International Falconer ISSUE 37

Page 19

Photo: courtesy of Nigel Hawkins

Words and photos by NIGEL HAWKINS

It was one of those typical late season frosty days with crystal clear blue skies. The days when all your senses seem alive; as you take a deep breath your nostrils tingle and you can feel the cold air biting against the walls of your lungs.


IPULL UP at the end of the rutted track, being careful not to break my neck on the ice as I dismount my trusted Land Rover hawking wagon. As a stream of consciousness runs through my head I complete all the standard operating procedures. Goshawk first, secondly the dog, then me . . . check telemetry receiver, check batteries in transmitter, check contents of hawking vest . . . Ahh! Don’t forget the dog whistle! Then, finally, check hydration bottle for myself. Deep down I know it’s going to be a good day as my male goshawk steps from his hawking box onto my glove, feathers ruffled slightly. His eyes adjust to the light and just by his demeanour I can tell it’s GAME ON! It’s only a two minute walk from the car to the woods where a few of my pheasant feeders are positioned and, as my newest addition to the pack, Luga, a 22month-old German shorthaired pointer, gets to find his nose, I slowly move through the