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“Speaking as a falconer, and not of behalf of the Raptor Center, what the DNR has done amounts to regulatory overreach,’’ Redig said. Particularly irksome, he said, is a new restriction prohibiting removal of goshawk nestlings from their nests.
“In the last 40 years, Minnesota falconers have taken only eight nestling goshawks,’’ Redig said. “Goshawks do not need to be saved from falconers.’’
DNR falconry coordinator Heidi Cyr counters that the rule setting was fair.
“We worked extensively with falconers during the process,’’ Cyr said. “We considered their suggestions, implemented many of them, and will continue to work with them regarding issues they may have. But we also have to follow state and federal regulations.’’
An appeal to reopen the regulation-setting process has been made to DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr, Redig said.
A hungry hawk on the hunt
When Weaver flushed a second rabbit, it seemed fated also to escape the red-tailed hawk that was fast descending upon it, so thick were the trees among which the bunny ducked and dodged.
But the bird was hungry, its weight monitored to the gram by Weaver.
“The scale is the most important tool a falconer has,’’ he said. “It’s how we know when we can fly a bird and expect it to hunt. If the bird is too heavy, it won’t make the effort.’’
In the end, death to this rabbit occurred instantaneously, following an explosion of snow, and the hawk was fast consuming its prey when Weaver reached the scene — the essence of which forms the backbone not only of science, but of literature and all art.
“Sometimes the rabbit wins,’’ Weaver said. “But not always.’’
Dennis Anderson • 612-673-4424
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