Minneapolis

Master falconer takes apprentice under her wing – Twin Cities

2021-02-15 19:17:07 –

Rochester, Minnesota — Anna McBain struggled to find a qualified falconer who was interested in falconry and was an apprentice.

“I think it’s because I’m young and I don’t look like someone who’s crazy about it,” said the 21-year-old.

Thanks to personal nominations, McBain has been hunting with Carolyn Standley Hanson, Master Falconer in Winona County, for two years.

Falconry is a practice of capturing and training birds of prey for wild hunting and requires a small hunting license from the state in addition to a falconry license.

“Once you hunt with a hawk, you can’t go back to the gun,” McBain said.

McBain’s father became an apprentice falconry to help her get started when she was a 14-year-old junior apprentice falconry. Kirkpain, a falconer who taught at the Quarry Hill Nature Center in Rochester, sponsored both. This allowed McBean to legally raise birds of prey.

Minnesota’s falconry law is an apprentice over the age of 16 and only licensed falconers can legally keep birds of prey at home unless sponsored by another licensed falconer. .. The apprentice must work with another licensed falconer, where Pain came in. However, in order to become a general apprentice, McBain had to find a master falconer to directly sponsor her.

Payne couldn’t take her because of a family promise, but he personally recommended her to Standley-Hanson.

Standlee-Hanson was impressed with McBeain’s knowledge and dedication and agreed to take on her.

Despite stringent requirements and restrictions, falconry is once again of interest in the United States and Minnesota. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 75 falconry are licensed in the state, up from about 60 five years ago.

Of the Minnesota licensed falconers, only 16 are women.

“King’s sports”

Falconry is an old sport. In Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), paintings over 4,000 years ago were found depicting trained bird hunters. People have used falconry to search for sports and food in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Techniques such as guns have spread other hunting techniques, and falconry has become a niche activity known as the “king’s sport.”

Standlee-Hanson laughed at the phrase as he walked through a snow-covered Bramble and a waist-high briar on a farm in western Winona County. She and McBain took McBain’s red-tailed hawk, Minokawa, to hunt on a sunny afternoon in late January.

“This is not what people are talking about when they say (king’s sport),” she said. “This is what we call” dirt hawking. ” “

They broke through the brush thorns, stirred rabbits and other prey outdoors, and Minokawa hunted. Minokawa was sitting on a nearby tree and watching over it.

“She does her job,” said Standlee-Hanson. “We need to do our own thing.”

According to Filipino legend, Minokawa was a hawk big enough to swallow the sun. McBain’s Minokawa has a wingspan of about 5 feet. She gets a new adult feather, but at the age of one she will probably be full size.

A pair of masters and apprentices captured her in October and they trained her together.

Minnesota law allows falconers to use only captive birds or birds that capture wild birds of prey that have left their nests but are not old enough to be part of a breeding population. ..

Standlee-Hanson said older birds are likely not to accept training. Young birds are still learning to hunt and are more easily seduced by a simple meal.

“If they are already feeding themselves, there is no incentive,” she said.

About half of young birds of prey cannot survive the first year alone in the wild. The red-tailed hawk Standlee-Hanson, captured last fall, suffered from a respiratory infection similar to pneumonia when he was caught. He was probably dead in the wild.

After several veterinary visits and some training, the bird, named Tamale, slowly gains weight and learns to hunt with her.

Standlee-Hanson said Minagawa is a fast learner and an effective hunter.

“She is one of the top three red tails I worked with,” she said.

For murder

During the January hunt, Minokawa found a gray squirrel in a nearby tree and killed a pigeon while Standlee-Hanson and McBeain were trying to wash their prey out of the brush.

Minokawa caught a squirrel at the base of the tree. The hawk had claws tightly around the squirrel, but the squirrel had one of the hawk’s paws on its teeth.

McBain rushed through the brush and killed the squirrel, further reducing the risk of Taka being injured. McBain then distracted the squirrel by offering fresh meat to the Mino River. This will probably be used for training.

After Taka ate, McBain put a hood on his head. The bird inflated her wings as she sat on McBain’s gloved arm.

“It’s a sign of satisfaction,” McBeain said.

“The hood blocks them, so to speak,” added Standlee-Hanson. “She is no longer in hunt mode.”

McBeain will continue training, gain experience and expand Raptor’s repertoire with Kestrel. For her, falconry is more than a hobby.

“I don’t recommend it to everyone,” she said. “It will be a lifestyle, not a hobby.”

Master falconer takes apprentice under her wing – Twin Cities Source link Master falconer takes apprentice under her wing – Twin Cities

Back to top button