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Making your own falconry equipment

Updated on June 6, 2014

Learn how to make your own falconry equipment

Making your own equipment can be very rewarding. And save you a ton of money. When you have extra time between seasons, it's always a nice way to spend some time. Most of this equipment is easy and very inexpensive to make. Others are more time consuming but are still easy to make. I'll show you how to make everything you need to equip your bird.

I wanted to make this lens because there is so much information out there that just doesn't get to the new apprentices. Even if your a seasoned falconer, there is always something new being created. I've collected ideas over the years and wanted to pass many of them on to you.

All of these instructions have been tried and tested for many years by myself and I stand by them. If you follow the instructions as I state them, your equipment will give you many years of service.

If for any reason you feel the equipment is not safe

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Climbing Rope Leash

One of the easiest ways to make a leash is with climbing rope. It's extremely durable and resists even the strongest bird that likes to pick at their equipment. A good weight for a red-tail hawk is 5-6mm rope. Anything larger is just too heavy. This size ties well and is not too cumbersome. Here are some resources for rope. The only problem with buying on line is you have to buy a lot more than you need. If you have a store you can visit, you can usually buy their rope by the foot. Each leash is only about 3' long so buy about 12' to make several.

Here are a couple of good supplies of mountain rope

REI

Mountain Gear

All that is required for this leash is to melt the ends to keep them from unraveling. At one end you want to tie a large knot so it won't go through the swivel. Here is a knot that is nice and round and stays a good size. Cut a 3' length of rope and melt one end neatly.

Fig 1 shows the beginning of the knot. Be sure to leave enough end length to finish the knot. You will probably have to do it a couple of time until you get enough without wasting to much.

Tighten by pulling the end and the loop at the top. Working the rope so it lays flat and smooth.

Fig 2 - Bring the end across the wraps and to the back, then through the loop at the top. Hold the knot at the wraps and pull the longest end. Pull this end as tight as you can. Cut off the excess and melt the end. It's best if you melt part of the knot as well. Wet your thumb and quickly smooth the melted rope. This will bind the end with the rope. To really finish off the knot I like to use Plasti Dip. I dip it in and let it dry overnight, then apply a second coat. I've never had a bird work this stuff off yet. Even an eagle.

If you find the knot is still a bit too small and is in danger of slipping through the swivel, add a leather button. Punch a hole just large enough to work the end of the leash through it and work it up to the knot.

This is a braided mason line that works really well. You can get this at any hardware store. Home Depot always has it. Be sure when you purchase it, that it is braided and not twisted. The twisted comes untwisted in time.

This leash has the button built in. First you need to make a button for the end. Cut a thick piece of very stiff leather a little bigger than your swivel . If you don't have very thick leather cut two and glue them together. (Fig 1.) Punch two holes just big enough for two strands to go through.(Fig. 2)

Now you can start your leashes. I find it a lot easier to work the braids when the end is attached to something. This allows you to keep a constant tension on the braid. It's important to keep the tension and pull the strands tight for a uniform look. When you get down to the end of the braid. Even up the ends and melt them together. It's important to melt them well or your leash will unravel with time. Especially if you have a bird that likes to pull and pick at her equipment.

Here are two different ways to braid your leash.

Four Strand Sennit - Round
Cut two strands 9' long. String through the button

and even the ends. The pattern here is very easy.

Under two, back over one.

Start with A - under B and C and back over C

Next is D - under C and A and back over A

Alternate the opposite outside

strand. The final leash will be 3' long. This leash has

some give and spring to it as well.

Four Strand Sennit - Flat
This is for those that like the flat leashes.

The pattern here is over two, over one.

Starting with the left outside strand (A), pass

it over the next two strands (B and C). Using the

right outside strand, (D) pass it over one (A).

Back to the left outside strand (Which is now B), pass over two, (C and D) right outside strand, (A) pass over one (B).

It seems complicated when you read it, but when you start braiding, it all becomes clear.

How Long?

9' strands will make a leash 3' long

7' strands will make a leash 2' long

Braided Buttonless Leash

This leash is called a "buttonless" leash. It doesn't use the knot or leather button at all. I prefer this style of leash. I think it's a lot more secure. Use the strand material of your choice. I use a braided Dacron from Melton Tackle 130# line.

1. Cut 4 cords 9' long. Melt all the ends. Even up the ends and find the center of the cords. Now back up 1 1/2" and start braiding. Braid a 4 strand round as above for 3"

Double the braid in half and pair up the strands so you now have 4 double strands. The illustration at the left shows only three strands but it's the same as 4 strands. When starting the double strand braiding, use a tight tension for the first several braids. This will make a nice tight braid at the beginning. You can now use a more comfortable tension for the rest of the braid. Continue braiding the 4 strand round as above. Even up the ends and melt.

To use this style of leash, insert the loop into the swivel and bring the other end up and through the loop, pull snug against the swivel.

When getting to the end of the braid, one way to finish the end is to taper it down. This makes for a better end with less bulk. Here is how you do it.

As you get closer to the end start dropping one of the double strands. Drop one and braid a couple of times, drop the next one and braid a couple of times. Continue until you are only braiding with single strands and braid a couple of times. Now even the ends and melt well. Go back to each end and cut a little away from the leash and burn it down to the leash. Wet your thumb and quickly smooth the melted strand into the leash. Do this with each end.

