What a fun start to this year!! Hope this email finds both you and your birds well. Sending out a quick newsletter to help keep you informed on what is happening here in Utah.
Utah Sky Trials 2019 (Written by Steve Chindgren)
The original and first sky trials developed by Mr. Gerald Richards completed its 46th year of competition February 15 & 16th. The event was held in Rush Valley Utah. Thirteen falcons were flown in the two-day event. The first day weather was terrible! Strong southerly winds gusting to 35mph were relentless throughout the day. Of the 13 birds flown only two reached the required pitch to score points Steve Chindgren’s gyr/peregrines DC and Zander. DC mounted to 315 ft. putting in a stoop of 109mph making several close passes at the pigeon. Zander mounted to 422 ft. and stooped at 98mph again making several passes at the pigeon. All of the other birds failed to reach 300 feet in the strong winds. Tumble weeds were rolling across the flying field. The results after the first day were: Zander gyr/peregrine flown by Steve Chindgren in first place. DC gyr/peregrine flown by Steve Chindgren in second place. The other 11 birds had no score.
The second day was beautiful! Perfect flying contitions! The first bird to fly was Ryan Grisco from California, Ryan is the Nephew of the well known falconer Dennis Grisco. Ryan was flying a gyr/red-naped falcon named “Tank” his falcon took a good pitch and set the tone for a great day, His bird took a big pitch and put a nice stoop on the pigeon, it then began to follow the pigeon to north gaining pitch. Everyone watch the monitor as Ryan’s powerful falcon went on a fly-about maintain a pitch of 900-1000 feet the bird went 3.6 miles away and appeared lost in the surroundings. When the bird went past its time limit Ryan rushed out in his truck to recover the falcon. Spectators watched and could see exactly when Ryan called in his falcon as the birds speed increased to 65 miles per our as it came into his lure. Unfortunately for Ryan he got deductions for going past his flight time. It was beautiful flight and stoop! Next up was Blaine Stewart flying a prairie falcon. Blaine’s bird after pumping to 400 feet began to look for thermals but it was too early for good thermals. The bird drifted down wind and was called down. Next Steve Chindgren flew his gyr/peregrine tiercel “Badger” Badger took to the sky not missing a wing beat he reached an altitude 1399 feet and never set his wings once. He stooped at 148 mph making several passes at the swift homers. The entire flight was completed in seven minutes. The fourth bird was another of Steve Chindgren’s gyr/peregrines Tiercels DC. DC mounted strong never setting his wings reaching a pitch of 1558 feet. When the pigeons were served DC controlled them from his lofty pitch! Herding them and finally pulling the trigger after the pigeons had circled the field twice he stooped at 118 mph and forced the pigeons to look for cover in among the spectators. Steve called his bird back to the lure, it was a great flight the kind Ed Pitcher likes! There were many good flights by Jon Taylor, Dal McBride, Ryan Andersen, Stephen Buffet and Kenley Christensen. A flight that stood out was by Erick Steinhauser’s gyr/peregrine tierel “Ash” The tiercel mounted well and went wide looking for a thermal and found one he reached a pitch over 1500 ft. Eric called for the pigeons and “Ash” streaked across the sky until he was above the pigeons putting in a dashing stoop of 118 mph hitting one of the pigeons! It was a great flight! Six of the birds entered flew over 1000 feet. The last flight of the day was by Kenley Christensen with his old tiercel gyr/peregrine “Everett” this bird is a two time champion of the sky trials! Everett took a good pitch using thermals but the presents of golden eagles soaring above him made him reluctant to stoop the pigeons costing him all the points for stoop and pursuit. Everett continued to climb finally reaching the highest pitch of the day 1,960 feet! At this point Kenley decided, (knowing it would disqualify him from the competition) to serve another pair of pigeons for his falcon to stoop! It was a great event and big thanks to Shayne Clarke and Kenley Christensen and all the judges and others who worked hard to pull off a successful meet!
First Place: Steve Chindgren’s gyr/peregrine “DC”
Second Place: Steve Chindgren’s gyr/peregrine “Zander”
Third Place: Eric Steinhauer’s gyr/peregrine tiercel “Ash”
Fourth Place: Steve Chindgren’s gyr/peregrine tiercel “Badger”.
Prairie Falcon Award: Blaine Stewart’s Prairie “Fluffy”
Utah Merlin Meet 2019 (Written by Austin Gunther)
The Utah Merlin Meet is a longstanding tradition highlighting a fascinating form of falconry — pitting small, high-flying falcons against swarming starling flocks. The combination is an awe-inspiring natural phenemonon. Hard stoops and pursuits cause starlings in the thousands to murmurate in the sky, a dance that happens in front of a snow-dressed Wasatch-mountain backdrop. Each year, we invite our friends from around the globe to join our hospitable community for a unique and brilliant hawking experience. Find out more at www.MerlinMeet.com.
There are LOADS of videos on their website. Check it out to see all the action!
We have a few events coming over the summer that might peak your interest.
April 20- Casual Dinner. .357 Burgers. 5669 Commerce Dr, Murry Utah. 5pm
May 18- Apprentice Workshop: Traps and trapping
Types of traps, Bait considerations, getting the bird from Trap to Home.
Project: BC. No cost, and you'll be taking home your own B.C. Time and Place coming soon!
Jun 21-Club Campout. Place and time Coming soon.
Aug 3- Eyas BBQ. More details coming soon.
As you can see, there is MUCH to be excited about.
On a more business note, we have reached out to the DNR and plan to meet with them on a semi-annual basis. To help address and Falconry related issues. Our stance is, if we can help resolve issues as a club and build stronger relations with DWR and other interest groups, we will be better prepared for the next rule rewrite.
Also, we are currently building a new Utah Falconers Association Website. This will be THE BEST website in the U.S.! It looks INCREDIBLE! Spencer, Israel and others have been working tirelessly to get this project rolling. It will be a GREAT place to refer others to. Register for events/workshops. Find information on local species, and a whole lot more!!
If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to myself (Craig Boren Club Pres), Spencer Bennett (Club Vice Pres) or Ted Doman (Apprentice Coordinator).
Thank you for helping us make Utah Falconry Great!