dog owner has learned her lesson.

Zeus will get a muntjac soon.

Donna
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  #733  
Old 18-02-2017, 10:36 PM
Sharpster Sharpster is offline
Dave Sharpe
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Default Re: Zeus- a muddled diary in pics and words!

Blimey me too! t was a good day other than that just less manic than I thought it would be! Im not fussed about the muntjac, if they or foxes pop up I slip him but what the heck will I do with them eh?? bloody long carry back to the van I keep thinking!hehe hares are the thing-flights are the very best between brown hare and goldie!
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  #734  
Old 18-02-2017, 11:46 PM
Sharpster Sharpster is offline
Dave Sharpe
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Default Re: Zeus- a muddled diary in pics and words!

Ill try getting some pics up....

Few more
Attached Images
File Type: jpg me andz2017.jpg (52.8 KB, 60 views)
File Type: jpg pi1.jpg (68.4 KB, 62 views)
File Type: jpg pi2.jpg (74.7 KB, 61 views)
File Type: jpg pionhare3.jpg (92.6 KB, 62 views)
File Type: jpg white gos.jpg (31.5 KB, 61 views)
File Type: jpg white gos onhare.jpg (74.4 KB, 61 views)
File Type: jpg pionhare5.jpg (92.4 KB, 62 views)
File Type: jpg pionhare.jpg (89.0 KB, 63 views)
File Type: jpg pi3.jpg (49.9 KB, 61 views)
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  #735  
Old 19-02-2017, 02:52 AM
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Ingo Ingo is offline
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Default Re: Zeus- a muddled diary in pics and words!

Great pictures dave, it sounded emotional!
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  #736  
Old 19-02-2017, 07:51 AM
ShaneShac ShaneShac is offline
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Default

Nice pics! How big is that bonnelis?

I would have lost it with the dog owner as well. Glad Zeus blanked it or it could have been a catastrophe

Good luck on your next outing


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  #737  
Old 19-02-2017, 08:39 AM
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Gods County Hawker Gods County Hawker is offline
Mark Hilary
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Default Re: Zeus- a muddled diary in pics and words!

Another cracking honest write up Dave.Well done Mike and Pi
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  #738  
Old 19-02-2017, 10:24 AM
Sharpster Sharpster is offline
Dave Sharpe
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Default Re: Zeus- a muddled diary in pics and words!

Picture credits: static shots my son, action shots: Lee Featherstone

I think it's important that all the new eagle falconers really need to realise they have to take all precautions and more to keep eagle falconry safe and sensible. We all owe it to each other to be ultra sensible even if it means missing a long earned slip! No one is more paranoid about it than me and it shows just how vigilant you need to be. Sadly there are numpties out there now with goldies and some of what I've seen shared on fb is dreadful husbandry let alone poor falconry
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  #739  
Old 19-02-2017, 11:05 PM
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Dave Sharpe
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Default Re: Zeus- a muddled diary in pics and words!

Ss I've forgot what Pi weighs and I only asked
Yesterday!!! 3 pound plus I think but forgot!!
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