Bruce and I had been sitting in a blind perched on a ridge high in the Danskin Mountains in southern Idaho for hours with little action.
Suddenly we spotted a large raptor in a committed stoop coming straight for us, or more correctly straight for our bait in the center of our bownet trap. She was a big Red tail hawk and she meant business, but just at the last second she pulled out and swooped right over our heads and landed in a tree above our blind.
We jiggled our bait but no matter how inviting we made it look we just could not fool her to come on in. Eventually she carried on her way and all was quite again.
Then ‘bamm’, from out of nowhere an immature goshawk hit our bownet and all hell broke loose as Bruce exploded from the blind in a mad dash to secure our prize.
As I looked into her eyes she epitomised all that explosive instinct that is a passage goshawk, and I envied all American falconers who still have the right to trap a wild hawk.
After we banded, weighed and measured her, we released her to continue her southerly passage.