Finishing the braided leash

When the leash is attached to the swivel, it can be difficult to grab hold of and get it loose enough to remove. Here is a way to grab it easily. Were going to make a braided tab.

1. Cut two cords 6" long of the same material you made the leash from.

2. Bring the ends through the loop at the end of the leash and even up the ends. You now have 4 ends.

3. Braid the cords using the round 4 cord braid as described above for at least 1".

When you start the braid, use a lot of tension so the tab sits tightly against the loop. After 4-5 braids, you can relax and finish the tab.

4. Cut the ends even and melt well.

When you want to remove the leash from the swivel, grab the tab and pull. The leash is now loose and can be removed easily.

Setting the braid

After you have completed the braiding you need to "set" the braid. There are two ways to do this.

1. Roll the braid between your hands. Use a vigorous action and work your way along the entire braid.

2. Set the braid on the floor or table and place a piece of wood over it. With your feet or hands (don't put your feet on the table) roll the braid. Don't be afraid to use pressure.

Your braid will now have a more uniform look and the braiding will have settled into each other.

Leather Jesses

Making leather jesses is so easy, there is no reason not to have plenty on hand. Start with a good leather. The thickness is important. Too thick and they are too heavy and hard to work with. Too thin and your bird will easily break them. It's important that the leather isn't too stretchy as well. Some falconers like to use kangaroo. I'm sure it's a good leather to use, I have a psychological problem with it. It's so thin, I don't trust it. That's not to say it's not good leather. I would just rather use something thicker. It's going to be a bit of trial and error until you find the thickness you like.

1. Cut two pieces 7/16" x 12"

2. Roll one end three times. (If you are using a thicker leather, rolling it twice will be enough) Using a marker, mark across the roll. This will be where you punch your holes.

3. Unroll the jess and transfer the marks from the side to the middle of the jess. Using a large hole punch, punch at these points. Be careful not to go to large, It will make the leather weak at the sides.

4. Taper the other end to a point.

5. Use a generous amount of jess grease on the leather to make it slip through the holes easier. Re-roll the jess and align the holes. Using a pair of forceps or needle nose pliers, insert through the holes and grab the other end of the jess. Carefully work the end through all the holes and pull the end through until the knot is tight. It might take a bit of work and you might need to add more jesse grease.

6. Using your swivel, mark the length of the slit at the other end. Use the smallest hole on your hole punch and punch a hole at both ends of this mark. With an exacto knife, cut the slit from hole to hole. The tiny holes at the ends of the slit prevent the leather from tearing.

This will make a pair of jesses 9" long.

If you are making flying jesses simply eliminate the slit at the end.

Parachute cord jesses

Parachute cord jesses are incredibly strong. My daughter used them with her red-tail for 7 years and never had any problems with them. My only complaint about them was they tend to be a little slippery. But other than that I have no problems with them. For about $2.00 you can pick up around 20' of cord. This is enough to make about 6 pairs of jesses.

You can get paracahute cord from any Army surplus store. Or you can order them on line. Vermont's Barre Army Navy store online is where I get mine. It comes in a wide variety of colors.

Cut two pieces 18" long. Remove all but one of the inner cords. If you accidentally remove them all, don't worry, it's pretty easy to thread one back in. With a hot exacto blade, melt the ends to prevent any fraying. Be careful not to melt the ends shut.

Make two marks measuring 10" and 10 1/2" from one end. (Fig 1.) With a hot blade, cut a slit between the marks. The hot blade melts the edges to prevent fraying.

Pull the small inner cord up through the slit, leaving it inside the short end. Tie this to the long end very tightly. Now, this is the only tricky part, pull the cord through and work the end into the slit and out the other end (Fig 2.) This takes some work as the end does not want to thread into the slit easily.

Once you work it through, even up the ends. (Fig 3.)

Tie a knot at the end and melt it together. Cut a button from a thick piece of leather and slide it on up to the knot (Fig. 4). The size of the button depends on the size of the grommet you are using on the anklets. This is an extra precaution to prevent the knot from working its way through the grommet.

Parachute jesses are extremely strong, yet very light. They can be used for the smallest bird up to the largest red-tail. They don't become hard and brittle like leather and they can be washed. They are so cheap to make you can have several extra pair on hand.

Braided Jesses

This is a buttonless style jess.

Just like you braid leases, you can also braid jesses as well. Follow the instructions for braiding the buttonless leases.

The braided mason line and the 130# Dacron are perfect for jesses. This braided jess is a buttonless style

1. Cut 4 strands 36" long

2. Even the ends and find the center. Back up 1" and braid using the 4 strand round braid for 2".

3. Double the braid and pair up the strands making 4 double strands. Braid the first 3 or 4 times as tightly as you can. After this braid with a relaxed hand for a more flexible braid.

4. Continue braiding with the 4 strand round braid for 71/2" - 8".

5. Separate the strand into two bundles of 4.

6. Braid each bundle to 1 1/2"

7. Bring the strands back together again and again pair up for 4 double strands.

8. Braid for 1". Start dropping one single strand at a time like you did for the tapered end of the leash. When you are down to 4 single strands, braid a few more times and then cut the ends even and melt. Go back and cut the loose ends and melt them into the jess.

