Catching your Falcon

Discovering More .... Dubai

 

Catching your Falcon

Generally, hunters now buy their falcons but in the past falcons were caught at the beginning of the season, trained and then released at the end of the season – sometimes to be re-captured again for the following season. In Edward Henderson’s book, he describes the traditional way of catching a falcon.

A catcher makes a deep hole in the sand, covered with branches and he hides. String, some hundred yards long runs out in the shape of an L. At the corner a net is set across the angle. One end of the string goes to the catcher and at the other is a pigeon, secured by the leg. When the falcon seizes the pigeon, the net is sprung. Once the falcon has been caught, for four or five days its eyelids are actually sewn together with a fine thread and the bird is starved to tame it. It is kept close to the falconer and at night is put on a wooden block – a wooden stake which stands in the sand. The falconer then removes the thread and hood and trains the falcon to come to him using raw meat as bait. It is then taught to not kill prey at once and deliver the prey up. If it is a successful hunter it may be kept for several years, but other otherwise it is let go at the end of the season.  

The falconry centre in Dubai describes the three most common methods for catching wild falcons.

 

 

.

Lurking - from the Dubai Falcon Centre

Lurking – the hunter digs a hole in the sand where he hides covering himself up with palm leaves. Strings runs from the hunter to a net and to the bait that is going to be used to lure the falcon. When the falcon takes the bait, the hunter draws the string slowly until he captures the falcon.

Netting –  A fine net made of house or camel hair is used. Bait, often a pigeon is tied to the net. As it flutters about trying to escape it attracts the falcon. When the falcon attacks it cannot see the fine net and it gets caught up in the fine filaments of the net.

Karkoushah – This method uses a weak falcon known as a bethwar. This has its eyes tied together and a small bag of feathers is tied to its leg. It is then tied to nets on the ground. As it flutters around aimlessly, it attracts a wild falcon who aims to steal its apparent catch. The wild falcon then gets caught in the net.

.    

 

.

 

 

Contact askme@discoveringmore.com