Took my PMRT out today. He was late-trapped, our first hunt being Jan 1. As a result, our season totals are unimpressive (7 grey sq, 1 flying sq, 1 chipmunk). Went to a spot where I hoped we might get our first rabbit. After an hour we had only had 1 slip (a miss). We moved into an area that looked very promising for rabbit: scattered 15ft cedars, ground covered in brambles to about 2ft high. The RT took a perch about 50ft ahead of me. He was just out of sight (due to the cedars) as I started walking through the brambles. Almost immediately a woodcock flushed at my feet and sped away, zig-zagging around the cedars, out of my view but towards the RT. I smiled to myself when I heard the bells. I was thinking "how cute, my RT fancies himself as a Cooper's hawk". I made my way towards the hawk's location with no sense of urgency as I had zero expectations. Imagine my surprise when I found him on the ground with a mortally wounded woodcock in his grasp. I guess there's hope for this bird yet! I once caught a mallard with a previous PMRT. I think that this flight ranks in the same league.
Give a man a fire, make him warm for a day. Set a man on fire, make him warm for life.
My female red-tailed caught a woodcock this season, though we are unsure on the entire ordeal seeing as we thought she made a pass at a rabbit...but she might have just gone for the woodcock instead...needless to say I was smiling from ear to ear and have gotten her to take chukars 25 in the air!