What you end up with is a loop at each end. One end has a small tab. This end goes through the grommet on the anklet. The tab will help you grab it when you want to remove the jesses. The other end then goes through this loop like the leash. The loop at the other end (without the tab) then goes through the swivel.

Jesse Grease

Jesse grease is used to keep everything leather soft and subtle. I've even put it on my braided leashes and flying jesses to keep them a bit more waterproof. You can, of course buy jesse grease online, but for the same amount of money, you can make enough to last you several years.

1 ounce of beeswax

1 1/2 ounce of paraffin wax

10 ounces of mineral oil

The wax can be found in many craft stores.

Cut the beeswax and paraffin wax into smaller pieces and put into a GLASS jar. Melt the wax in the microwave, giving it a stir every now and again. Never use anything else but glass. The wax gets so hot, it will melt just about anything else. Use a jar with a large lid and you can store the jesse grease in this.

When all the wax is melted (it will take some time) add the mineral oil and mix well.

To use this grease, simply dip your fingers into it and smear on the leather. You don't have to heat it back up to use. Rub into the leather well and use a paper towel to wipe off any excess. Any you have on your hand can be rubbed into your hands just like a hand moisturizer.

Anklets

Also called braclets or cuffs

Anklets are simply a single piece of leather with a grommet to hold them on. But, I've added an extra piece. This idea came to me one day when I lost my bird. Due to a mistake by me, my bird took off. Normally this would have been OK, just call her back right? Well it was during the molt and she was pig fat. I eventually got her back, but it got me to thinking. Every now and again, I hear of someone finding a bird with jesses on. The bird somehow makes it to an animal shelter and the long process of finding the owner begins. Meanwhile, the owners are frantically trying to locate their bird. The process of looking up the band number and locating the owner can take several weeks. Provided they even have a band on them. Some states do not require you band your wild caught red-tail. So, I got to thinking. What does the bird always have on? The anklets. So why not put your phone number right on the anklet? If you loose your bird, and it ends up in the animal shelter, they can contact you right away. Nuff said.

You will need tooling kip and number stamps to do this anklet. The stamps can be purchased from Tandy Leather, or Papa John's Toolbox. Or Google metal number stamps.

The actual sizes will vary for your bird. This anklet will fit a female red-tail.

1. Cut the top figure (anklet) out of a soft yet sturdy leather. Cut the bottom piece (plate) out of tooling kip.

2. Mark the center line for your stamping. Before you start stamping, wet the leather slightly. You want the leather damp, but not soggy. Allow it to soak in for a few minutes. When the leather looks dry, but is cold, it is ready to stamp. Make sure you use enough force when stamping to make a good deep impression. A few test strikes on some scrap is a good idea. Let it dry. You may want to dye the leather to make the numbers stand out more. Be sure to coat it with a leather sealer to waterproof it.

3. There are two ways to attach the leather plate to the anklet, glue alone or glue and sew it. I find the glue/sewing to be the most durable, but it is a lot more work.

Glue - Place the plate on the anklet and trace out where it will go. Use fresh contact cement and apply it to both the anklet (only where the plate will go) and the plate and allow to dry. Then carefully position it and press it on. As you press it on, form the anklet into a bit of an arch.

Sewing - Sewing requires you to make stitching holes first (after it's been glued on). Using an awl or a Dremel with a tiny drill bit, make the stitching holes all the way around and through both the plate and the anklet. Using a good leather thread, thread both ends with a needle and insert one needle through the plate and the anklet. Now it's just a matter of sewing all the way around. Insert the needles from both sides into the same hole shown here. Pull each stitch snug against the leather. When you go all the way around, pull each needle through just one thickness of leather. You now have the thread between the leather pieces. Tie a good strong knot and tighten it so it ends up between the leather pieces. This way you don't have any knot showing.

METHOD #2
If your using kip for the anklets, then you can stamp your phone number right on the anklet and skip all the sewing.

I like kip for anklets. The leather is strong, yet thin and light. I use leather that is 2 - 3 oz in weight. For larger birds like female red-tails you might want to use 3-4 oz leather.

Traditional Bewit

A bewit is a temporary strip of leather to hold the bells, telemetry and reward tag on your birds leg. Use a very soft, thin leather like kangaroo for this.

1. Using the diagram on the left, cut a bell pad. This is used to prevent the metal of the bell from rubbing against your birds leg.




2. Cut the bewit as shown above. Don't make it any narrower than 1/4". It will be too weak. The length is approximate. You don't want it too tight or too loose.

4. Roll the end exactly the way you do when making leather jesses. Cut the slits as shown above.

5. Thread onto the bewit, the bell pad, a reward tag, if you have one, the bell and the other end of the bell pad. The bewit is attached as shown here.

A Better Bewit

I was out flying my bird one season. All was well, when I noticed when my bird flew past me, it was very quiet. I walked over to where she landed and noticed she had lost not just one of her bewits, but both of them. I lost in that fiasco, a beautiful set of bells, a reward tag and a telemetry transmitter. I never did find that darn transmitter. With that, I decided to design a better bewit and this is what I've come up with. I have never lost one since.

