Annual Field Meet – London 2017

The Annual Field Meet will be held from November 16-19, 2017 in London, Ontario. The London area has lots of cottontails, some European hare, ducks, and good numbers of crows. Our keynote speaker will be American falconer Jeff Fincher, an avid redtail hawker from Tennesee. Please see below for his biography.

The Meet is open to all OHC members in good standing and is an excellent opportunity to catch up with old friends, make some new ones and get out into the field hunting with your fellow falconers

Members must pre-register on-line. Registration opens on September 15, 2017 and closes on November 10, 2017. The registration link will be emailed to all members in good standing but is not posted on the website. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, so please do not delay. Unfortunately, late registrations and registration at the meet cannot be accepted. We use PayPal to process payments, but you do not need a PayPal account– you can just use your credit or debit card.  Cancellation policy: If cancellations are made more than 48 hours prior to the event, we will refund you fully. If you cancel less than 48 hours before the event, no refund will be issued.

If you are not an OHC member but have an interest in attending the Field Meet, please contact secretary@ontariohawkingclub.org.

Thursday November 16, 2017

The field meet will kick off on Thursday evening with a social gathering at the restaurant at the field meet hotel. There is no formal program for Thursday evening but this is a chance to re-connect with friends and make plans for the weekend.

Friday November 17, 2017
As usual, the hawking starts Friday morning and runs through Saturday and Sunday. There will be a full program for Friday evening.

Falconry Marketplace  6-10 pm
If you make or sell falconry equipment, supplies, art, hawk food, breed raptors or have a business related to falconry, then we hope you will set up a table to sell your goods. Items for sale could include gloves, leashes, bells, perches, hoods, giant hoods, hawk food and vitamins, clothing etc.

Captive breeders who are selling birds may also wish to set up a table providing contact information, pictures, artwork, video, and perhaps a bird for display purposes.
There is no charge  to club members for tables. The Marketplace will run from 6 pm-10 pm on Friday evening. There will be a program and speakers from 8:00 pm-9:30 pm but vendors can re-open their tables after 9:30 pm, if they wish. If you are interested in having a vendor table, contact Aaron Putnins at: aaron.putnins@gmail.com

“Late Night with Jay Leno” / Q & A Interviews with Falconers. 8-9:30 pm
Everything you always wanted to know about falconry but were afraid to ask. We will have a talk-show format to the evening with  our guest speaker as well as a couple of OHC falconers being interviewed by our very own “Jay Leno”. Be prepared for a fun- and interesting- session.

Saturday November 18, 2017

The hawking starts on Saturday morning at 8:00am at the weathering yard. The group picture will be taken at 8:00 am sharp and then hunting groups will be organized.
From 12:00-1:30, there is a Buffet Lunch at the field meet hotel. Most people return for lunch ($15, paid for when you register for the Field Meet) but if we don’t see you for lunch then we’ll see you at the end of the day when you’re done in the field.
At  5:00 pm the cash bar opens and there is Raffle Prize drop-off at the hotel. Falconry and non-falconry items are equally welcome. The Banquet dinner commences at  6:00 pm with our Keynote Speaker and Raffle.

Sunday November 19, 2017
The hawking starts again on Sunday morning, with hunting groups meeting at 8:00am at the weathering yard. No lunch is planned and the Field Meet ends informally as people head home.

Hotel:

For Thursday night only, field meet hotel has set aside rooms at the rate of $89 (incl. hot breakfast) for OHC members. The special OHC room rate for Friday and Saturday night is $109.00. In order to take advantage of these rate, please mention the Ontario Hawking Club when you book and remember that the rooms MUST BE BOOKED BY OCTOBER 16, 2017. Room availability is not guaranteed after this date and the hotel will sell out. Some rooms have been newly renovated and some have 2 beds per room but they are on a first-come, first-served basis.  Call 519-681-4900 or 1-800-303-3733.

Raffle:

The raffle is always a lot of fun and is a major source of revenue for the club. Please remember to bring an item for the raffle or silent auction, and help to make this year’s raffle another great success. Falconry and non-falconry items are equally welcome.

Overview of the Field Meet:

Thursday Nov 16, 2017
Social dinner in the field meet hotel restaurant

Friday Nov 17, 2017
8:00 am – Meet at the weathering yard, split into hunting groups for the day
6:00 – 10:00 pm- Marketplace at the field meet hotel; vendors of falconry supplies are welcome to display and sell their goods
6:00pm – Cash bar opens
8:00-9:30 pm – “Late Night with Jay Leno” / Q & A Interviews with our guest speaker and OHC falconers

Saturday Nov 18, 2017

8:00am – Meet at the weathering yard, group picture and then split into hunting groups
12:00-1:30 – Buffet Lunch at field meet hotel. Lunch is $15 (including beverages, taxes and gratuities) paid for when you register for the Field Meet.
5:00-6:00pm – Raffle prize drop-off and cash bar opens
6:00-10:00 pm – Banquet, Keynote Speaker and Raffle

Sunday Nov 19, 2017
8:00am – Meet at the weathering yard, split into hunting groups for the day.

No lunch is planned and the Field Meet ends informally as people head home.

Keynote Speaker: Jeff Fincher

Jeff Fincher grew up hunting and fishing in west Alabama, where he was no stranger to the outdoors. In 1999, he trapped his first passage male RTH and although Jeff has  flown red shouldered hawks, broadwings, kestrels, aplomados, and Harris hawks, the red tailed hawk remains, by far, his favourite bird. He always has a RTH- or two- for hunting squirrels.

Squirrels are very abundant in Jeff’s area and while they might not be hard to find,  they can be hard to catch. He loves the three dimensional aspect of hunting squirrels and the great variations in the flights. ‘I also love the visibility of squirrel flights, as most squirrel chases happen in plain sight and right over head. More than anything I love the human involvement of chasing squirrels. Your job isn’t over after the “flush”, it’s really just beginning. The squirrel is a real athlete and tough as nails, it’s really just an absolutely impressive animal.’
Jeff is largely self-taught and hunted in solitude for his first eleven seasons. During all of that time, the only occasion he hunted with other falconers was during a trip he took with his sponsor to Louisiana, where they  hunted with Harris hawk legends Tom and Jennifer Coulson. ‘That was the first time I had ever seen anyone trying to catch rabbits….I thought it was so unusual…looking back that’s hilarious.’

In 2010, Jeff moved to Nashville, Tennessee. There he met other falconers and he serves as the president of the Tennessee Falconers Assoc. Jeff flies one inter-mewed RTH and one new RTH every year, and usually has an apprentice or two. This cycle allows him to release a bird every year, trap a bird every year, train one every year, and have one that is already trained. He gains data and experience in every aspect of training and hunting each season and also has a backup bird in case the worst happens.

Most of Jeff’s hawking is done in the Nashville area but he enjoys travelling to Field Meets in other countries to see hawking around the world. Jeff’s presentation will be very visual with lots of pictures and action shots clearly demonstrating how RTH’s handle squirrels.