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I have a question for you. I was invited to a falconeering event in January (Michigan), but ended up not going (it was too cold - and I like the cold, but it was TOO cold -30)
I wanted to photograph the event (birds). When doing an event like this, do they take the birds in the woods or do it in an open field (easier for photographing) by baiting the trained birds in? I got mixed feedback when I was trying to figure this out.
kzoockof: Thanks but unfortunately it's been a luke-warm reception. As soon as I stepped into the Wildlife forum I begin receiving hate mail, so I've kind of backed off the forum and had to cease posting images. Most wildlife photography forums seem to have a strong contingency of anti hunter / anti sportsmen / vegan / PETA types who are very vocal. The bad thing about this forum is that I actually paid $29 for the privilege of getting castigated! So I kind of went back "to my own kind," as they say where no one complains about falconry images.
I don't know what organization you were invited to, but the Michigan Hawking Club is a very active club that holds lots of different types of events. They advertise "public events" but I do not know what those consist of. But I doubt if there would be much free-flight events there. If you go to the Michigan hawking club website there is a "contact us" link and also a forum. If they allow non-members to participate on the forum then I would ask if any falconers would be willing to let you tag along on an actual hunt while you photographed. I'm sure you would get invited since falconers love getting good shots of their birds in flight. The hunting season is ending now and starts up again around October. Some falconers may be flying for a few weeks more. They will have summer events but the only birds there would be sitting on perches.
There is no "baiting" birds in and that lingo would be foreign and not understood. "Falconeering," is another non-word to avoid, even though I get your drift.
If you were a local Missouri photographer I would set up a day to just hike some fields with some birds flying along overhead for you to photograph. Someone in Michigan might do the same? I know Michigan falconers but none that I really keep up contact with.
Just one suggestion: If they allow you to join their forum, then let me know and I'll pop in and see if I can get you set up with someone. I'm sure a lot of the older guys there would know me.
Or if you pm'd me during the fall or winter months, I'll tap into my contacts and see what i can set up for you.
And don't worry, at -30 I wouldn't go either and my birds would not fly well if I did.
And vegans will just have to get over it (even though I will just get more hate mail) But here goes some more images anyway. I guess I never learn.
NIKON D7100 155mm f/7.1 1/1600s 1000 ISO 0.0 EV
NIKON D7100 210mm f/5.3 1/1000s 1000 ISO 0.0 EV
NIKON D7100 220mm f/7.1 1/2000s 400 ISO 0.0 EV