You will need shoelace grommets also called eyelet grommets. These can be found in your local fabric store. These grommets are a very small one piece grommet. You will also need the grommet setter. The whole kit is only around $5 - $8.

You also need rivets. These are the two part rivets that are used in leather work.

The diagram on the left shows the two parts you will need. You can use any leather you like. Kangaroo works great for the smaller piece. I don't have any dimensions for the smaller piece because it will depend on the size of the larger piece and the size of your bells and or telemetry.

Punch small holes on each end of the larger piece and set the shoelace grommets in them.

Align the smaller piece with the bewit and punch a hole through both pieces at the end of the smaller insert. Set a rivet at one end of the insert. Thread your bell, reward tag and/or telemetry and set the second rivet at the other end.

These are easily attached to your birds leg by using a small cable zip tie. Simply cut the cable tie at the end of the day.

Bow Perch

Perches can be pretty expensive to buy. But you can have these made at your local welder for around $30.00. I used the 1/2" rod perch with a 52 oz female red-tail without any problems. For a heavier perch use 5/8" rod. I found the 5/8" to be a better size for a 12 lb eagle, but it is a bit harder to get into the ground.

Ring Perch

This perch is a bit more expensive to have made, but it's still a lot cheaper than purchasing one on line. The dimensions are self explanatory and I've included an extra piece if you want to take the perch inside. You only need one ring for both pieces. The ring section actually just sits loose on the spike and your bird is tethered to the floating ring.

Indoor PVC Perch

Here's a great idea for an indoor perch. You can either use the screw on caps at one end of each leg or glue ends caps like the other ends of the legs. Either way, you will want to fill the perch with something heavy. I used several boxes of lead shot.

What you will need:

2 - 90 degree elbows

8 - "T" connectors

2 - End Caps

2 - Male thread

2 - Female thread end caps

8 feet - 3/4" pvc pipe

PVC glue

Cuts:

5 - 11"

2 - 2 1/2"

9 - 4 1/2"

Assembling this can be a bit tricky. Make the legs first and set aside. Then assemble the sides. Starting with one side, add the cross pieces, the center support and then the second side. You might want to dry fit it all to make sure everything fits and that you have the sequence down. Allow it to dry overnight for a tight bond. Then fill with shot. Screw on (or glue on) the end caps. You can wrap this perch as usual, but I found that just tip tying mat grass to the top is perfect.

Warning

This perch should only be used when you are around. I found it can be a bit slippery when the bird bates. Especially on carpet.

Wrapping a perch

Wrapping materials:

5/8" sissel rope. The thicker sissel rope doesn't want to sit as well. Good for inside perches and in the mews, but I don't like using it outside where it will get rained on.

For outside Perches

5-6mm mountain climbing rope. The same rope you might have used for the leashes. It's pretty expensive, but you won't have to replace it for many, many years.

Wrapping the perch can be frustrating. Here is what I've come up with.

1. Go to your local hardware store and get two sizes of pipe wraps. This is the foam type that is already in a tube shape. You want one size to actually fit over the smaller size.

2. Cut one piece of each size pipe wrap to fit the perch. Cut the smaller size just a little longer than the larger size. Fit the smaller size on the perch, then the larger size over this one. Secure this on snugly with duct tape. Just a few pieces is all that is needed here.

3. Using the wrapping of your choice, lay the end under the pipe wrap and halfway across. Secure well with duct tape.

4. Now start wrapping just before the pipe wrap. Every couple of turns, glue the wraps together using hot glue. You can do every turn if you want as well. Keep wrapping tightly.

5. Stop gluing the wrapping when you get about 1/4 the way across, but keep wrapping until you get to the half way point. Cut the wrapping material so there is about a 2' tail.

6. Gently allow all the unglued wraps to loosen so you can pass this 2' tail through them. Keep this tail at the bottom of the perch. When you have the tail all the way through the loose wraps, start tightening each wrap back up and adding the hot glue at the top only. Be careful not to get any on the tail.

7. When you have the entire wrap tight, grab the tail and pull it through tightly keeping it at the bottom of the wraps. Cut the tail close and if you can, stuff it between the wraps. Add some hot glue to hold it.

8. Turn the perch around and repeat steps 1 - 7 on the other side. When you meet up with the other wrapping, you'll have to work the last wrap in tightly.

Giant Hood

The giant hood is a great way to transport your bird. It keeps prying eyes out, keeps the bird quiet and safe, controls the mutes and keeps your car clean. The problem with most wood giant hoods is they are too heavy. This giant hood uses one sheet of coreplast and is extremely light. You can purchase coreplast from sign stores. They run from $10 to $15 a sheet. I like the black color because it is completely opaque, but I've seen it done in white and yellow.

A free source for coreplast

After elections are over, find the large signs and use them. They will be white, but, hey, it's free.

I would suggest printing out this pattern onto heavy weight paper and go through the steps below. This is a good way to see exactly how it all goes together and make more sense to you.

Instructions

Supplies

4' x 8' Black Coroplast

Exacto knife

Fresh Contact cement

Yardstick

White china marker

Cheap throw away brushes for the glue

Gorilla Tape

General instructions - Marking the coroplast can be difficult. If you can't find a white china marker, you can try a white colored pencil. When gluing the sides together, cover both sides to be glued together completely and allow to dry first.

