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Apprentice Workshop Pays Off!!

Bob Dale, Cape Girardeau, MO 


This was my first eyass picnic. I’d been looking forward to it since I joined the club about a year ago. I had no idea that the apprentice workshop was going to be a part of it until later on in the year. Given the talent we have in MFA, I was even more excited.


I was able to bring my entire family to enjoy the food, new friends and of course Rob’s pool. Zach and I spend so much time hunting with Tony, our sponsor, working with our birds and the Boy Scouts that we have precious little time to be with the rest of the clan. It was a rare treat to be able to spend a beautiful Saturday together at such a nice place.


My expectations for the Apprentice Workshop were high and I wasn’t let down. I came away with a wealth of knowledge that I will use for the rest of my life.


I can braid a leash with the best of them. I’ve made several lures using Dennis’ pattern. I’ve even sent copies of his pattern to other apprentices with whom I’ve networked.


The seminar on trapping has paid off tremendously. Not only have Zach and I trapped new birds, we have been so successful that we were able to be a little picky, rather than to settle for the first birds we trapped. The course, combined with advice from our sponsor, has given us the skills and confidence to know that, if the bird is there, we can trap it. Consequently, we both have very nice birds flying on creances that will be ready to free fly shortly… and it isn’t even October yet! Our heart felt appreciation to Chris and Dave for their wonderful presentations!


The handling seminar was invaluable! The biggest problem I had was trying to convince my neighbors that Zach and I hadn’t completely lost our minds as they watched us walking around the back yard, under and around the swing set, stepping over chairs and crawling under the slide with cups of water precariously balanced on the tops of our fists. I told my little five year old neighbor that it was a contest between Zach and I, and the person who spilled the least amount of water won a prize! He wanted to play so I let him join in… then his sister came over… then another, and another. It turned into a neighborhood activity that took about an hour to orchestrate and cost me six Spiderman Pez dispensers. But it made the kids happy and I needed the practice.


A lot of work went into preparing the Apprentice Workshop and it showed. Every thing was well prepared and it was obvious that we were being taught by knowledgeable, dedicated and caring falconers. The result was first class presentation. I am using all that I learned on a daily basis. My new leash is on the swivel. My lure is ready to go. My wrist is at the correct angle. My hawk rides the fist comfortable and our traps worked… boy did they work! As a result of these new skills my new bird manned quicker and is progressing nicely. Norma, Bob, Mike and Mike, my hat is off to you!



We all had that special teacher when we were in school… you know the one. S/he was the person who challenged you, pushed you, nurtured you, gave you confidence and brought out the best in you. We had several teachers like that working with us at the Apprentice Workshop.


It’s difficult to express appreciation for something as important as this, so I suppose a simple thank you to all involve will have to suffice.


Zach and I are looking forward to a great season of hawking!


Bob and Zach (not Zeke) Dale