Monday, February 13, 2012

Another Sport of Kings

Here is a crew that practices an esoteric form of hunting. This is a sporting hobby I find fascinating, but certainly do not have the time or resources to explore. I have my hands full right now training my new Lab so she will be ready for duck hunting next season. This sport got a bit of recognition and new participants for a brief time after "The Falcon and the Snowman" was released. However, I doubt you will see a local falconry club practicing in your neighborhood park anytime soon.

Here is an excerpt from a scholarly article on Medieval falconry:

"The second form of Medieval hunting, hawking or falconry, became the delight of the nobles. It was so much appreciated that a nobleman or his lady never appeared in public without a hawk on the wrist as a mark of dignity. It was also a mark of the rank, not everyone could afford the high cost of falcons, which were mostly imported from Sweden or Iceland. Even bishops and abbots entered the churches with their hunting birds, which they placed on the steps of the altar itself during the service."

1 comment:

RulingPart said...

One of the best books I ever read was a memoir of a falconer. Can't remember the name. My favorite bit was when he talks about how pheasant and chukar die. He said a pheasant will give up and go limp, but a chukar turns and fights the whole way down, all the way to the ground.

Also he trained a cooper's hawk to attack mice and insects. He named it Alice. Alice Cooper's Hawk.