1. SIDES - Fold down J then F, glue.

2. BACK - Fold in this order, B, A, C, D, glue This order gives a smooth surface inside and out.

3. FRONT - Fold door cut-out first. Glue K, L next. Glue door last.

4. VENTILATION HOLES - Come down from top edge 1" and in from side 1" Cut 4 slits 1 ½" high and ¼" wide. Each slit is 3 grooves wide and 4 grooves apart. Don't make these too large. You want as little light to get in as possible, yet still allow for ventilation. ALTERNATIVE - Go to a hardware store and find the round eves vents. Get the smallest ones you can find. You will need at least three at each location

5. DOOR - For extra strength, Gorilla tape the door hinge.

6. HANDLES - Using a good soft nylon or dacron rope, attach two pieces for the handles. Poke a hole in the back and front and insert the rope. Tie a knot on the inside at each end. A washer can be slipped on the rope before you tie the knots so the knot does not come through the hole. Don't make them too long. When you carry the box, you need to carry it easily without it hitting the ground.

7. Use Velcro to close the door. Cut two pieces about 7" long. Separate the hook side from the loop side. Cut the loop side in half. Glue one on the door at the top and the other on the side so it lines up with the one on the door. Keeping the hook strip whole, simply attach it to both side and door. Repeat on the bottom of the door as well.

8. Cut a scrap piece of 2 x 4 for the perch. This is screwed from the outside. You can use washers here for extra security. Cover the 2 x 4 with whatever material you choose. I like the long "grass" you get from a doormat.

9. Allow the Giant Hood to cure and air out for several days before you use it.

10. Simply place some newspapers on the bottom and your ready to go.

11. This step is optional, but it really finishes the Giant Hood and makes it look cleaner. Take lengths of the Gorilla Tape and cover all the edges and corners. I use Gorilla Tape because it doesn't loose it's stick after a few years. Rub it down really good.

Hoods can be expensive and hard to find the right fit. I'll show you how to make your own.

A creance is used to train your bird to fly more and more distance to you, yet still have some control of her.

Supplies:

12" of 2" PVC pipe

2 end caps

50 yards of a light, strong rope.

Melton Tackle has a good braided dacron line. The 300 lb would be good for the creance.

Directions:

Drill a hole through the center of the pipe. Make sure the hole is smooth. A rough hole will cut through the line in time.The hole needs to be just big enough to thread your creance line through the hole and out the end. Thread a large leather button on the end. Tie a really good knot and melt it well. Pull the button back inside and pull snug. Glue one end cap on. Fill the pipe with lead weights, or lead shot, which ever is heavier. Glue the second end cap on. Wind the entire 50 yards of line onto the creance neatly. Add a secure clip to the end.

Weights

I do what we call jump ups with my birds at the end of the molt to get them back into shape for the hunting season. However, I'm not one to stand there and do hundreds at a time and there is no way I'm climbing on the roof. So I came up with a way of adding weights to my birds.

First buy a box of BB's. Grab a couple of BB's and head for your local medical supply store. You are looking for a soft rubber tubing sold by the foot. There are several diameters so take the BB's you brought with you and see which size they fit into. You want them to fall right in. Get 5'. This length is perfect for Red-tails and Harris Hawks. Filled and with the clip it weights around 179 grams (6.5 oz). You will have to figure out the length and weight for smaller birds.

At one end you want to add a clip and fold it over. Place a zip tie to hold it. Now take the BB's and fill the tube. At the other end, fold it over and zip tie it secure. Viola! You now have weights for your birds.

I start out the first week without the weights. Get the bird used to doing the jump-ups after the long summer. The second week I add the weights, but I only have them jump about 1/2 the length of the tube. This way, the aren't pulling the full weight. As they get more in shape, I raise my glove higher and higher until they are pulling the entire length of tube off the ground. I end up standing on a small step stool to make them fly up even higher. I've found this method gets them in pretty good shape.

If your bird is struggling to get to the glove you know you've reached her limit and can either bring your glove down a bit until she is in better shape or make your weights shorter and lighter. Its just a matter of experimenting.

You will find it does get tangled with the creance. Don't worry about that. Untangle it when you're done.

Lure

Some falconers like to get fancy when it comes to lures. You can get as creative as you like, but in the end, it doesn't matter to the bird. When the bird associates the lure you've made to food, they don't care what it looks like. You can even use an old teddy bear if you want. But I think you would look pretty silly standing in the middle of a field swinging a teddy bear over your head.

Here are a couple of styles that are very easy to make and work great.

1. Cut two teardrop shapes. You can use just about any material. I like to use leather that really isn't suitable for other equipment. The size is up to you. The size of your hand is a good size.

2. Using a couple of strong clips, hold the two pieces together. Make a hole at the top of the drop shape for the grommet. Attach the grommet. It's easier to do it now than later.

3. Keep the clips in place. Punch or drill holes all around the edge of both pieces. Use a good strong thread made for sewing leather. Start at the widest part of the drop shape and work your way up over the top and back down to the widest part. Stop here.

