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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just joined this forum to try to contact any pigeon owners in the League City, TX (S. Houston/Galveston) area. I am a licensed falconer and I am interested in placing a hawk trap near a loft. If you are having problems with cooper's hawks, please let me know. That is the species I am targeting.

I will provide all paperwork so that you know this is legitimate. This is all legal and above board.

I know that cooper's hawks are everywhere, but I have had great success in the past trapping them at pigeon lofts. I will be glad to help you by removing a troublesome hawk, and in turn you will be helping me. Thanks.

Feel free to PM me or leave a message on the forum. I'll get back to you.

Jamie
 

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and what do you do with them after you catch them if i may ask..i have a few around here but i would never catch them or have them removed they eat the mice and snakes around here, yes they land on my loft, but it is all apart of nature for them to catch a bird now and then when people fly. there may not be as many problems if people read up on them, watch them and know their routine. It is getting cooler soon cold in some places and hawks will be at their highest to find food, so any smart pigeon racer or fancier will know not to fly in the winter at certain times of the day...just my opinion
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Since I am a falconer, I hunt with the bird. I am not into keeping hawks for pets. They don't make very good ones.

It takes a few weeks to get it properly trained, and in about a month the hawk is generally starting to catch birds. I will be targeting starlings, and sparrows until the hawk gets a few birds under his belt. After that, we will move on to doves and quail. I have a male vizsla (pointer) that I hunt with. They will work together. I will hunt with the hawk until March and release it at that time. It can continue its migration back up North. In the meantime, it gets a meal everyday (and won't be hitting any lofts during those 4-5 months).

I have been a falconer for 16 years, and I have enjoyed nearly every minute of it.
 

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I'll make a bet that if you explain what a hawk trap is and how to use it, supply your address .... you will soon be receiving dozens of them from happy pigeon owners..

On a more serious note. I always have understood that hawks and falcons used in your sport were taken from the nest as babies and raised and trained from that point. It appears I am wrong and you have piqued my curiosity as to how you do obtain birds. Is it some type of walk in trap or something completely strange.
 

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Dunners, as long as you can verify that all of this is legal, you might get some interest here. People on the Forum will understandingly be cautious about this just because of being unfamiliar w/the legality of it; and also because...well, to put it bluntly...they would be inviting a falconer over to their Pigeon Loft (not exactly the first thing a Pigeon fancier would consider doing, y'know ?).

Just pointing this out. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Maniac,
What you thought about falconry was also true. A young bird taken from the nest is called an eyass, and this is legal (with the correct state and/or federal permits) in most states. I prefer to trap what is referred to as a passage hawk - a bird on its first migration. Adult hawks (haggards) may not be kept, and must be released.

There are many traps I use, but this one uses a spring loaded release that the hawk triggers on its way to the live bait - a pigeon in this case. BTW, the pigeon is separated by a cage and cannot be harmed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Jaye,
I have the TPWD paperwork to verify that it is legal. There are licensed falconers in every state except Hawaii. Rest assured, no one will get in trouble. I will be happy to provide the legal paperwork to anyone who is willing to take me up on the offer. They can even call TPWD to confirm that it is all on the up and up.

Actually, I had several pigeon fancier friends and game farm owners call me when I lived in Missouri. One called me every year. I kept some birds, released some, and transferred others to other falconers in the area.

One time a guy called me and he was furious. He said that he had a cooper's hawk in his loft and asked if I'd come get it. He had one of those trap doors on his flight loft (you all would know what it's called - I don't), and the hawk got in, but couldn't get out. It ate the heads of 6 pigeons, left 2 alive, and was feeding on another one when I looked in. I understand why you guys don't like the hawks, but the falconer is only helping remove the hawk. No need to dislike us.
 

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I suggest you refrain from discussing hunting on here.

If people want to take you up on your offer, so be it.
 

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One of the guys in our combine brought a friend to a combine meeting one time. This friend was a falconer. It seemed a little strange to me, but the veterans in the combine were really upset.

The way they saw it was that this falconer could become privy to when we raced, where we raced from, and what paths the birds might take. It seems that they did not think letting someone who uses hawks for what you use them for, should be apprised of when and where our birds are racing. I personally did not see it as that big of a deal as any racing pigeon on the fly should be able to out race a hawk sent from ground level (if something like that would occur). But many of them were upset with the member who brought that friend.

