Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pine vs. hardwood

It reminds me of the old Rush song.... I spent the day today working the old growth hardwood bottoms. It was great habitat for squirrels. There was food-o-plenty. Pig nut hickory nuts literally littered the ground from where they were discarded by years of squirrels.

the problem with the old growth hardwoods are the holes. We had chase after chase - maybe a dozen, two dozen. I lost count, but everyone was short and ended with the hawks perched next to a hole and a squirrel conspicuously absent. So, note to self, while hardwoods are great habitat - there is simply too much cover and the hawks have a hard time.

Yesterday I hunted the pine topped ridges. This was interesting habitat. The trees were huge and straight, reaching to the sky like pokers. It gives the hawk a better chance as there is no cover. The only minus is that the hawk needs to know how to climb.

That is the way it worked yesterday. We'd bust a squirrel and it would climb to the top of the nearest pine tree. The hawks then have to use a tremendous amount of energy climbing to the top. But they did. Gonzo was a trooper, climbing, climbing until he engaged the squirrel in the topmost branches. They would scuffle and growl and the squirrel would either bail, or Gonzo would nail it and drop it over the edge like eagles and sheep.

Tess was waiting lower down for the squirrels to drop. She would nail them on the ground. The team work was great.

Each chase ended the same - squirrel climbs to the tip top - Gonzo engages and squirrel drops only to be nailed by Tess.

#29..... and 30.

Everything else is gravy.

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