4. Now you need to put some sort of weight inside. There are several things you can use.

A. A flat rock wrapped in batting or foam to give it some cushion.

B. Flat fishing weights from the sporting goods store. Again some foam for cushion is a good idea.

If you are using a lead fishing weights, be sure to wrap it in some heavy plastic or a baggy so the lead doesn't leach through the leather with time.

5. Now just continue sewing the rest of the way around. Tie a good knot and work the knot to the inside of the lure.

The second shape is the "donut". No matter how the lure lands, the tidbit will always be seen. The construction is the same as the one above, but this time sew the center hole first, then the outside. To add some weight, I use the fishing weights that are in a coil. I uncoil enough to go around the center hole once. I also wrap it in plastic then a bit of foam for cushion. This lure will require some sort of clip to keep the tidbit in the center hole.

Add some rope or cord through the grommet and you have a very durable long lasting lure.








I can't tell you how many lures I've lost in the field. I end up leaving it on the ground when I have my birds back. So here is what I do now. I tied the other end of the rope to a clip. I add a large grommet to my vest and clip the lure to it. Now, if I leave it behind, it will follow me all the way back to the car.

Good lure. Sit, stay.

A few books to check out

I hand tool and paint each feather for beautiful detail.
Red tail
Harris Hawk
Kestrel
more being added
all the time.


Show your love of falconry with window decals for your car

Falconry art, graphics and cartoons

All designs are available on t-shirts to keychains, mugs to ties.

To see my complete store click here


All the designs are my own work.
From birds of prey and hunting dog portraits, to falconry designs and cartoons.
T-shirts, hoodies, mouse pads, mugs and much more.



Celtic Bird of Prey and Rabbit

A Celtic style bird of prey and jackrabbit battle it out for survival.

The Mighty Goshawk

A humorous look at this amazing falconry bird of prey.

Harris Hawks Hunting
The Harris Hawk is the only bird of prey that hunts in family groups like wolves. Three Harris Hawks hunt down a jackrabbit. the fire of the setting sun behind them.

The Red Tail
funny look at this very tough and versatile falconry bird. Able to take both fur and feathers.

The Falconer
A funny look at this very tough and versatile falconry bird. Able to take both fur and feathers.

I'd Love to hear from you. - Did you find this lens helpful?

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    • profile image

      sav 5 months ago

      can you use paracord for leashes as well or is there a reason you only use it for the jess's?

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
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      Kathie Miller 3 years ago from Southern California

      @jackoballan-woodsalmeron: Making gloves is probably as hard as making shoes. I recommend you buy one from a falconry equipment company online.

    • profile image

      jackoballan-woodsalmeron 3 years ago

      what about the glove ?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @buteoflyer2: thank you martin

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
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      Kathie Miller 4 years ago from Southern California

      @anonymous: There are a lot of variables to say for sure. How aggressive is the HH? Was it raised with a dog? The size of the dog. For the most part, Harris Hawks hate dogs so they would rather fly away than attack a dog. (of course this depends on the size of the dog too). So my short answer is no. But I know a few that might.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hallo can you help i am buying my first Harris' Hawk and to fly him if he hunts for a rabbit would he go for a dog thank you martin

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
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      Kathie Miller 4 years ago from Southern California

      @anonymous: I'm glad you understand the commitment falconry takes. However, I have no idea of who is in TN. I live in California. Try asking your Fish and Game office, google on line. Some states only have a few falconers so you might find that those in AL are indeed the closest ones to you. Contact them if you can and ask if they know of anyone closer to you. Good luck in your new adventure.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I found this to be very helpful. But i also have to ask something. Where is the closest falconer in TN? I live in the Pulaski area.So fare the closest one i have found is in Alabama, i am very interested in falconry and have been studying since i was 10. I have the time and money for it since i am home schooled.I know what it takes to be a falconer and am fully prepared.

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
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      Kathie Miller 4 years ago from Southern California

      @tim-walters-9615: Thanks, I'm glad to have helped

    • profile image

      tim-walters-9615 4 years ago

      verry helpfull tips

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @buteoflyer2: thanks

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
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      Kathie Miller 4 years ago from Southern California

      @anonymous: I'm glad it helped you. Good luck with your new adventure.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      This was very helpful since i can get my permits in 1 year in my state

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
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      Kathie Miller 4 years ago from Southern California

      @JuneNash: They are truly magnificent animals. I've been doing this for 13 years now and still get a thrill when they fly to me. I love it.

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
      Author

      Kathie Miller 4 years ago from Southern California

      @anonymous: Every state is different, but I would have to say no. Some states allow a falconer to start at the age of 12 - 15. Check with your state Fish and Game Department. But, that doesn't mean you can't begin to study and start learning. Look for a falconer that is near you and go out hunting with them. Volunteer at a rehab center. Get the books and study guides and read, read, read. Start making some equipment like the braided leashes. The biggest problem you are going to have is not being able to drive. Many falconers get into their fields early in the morning and you need to either meet them there or at their house. Don't be discouraged. If you keep up with the studies, by the time you can become a falconer, you will be a pro at it. Good luck to you

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am 11 years, old, can I get my falconry license? ð

    • JuneNash profile image

      June Nash 4 years ago

      I love this lens! You have a lot of interesting information here. I'm not into the sport, but I find these birds to be fascinating!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @buteoflyer2: Thanks a lot that's helpful.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I was wondering if you could clarify on how to make the giant hood. I have it all cut out I just don't understand how to glue it. It says to fold F and J and glue them but which way do you fold it and where do you glue it to?

