Post by tumbledown on Dec 26, 2008 16:37:51 GMT -5
Just Boone, Triumph and myself today in a cover very close to home. I won't bother trying to describe how happy I am at the moment. But after nearly two exhausting hours of sinking in snow, hunting hare sign but not seeing hares I allowed myself some frustration and almost gave up. But I decided to push one last stretch of woods toward the car. After a minute or two of Boone and I working the honeysuckle and blow-downs Triumph did a quick glide from one tree to another. She was leaning forward and I wondered if she hadn't just spotted a red squirrel or something. But I wasn't taking chances. I called Boone and we pushed toward her. Then I saw the hare as I busted it from cover and yelled Ho-Ho-Ho. Triumph shot out and over in a blazing sidewinder stoop and stopped the escaping hare dead in its tracks. She had a perfect hold of the head. I was overcome with joy. I put a quick end to the squealing for her and gave her both front legs and some squirrel on the way out to the car. This was the first hare that I've killed alone with my dog and hawk and at the mercy of the big woods. And I got to see every inch of the flight. It will be on looped replay in my head for at least 24 hours. I'm glad I won't finish my apprenticeship without having done this on my own.
The feet on that hare look huge like a jack. They jump pretty high?
What's amazing is how light-weight those feet are. I don't know about jumping high but even at 4-6 pounds they can run across the surface of soft snow like white lightning without sinking in. Or, if they think it's their best option, they can just sit still under the protection of snow-white camouflage and let you walk right by them. Whereas squirrels are more of a work-out for the hawk, snowshoe hares push the austringer pretty hard. Breakfast is a good idea lol.