I would assume that a falconer has a limit on how many birds he or she can acquire? You could not go into the "business" of catching hawks in the area of pigeon lofts, could you? Legally?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You are correct that not only would it not be feasible for a falconer to plan to "intercept" racing pigeons, it would also be unethical. I don't personally know any falconers that would try something like that. It would also be impossible for a falconer to get a bird in the air quickly enough to actually accomplish that.

You are also correct about the number of birds allowed. This is from the federal falconry regulations (Title 50: CFR § 21.29 Falconry standards and falconry permitting).

(2) How and when you may take raptors from the wild to use in falconry. You may take no more than two raptors from the wild each year to use in falconry.

(i) If you transfer a bird you take from the wild to another permittee in the same year in which you capture it, the bird will count as one of the raptors you are allowed to take from the wild that year; it will not count as a capture by the recipient, though it will always be considered a wild bird.

Also:
(4) Selling or trading raptors under a falconry permit. (i) If allowed by your State, tribe or territory, you may sell, purchase, or barter, or offer to sell, purchase, or barter captive-bred raptors marked with seamless bands to other permittees who are authorized to possess them.

(ii) You may not purchase, sell, trade, or barter wild raptors. You may only transfer them.

I don't mean to get off on separate topics, but I hope that I can alleviate some of the concerns many of you will have about this topic and answer some of the questions. I realize that it is an unusual sport/hobby. Pigeon racing is a bit unusual also.
 

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I suggest you refrain from discussing hunting on here.

If people want to take you up on your offer, so be it.

Your comment seems a little harsh as he hasn't really discussed hunting except to touch briefly on what he hunts and I think that was more to reassure some members that pigeons were not his thing.

From a personal standpoint I am always interested in learning new things and as I don't frequent falconry sites this seemed to be the perfect opportunity to clarify some things. I learned some new words that designate bird stages in that field, I learned that hawks can also be live trapped as well as taken from the nest and I met an interesting fellow who broadened my knowledge.

Dunners .. that door you referred to is called a trap. I am not at all uncomfortable with your request and I hope you find a pigeon fancier close by you who has suffered from ongoing hawk attacks, who will be happy to have it removed humanely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Maniac,
I appreciate your comments.

I hope someone takes me up on it too. Otherwise it will just go in the field behind my house. I see at least one cooper's hawk nearly every day this time of year. I'd rather have a hawk attractant (pigeon loft) to place the trap near though.
 

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Your comment seems a little harsh as he hasn't really discussed hunting except to touch briefly on what he hunts and I think that was more to reassure some members that pigeons were not his thing.
Just a word of caution to forestall any further discussion on it, as newer members may not be aware of what is on or off limits :)
 

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But...you're gonna catch doves! as in, the pigeons sister!

Not to preach nor editorialize but does it really make a difference in the grand scheme of life. Raptors are going to forage regardless of what we wish. Crows and ***** and squirrels are going to be robbing their (as well as other bird's {can you say dove}) nests for eggs and young. Old, crippled and sick birds will always be the first choice of raptors because nature just works that way.
 

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Interesting!

I've always been intrigued by Falconry. I think birds of prey are absolutely beautiful, even rivaling that of the pigeon.

It's too bad you aren't closer to WI. Taken just a few days ago. I believe it's a male, because they are smaller than the females.........correct? He also looks to be a young bird, just because of how small he is, or maybe I'm way off and its a young redtail.



Good luck to you.
 

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Since I am a falconer, I hunt with the bird. I am not into keeping hawks for pets. They don't make very good ones.

It takes a few weeks to get it properly trained, and in about a month the hawk is generally starting to catch birds. I will be targeting starlings, and sparrows until the hawk gets a few birds under his belt. After that, we will move on to doves and quail. I have a male vizsla (pointer) that I hunt with. They will work together. I will hunt with the hawk until March and release it at that time. It can continue its migration back up North. In the meantime, it gets a meal everyday (and won't be hitting any lofts during those 4-5 months).

I have been a falconer for 16 years, and I have enjoyed nearly every minute of it.
I have a question. Will you be breeding this hawk at any time and will be turning any young out into the wild.
GEORGE;)
 
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