      Thanks

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
      Author

      Kathie Miller 5 years ago from Southern California

      @anonymous: Hello Ginger. The minimum size for a female red-tail would be 8' x 8' x 8'. I've seen 6' x 8', but I felt it was way too small. You must give her enough room to fully expand her wings when flying from one perch to another or from the floor to the perch. Even though you will probably have her tethered to a perch for awhile, you will eventually want to free loft her. I don't know how big your yard it, but I'm sure you can tuck the mews into a corner somewhere. If your mews is smaller than 8' x 8', you might have problems with damaged feathers. Hope this helps and good luck in your new adventure.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hello I reside in california and want to ask what is the

      dimensions for a mew for s red tail female? I am limited on

      backyard space and want to know what I can build and yet

      still house the bird comfortable but utilize what space I have..

      Thank

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
      Author

      Kathie Miller 5 years ago from Southern California

      @anonymous: OK, that makes my answer easy. In the US, you are only allowed one of two birds as an apprentice. The American Kestrel or the Red-tail Hawk. So, my answer to you is, the red-tail hawk. But don't expect to catch birds with her. It's not that they aren't capable, it's just not their main prey. You will be going after cottontail and jacks with it. When it comes time to trap your first bird, always listen to your sponsor. But in my opinion, get a nice big female. She can take the largest jacks out there. When you become a General (after a two year apprenticeship) and want to go after ducks or pheasant. Nothing beats a pair of Harris Hawks. Good luck in your new adventure.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @buteoflyer2: I'm in Northridge California USA.

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
      Author

      Kathie Miller 5 years ago from Southern California

      @anonymous: Before I can answer that, I need to know where you are. USA, UK, Europe?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @buteoflyer2: I realy love this lens. I wanting to get in to falconry but I don't

      know what bird to get? I love upland game bird hunting. But I love

      Red tail hawks can I teach a red tail to hunt birds?

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
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      Kathie Miller 5 years ago from Southern California

      @areamarketing: Thank you so much. I'm glad you found my lens to be helpful.

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      areamarketing 5 years ago

      I love this lens. A lot of great work was done here.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @buteoflyer2: OK thanks!!

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
      Author

      Kathie Miller 6 years ago from Southern California

      @anonymous: I do fly them both together. They are a blast to fly. I have caught jackrabbits, pheasant and dove. They are trying for ducks this season. I live in California. I had a look at your clubs web site. Looks like a great club. Be sure to let them know about this site and, you might want to pass on another site www.zazzle.com/artoffalconry. All the art is my own. Good luck to you with your new hunting partner and may you catch lots of game and always bring your bird home safely.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: http://www.georgiafalconryassociation.com/index.ht... by the way this is th club I an with.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      thanks for the info! Emma ford and other falconers talk about owls with high esteem....

      oh well. north woods is kind of spendy, so I'll probably order from mikes. you said you had two harris hawks, do you fly them in a cast? were do you live? and what do you hunt?

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
      Author

      Kathie Miller 6 years ago from Southern California

      @anonymous: I buy size 0 grommets from Northwoods. This has been a good size for my red-tails and for my two Harris Hawks. I know of many people that use smaller sizes, but to be honest I have to feel good about the equipment on my birds and I find anything smaller just doesn't feel right to me. Fly a GHO? Never. They are too stupid for my taste and I don't have the patients to fly any kind of owl. I have a friend that has a Eurasian Eagle Owl and wow, is that bird stupid, lovable, but stupid. Now that's a big owl.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      this is really good! I am an apprentice in georgia. wow I really love the site! I do want to know what size grommets should I use for a buteo jamaicensis? (since I will be trapping it I can't say what size it will be, hopefully a female) have you ever thought of hunting with the ''tiger'' of the air? (bubo virginianus)

    • profile image

      SusansZooCrew 7 years ago

      Wow! Lots of information! I love the braiding instructions, useful for more than just falconry!

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
      Author

      Kathie Miller 7 years ago from Southern California

      @anonymous: Hello Baywinger's apprentice. I hope to see you this season. If you have any questions about the above projects, just ask away. I'll be happy to answer them if I can. If not your sponsor surely can. He is an awesome falconer.

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
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      Kathie Miller 7 years ago from Southern California

      @Baywinger: Ah yes, Mr. C I presume. I'm glad you like my site.

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      Baywinger 7 years ago

      @buteoflyer2: yes indeed you do

      lets see we originally met at dunsmuir when you where an apprentice and and of course we see each other every field meet and we all fly the 80 corridor lol

      oh and your hawking buddy miss B was kinda my apprentice.

      as you can see My new apprentice has already found your site useful

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Wonderful site. Much useful info. I can see I will be using this site. Thank you.

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
      Author

      Kathie Miller 7 years ago from Southern California

      @Baywinger: Yes, parabuteo would be more appropriate. You look familiar, do I know you? Thanks for looking at my site. I'm glad you find it useful enough to give your new apprentice. I hope he/she finds is just as useful.

