|Hawk trapping in the Western United States is often done in big open country. This is the high hills of southern Idaho and we are setting up at around 9,000 feet.
These ridges can give great lift and so assist in saving energy for a raptor on a journey heading south in the autumn or fall as it is know in the US.
Once a favourite flight line is recognised then the biologist / falconers set up mist nets and bownets and try to lure in any passing raptor.
The aim is to band ( ring ) weigh, measure and record all raptors caught for the collation of information and thus understand the health and numbers of the populations.
It is also great fun for anyone who still has even the slightest grain of hunter / gatherer left in their DNA. The anticipation and the excitement when a raptor dives out of the great blue wonder and whacks into your nets is a fix for any adrenaline junky.
To hold a wild untamed raptor for a few minutes is to briefly connect again with our wild instincts, its moment of release uplifts the spirit.