Bicycle Hawking

With our hawking grounds becoming more urbanized and transportation moving more towards green energy sources, I believe it may behoove the falconry community to take a serious look at bikes and E-bikes as falconry vehicles. There’s videos of people hawking from motorcycle and moped, plenty of old timers rode their bikes with kestrels, bikes are better and easier to ride than ever. As someone with little interest in cycling until now, I believe this idea has genuine potential to increase affordability and accessibility for modern and future falconers. I’ll lay out the basic ideas that got me thinking about this. I began taking local bike trails and noticed how many dicky birds were along the trail. They were obviously accustomed to cylclists and I could get fairly close. If kestrels can be slipped out of a car, why not a bike? A small hawk box could be fixed to a bike rack fairly easily, and with an E -bike the weight isn’t as much of an issue. I began thinking of a bike as a bit of a mechanical mule. With the right equipment it could get me and a good deal of gear from A to B, it could be used to set up an ambush and the right bike could help to keep up with a pursuit even over rough terrain. A powerful E- bike especially would give many of the benefits of a horse, and a car at a fraction of the cost and while being quiter than a motorcycle or ATV. I’m currently outfitting a bike to be my new primary mode of transportation for falconry purposes. I’ll be doing a brief survey today of possible hunting spots accessible by bike. If the community takes interest in the idea I’ll update on progress. Happy to hear ideas and objections. Happy hawking.

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This post has really got me thinking treetree! You’re definitely onto something here! The concept of blending e-bike tech with falconry is very intriguing and your exploration into this new territory is something I’d definitely like to follow.

It’s one thing to theorise, but putting these ideas into practice like you are… is where the real adventure begins. The potential for e-bikes to serve not just as transportation but as an integral part of the falconry experience opens up a lot of possibilities and benefits.

Please do keep us posted with updates, photos, vids or any tips you discover along the way. There’s a lot we can learn from your experiences, and I’m sure there are plenty of us here eager to see how this turns out.

Happy Hawking!

Theory and practice are definitely worlds apart haha. Already I’m seeing some possible issues. For starters my current bike has no rear suspension and a bird in a hawk box could get thrown around if you’re not careful. In the same vain, most transport boxes would force you to get on without swinging a leg over. Doable but awkward. Not an issue if you’re driving to a spot and only using the bike in the field but I plan on using the bike for transportation to and from hunting spots. Because of this, most of my kit at this time is dedicated to making the bike a safe, reliable vehicle. Lights, mirrors, bags, locks etc. This has quickly crowded the available places for a bird to sit while hunting. I will need to play around with gear and bird placement. I feel the bird should be tucked slightly behind the handle bars between the falconers arms with the front unobstructed. An article referencing bicycle falconry in china says the birds are dart hawked, I’ve emailed the author to try to get more info. As far as my quick survey the other day I found a lot more situations to get off the bike and take a normal shot-gun approach than to take moving “car hawking” slips. The issue is as soon as you stop little birds becomes weary. If you stop to close to get the hawk ready the game bumps. If you leave the bird out while riding, you have little control of the situation. Not impossible to set up a car hawking style slip but more challenging than I first pictured. I found 2-3 opportunities to sneak up on ditch ducks, unsure if they would occupy these areas in season. I’m also unsure about the legality of walking a ways off the bike trail and “hunting”. Regardless that a wild raptor could do the same, if it’s not legal to hunt those areas I’ll have to get more creative. Well I guess that’s it for now. I want to wrap up this post with a bit of a mission statement. I think for this thread to be useful, it needs to be clear on what I’m trying to accomplish. Bikes are a way for me to better integrate my falconry and myself into the place that I live. I want to: eliminate the need for a car to practice falconry, hunt the areas within a 10 mile radius of my house, and make falconry more understood in my community. Let’s see how it goes. As always questions and objections welcome! Happy Hawking.

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Been a while since I updated this thread. I haven’t made much progress with experimenting but I have had some thoughts since I’ve been riding a lot more. Top of my mind is the GH. I still feel that riding with just a hooded bird would be to dangerous, but I don’t think a giant hood would work either. This is primarily because with the weight distribution your asking for your bike to tip over even with a stand. Imagine trying to get to a kestrel on a bird quickly while also trying to balance a bike with a pricey peice of equipment afixed to the back. A trailer may be the fix but I’ll need to modify and try one. At the point where a trailer gets involved this all becomes a lot less versatile, at least I think. Maybe riding with the bird hooded isn’t a huge deal, I haven’t made contact with anyone whose ridden a bike with a raptors regularly so I just dont know the real risks. I’ve also been thinking about bird choice. Kestrel, sharpies and coops are top of mind as far as actually hawking. I am wondering if a RT or HH could be transported in the ways I discussed. My goal is simply to practice falconry with no car so if I can safely get them to game, thats all that counts! Thats it for now, probably wont be able to update for a while. Please add to the thread if you have a lead in bicycle hawking!