Lost-and-found notices mostly report dogs and cats, plus the occasional parakeet or parrot.
Chad Harrelson responded to an unusual notice: a Facebook post regarding a bird of prey.
A red-tailed hawk was spotted in Johnston County wearing jesses, or leather straps put on the legs for control during transport. Harrelson, a veteran falconer in Chapel Hill, would like to return the 4-month-old hawk to the falconer who trained her.
“She did not flee. She’d been trained. Some things in her behavior said she was used to being handled,” said Harrelson, who used a frozen squirrel caught by his own raptor this past hunting season to lure the mystery hawk from a tree in Smithfield, where she had been seen for several days.
The tight-knit falconry community, including Carolina Hawking Club and the N.C. Falconers Guild, has found no one missing a bird among the state’s approximately two dozen active falconers.
“We are obligated by law to report any time we take a hawk from the wild, lose the bird or it dies, or we transfer it to another falconer,” said Harrelson, who said he reported capturing the hawk to the N.C. Division of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Commission, which handles the stringent, federally regulated licensing process.
North America has about 4,000 licensed falconers, and it’s unusual to lose a bird, Harrelson said.
“To house or hunt with a bird of prey is a privilege we don’t take lightly,” he said.
This juvenile raptor may have been lost in another state. She will be put into training with another falconer so she continues to build her natural skills and avoid the 80 percent mortality rate of first-year hawks in the wild, Harrelson said. After a couple of hunting seasons, she typically would be released to join the wild breeding population.
The falconer missing this hawk can reach Harrelson at 910-808-5327.
Fundraiser: The Durham Bulldogs, a group of nine disabled veterans and their caregivers, are raising funds for uniforms and lodging to attend the Sept. 18-23 National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic in San Diego. The vets will be able to learn adaptive sports such as kayaking, surfing, sailing, cycling, archery, rowing and rock climbing. Learn more at www.gofundme.com/2e5268c.
Archery: The Field and Stream store at Parkside Town Commons in Cary is hosting a free Paint It Red Archery Event with hourly seminars and giveaways 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 28. Central Carolina Archery Association and other groups will assist. Go to http://stores.fieldandstreamshop.com/nc/cary/5501.
Hunting: Aug. 27-28 is Next Generation Weekend at Bass Pro Shops off Harrison Avenue in Cary. The 11 a.m.-4 p.m. event includes activities, giveaways and inflatable BB gun range. Go to www.basspro.com/classic.
Sporting clays: Coastal Conservation Association North Carolina will hold its annual Sportsman’s Legacy Shootout Aug. 27 at Drake’s Landing in Fuquay-Varina. Limited openings remain for four-shooter teams. Contact the CCA NC office at 919-781-3474, or go to www.ccanc.org.
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