I lost her Sunday. I got her back this morning, Wednesday, January 23, 2019.
It was 12 long hours of tracking over three very anxious days. 12 miles away, on Joint Base Lewis and McChord land, ended one of the most challenging tracking episodes I can ever remember!
This morning I had left again at dawn expecting to just find her remains from having been eaten by an owl or eagle, so I neglected to bring either quail or a live pigeon with me. After about 3 hours of tracking, I drove one more time in the direction of the signal, hoping the Military Police would not see and detain me as they had done the day before.
I pulled off the road to check the signal again and she was just 50 feet away up in a tree! She was alive! Now I had to get her to come to me.
All I could do was show her the lure without any food and then try to actually pick her up without any food. She came right up to the lure, grabbed it, and flew with it about 50 feet away into tall grass. Now was the moment of truth! I carefully walked in to her, offered my fist and she grabbed on and I grabbed the one jess to secure her – GOT HER!
A very memorable chase ending very well! She would have been a great loss both for falconry and breeding because last year she laid and hatched eggs. I think I will be prudent and call it an end to flying her and put her in with her mate. I just couldn’t handle losing her again so close to the breeding season!