    • profile image

      Baywinger 7 years ago

      Hey there Buteo flyer or should that be para buteo flyer ;-)

      nice site you have here I am rather impressed an Have forwarded onto my newest apprentice. love the Celtic rabbit and hawk

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: dude, you have NO Idea what your getting yourself into, the bird wont HUNT for you, it will DEMAND food from you even well into the night by screaming at you, and if it gets it in its head, that your its mate, it will start Attacking people, including kids/wife/dog/grandparents, to keep you "safe" what's wrong with you? are you Mental?

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @buteoflyer2: thanks alot bute, The advice was exactly what i had anticipated and wasn't what i wanted to hear. i know the many dangers and responsibilitys that lies ahead.no re hab is needed and know this, the imprint will be at my side till death i have more than what is needed to keep it alive for a huge portion of both our lives and it will grow into a powerful hunter by my side. It may never be able to be be released cause of being an imprint, but hell have his freedom going on hunts everyday on my hundreds of acres.

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
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      Kathie Miller 7 years ago from Southern California

      @anonymous: When you say cali, I'm guessing California? Without knowing your background or if you are a licensed falconer I'm going to give you this advise. Take the hawk to a re-hab center. If you are a falconer you know you are not allowed to have a red-tail hawk this age. If you are a re-habber then you need to speak to the ones that run the center about the proper care of this bird. Imprinting a red-tail hawk from this age is asking for trouble of the worst kind. An imprint red-tail is extremely dangerous and can never be released. Never feed ground beef. I don't care how lean it says it is, it's too fatty and can kill her. Don't use pigeon either. They carry a disease that can kill her as well.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      in cali, guessing around thirty days. the feathers are coming in on the tail and wings but still has his baby coat of fur. its diets been fish worms pigions and fresh ground beef. ive already tought the infant to stumble over to me when i feed it. just getting it use to my call and hand gestures. Ive read tons and tons and haven't found any tips to teach a baby to hunt so im guessing he will stay true to his instincts and pick it up with adequate amounts of time in the wild together.

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
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      Kathie Miller 7 years ago from Southern California

      @anonymous: Before I answer that question I need to know two things. What country are you in and how old is the red-tail.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Amazingly helpful site id have to say flawless and best one ive stumbled upon yet. Do you have any tips on teaching a baby red tail to hunt?

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @buteoflyer2: I live in Idaho, "land of Potatoes" I HATE it here :)

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
      Author

      Kathie Miller 7 years ago from Southern California

      @anonymous: I don't know where you live, try googling for a falconry club in your state. See if there is anyone you can contact in the club. They might be able to help you find someone in your area. I know it can be hard to find falconers. There aren't that many of us in the U.S. Some states only have a few.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @buteoflyer2: Okay, That will be hard but I will find SOMEONE who is a a likely sponsor

      Thank you again!

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
      Author

      Kathie Miller 7 years ago from Southern California

      @anonymous: You are very welcome Rissa. Find a falconer in your area and bug them to go out with them. If you go out enough times, they will see that you are very serious and may even sponsor you when you pass the test.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      You inspired me with your one that was about how yo become a falconer. I decide when I was 9 I would have a peregrine someday :) ( I am ten right now) so I figured by the time I was 14 I could take the test easy :) thanks for the advice!!

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
      Author

      Kathie Miller 7 years ago from Southern California

      @anonymous: Good for you. At the moment the only qualifications is that you have to be at least 14. That will change when the new federal regulations come out soon, so for now you have to wait a few more years. In the mean time, try to find a falconer that you can go hunting with and read, read, read. By the time you're 14, you should be able to take the test with your eyes closed.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      i am only 9 and your writings inspired me to become a falconer. though i have a question. do you have to have any qualifications to be a falconer.

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      mkmk_b 8 years ago

      IT' HAS BEEN RATED 5 AND ADDED TO FEVORITE THANK'S BUTEOFLYER IT'S VALUBALE LENS.

      GOD BLESS YOU,

      MOHAMMED

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      granted its well sealed, but given that there are many other non toxic things you could use, why chance it at all? The amount of lead sufficient to kill a bald eagle is the size of a o in this type.

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
      Author

      Kathie Miller 8 years ago from Southern California

      [in reply to joan schnabel] Your point about the lead shot is well taken. But because it is enclosed in a bag, then inside a sealed container, it shouldn't be a problem. Just be sure to check the equipment every now and again for any tears or breaks.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thanks a lot. this was just the information I was looking for. I do however question using lead shot or lead anything for anything anywhere around birds. Its just too toxic even in minuscule amounts. thanks again.

    • buteoflyer2 profile image
      Author

      Kathie Miller 8 years ago from Southern California

      [in reply to BlueMtnWildlife] Thanks you so much. I'm glad this lens will help you. I work with non releasable golden eagles and make most of their equipment as well as hoods. I had a look at your Blue Mountain lens and just love your facilities. Maybe some day I will come up and visit you.

    • BlueMtnWildlife profile image

      BlueMtnWildlife 8 years ago

      I'm going to favorite this lense! Lots of info I can use for the birds I work with at Blue Mountain Wildlife. Thanks for the info!