It all started on the 17th of June 2010 when I picked Woody up from Mick’s at 21days old to start the imprinting process. I had no real plan and picked up a few tips from well known imprinters. His food bowl was full threw out the day with him seeing where it was coming from and he was exposed to all the soaps on the telly and took on quite a few levels of “black opp’s” with my son and all the usual hive of activities of a busy house hold.
When he was hard penned he was fed 2 times a day called to the lure and allowed to eat as much as he wanted for two weeks. After two weeks his rations were reduced from 2 feeds to 1 becoming very aggressive on the lure but coming from great distances, so I felt it was time to look for some quarry. Woody entered on a seasoned Cock pheasant on the put in of a hawthorn hedge at 1lb 11 and 1/2oz. And was silent in the field only calling now and then. As I said I had no real plan but new that rabbit would make up a big part of my quarry so I wanted to make sure that he knew that part of the plan too. I organised a ferreting trip, on bolting 6 rabbits and him not even attempting to take on a slip I was a bit disappointed to say the least….. I lowered his weight to 1lb 10 and 1/2oz and he took on a rabbit and caught it well and was allowed to feed up on it. I then started to push his weight up to see what would be his highest weight to take both rabbit and pheasant because I did not want the faff of different weights for different quarry but still maintaining recall and he was taking on rabbit and pheasant slips at 1lb 13 and 1/2oz successfully but was still what I made out to be very possessive to the lure. So as an experiment started to call him to the fist and he accepted it well with no mantling or possessiveness.
So the game season was upon us and our first field meet at Llandegla and he took 2 pheasants in 2 mid air bind’s losing one in the air but taking it again as it hit the floor. I attended every Welsh Hawking club field meet and always came home with a couple or more birds or bunnies in the bag. One flight which will remain in my mind forever was a flight that was on the Welsh hawking club 3 day meet and was a mid air bind 200yrd out and about 50yrd from the floor. And after the flight I was told by someone who has been fling gos’s for a fair few years “that was the best flight I have ever seen and in fact it has made me contemplate flying a male next year.” Another friend who has been fling Gos’s for many years and mainly hunts fur has said “he knows how to truss them up nicely”
He’s currently on 73 head of game (10-01-12) 56 pheasants and 17 Rabbit. His weight is now 2lb 1oz and at that weight he will take both feather and fur. I am just wondering what weight he would have made if we’d have had more than 4 frosts?