CHC 2004 Bakersfield, #1

It’s our first day at the California Hawking Club’s Bakersfield falconry meet. Diane went out early with Andrea and Mark Ashbaugh. They put up three Harris’s hawks (Rusty (13yo female), Glamdring (2yo male), and Shelby (2yo male)) over four dogs (Farli (11yo Vizsla), Ritka (1yo Vizsla), Sunny (4yo whippet), and Gossip (1yo Jack Russell terrier)). Various game was chased, but the only bird who connected was Shelby, who caught a rabbit.

I stayed at the hotel, got us registered, and rested some. We went to see a lure-flying demonstration that didn’t turn out too well. A Harris’s hawk was flown at a lure moved by a lure coursing machine several times. A relatively uninterested Aplamado falcon mostly ignored a lure swung by his falconer.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Data scientist in real estate and econometrics. Blogger. Speaker. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

7 thoughts on “CHC 2004 Bakersfield, #1

  • 2005/01/27 at 9:53 pm

    Dear Sir,
    I am trying to find out the derivation and meaning of the word
    Aplamado or Aplomado (I have seen it spelt both ways) of the
    Falcon of that name and wondered if you could be of any
    Sincerely, P. G. Cox

  • 2005/01/30 at 4:44 pm

    I’ve found several sites claiming that ‘aplomado’ is Spanish for ‘gray’, ‘dark gray’, or ‘leaden’. And a Spanish to English dictionary that renders it as ‘poised’. In either case, it is an apt description of this raptor.

  • 2005/07/13 at 2:59 pm

    Hello Mr. Elsberry, I remember seeing you at the lure machine demonstration. I injoy your website and myself being a admirer of Steven J. Gould, The Amazing Randi and his Baloney Detector and Harris Hawks, maybe if we meet again the conversation will go beond a simple howdy!
    This was the least satisfying of all the CHC falconry meets I have been to in last 8 years. Many fine people put in a lot of hard work, but i gues not every meet is good for everyone! The time of year was difficult because many falconers, especialy long wingers, do not have their birds flying well this early in the hunting season. The year before in Sacramento, we had a very good turnout for the falcon lure flying contest with about 8 ro 10
    falcons flown to the swinging lure. Having been in falconry only 8 years and flying only redtails and Harris hawks, I had never seen falcon lure flying before.
    The only other person I have seen use a lure machine with hawks was Dwain Zobrist, (former president of the CHC) give a demonstation in
    the same field in Bakersfield about 1997. I used my machine to train a pair of Harris Hawks that my hunting partner and I bought in 2001. These birds thought they had cought 100 “electric rabbits” before they ever saw a jackrabbit. That first year of hunting we cut a local rahaber,s
    feed bill by 4,000 dollars, him feeding what we caught instead of bought quail.
    This years meet should be much better.


    (and the lure machine operator!)

  • 2005/07/14 at 12:19 pm


    I do hope that we meet up at some CHC function to talk. I also hope to be in better shape — at the last one, I was about a month and a half out of major surgery and not worth much. I do recall the sky trials of the year before, held in a field near Davis. Very cold and blustery that morning, but there were some pretty nifty flights.

    I spoke with a researcher concerning West Nile Virus. His recommendation was that when WNV is known to be in an area, that it is unsafe to let the birds eat wild prey: they can contract a viral infection from eating infected prey. This is something for you to consider as WNV becomes established in California.

  • 2005/09/05 at 7:44 pm

    Definitly will hook up at the next CHC meet in January,
    I was the pigeon tosser at that windy Davis sky trial! See ya
    at the meet.

    Michael Harrison
    Northern California Apprentice Chair,
    California Hawking Club

  • 2005/12/05 at 12:48 pm

    please enyone can tell me the name of the song in the road to bakersfield 30 years video please i really want that song, i think is somthing like at the end of the day or something like that’ please,my email is

  • 2005/12/06 at 5:27 pm

    I wish I knew what video that was. Sorry, no clue on the song.

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