News and Updates
Sep-17-2017

Good Morning Flyers,

 
The birds did well from 103 miles on Friday and were put up into clear skies, however by the time I got home we had quite a bit of smoke.  Luckily, I don't think they got into the thick of it until they got closer to home. I was hoping that we would be able to do the 150 mile qualifier tomorrow, but between the smoke and a low front bringing rain along the course...it is just not going to happen.  The forecast is showing a wet week, which will hopefully knock down all this smoke. Next weekend looks the most promising with Sunday being the plan for the 150 miler. I will continue to loft fly and road train as the weather permits.
 
The birds are looking great and are currently out cruising around. Today I have a couple miles of visibility due to the smoke. They are eating me out of house and home :)  The cooler weather has definitely seen an increase in feed consumption and I am glad to see they have good appetites. I continue to oil the feed at least once a week and birds continue to receive Primalac and Oregano in the water daily.
 
Hopefully, we will be able to start our local racing this next weekend and get this show on the road. 
 
Have a great week!
 
Lucas

 
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
Sep-13-2017

Good Morning Breeders,

 
Birds are out loft flying and enjoying the cool morning.  There is a bit of a smoke in the air this morning, but nothing like it has been.  I will be calling them in shortly for breakfast and a bath.
 
Yesterday's trainer went well with the birds cruising home and heading straight home as they exited the trailer.  I like seeing them do this, no messing around. It looks like I had 9 missing as of last night and I'm sure we will see some of them home this morning.
 
Plan moving forward....so looks like I am going to try and get a 100 miler in on Friday, Thursday would be ideal...but there is morning clouds along the course. As long as the birds come well on Friday, Sunday or Monday looks like our best option for the 150 mile qualifier.  We have some weather moving in early next week, so I'd like to take advantage of the good sunny weather while I can. Smoke still could be an issue, so I just have to roll with what comes along.  Fall has arrived with daytime high temperatures in the mid 60's low 70's...good flying weather for the birds as long as the rain stays away.
 
If anyone has any questions please feel free to shoot me an email or call...if I don't pick up leave me a message.  Reception isn't that great around here.
 
Take Care and I hope everyone is well.
 
Lucas
 
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
Sep-06-2017

Good Morning Flyers,

 
Birds are staying in this morning. There are big fires all around us keeping visibility to less than a mile here at the loft.   Tomorrow we will start to see a cool down with temperatures peaking in the mid 80's.  I'm hopeful that we can get back on the road soon.
 
At this point it is just a waiting game until this smoke clears.  I am just as anxious as everyone else to get the races started, but October usually has good weather, so we have time.
 
The birds continue to look and fly well around the loft when they are out.  I'm definitely keeping a close eye on respiratory health but haven't seen any issues so far. 
 
Take Care
 
Lucas
 
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
Aug-29-2017

Good Morning Flyers,

 
Smoke, smoke, and more smoke!
 
That pretty much sums it up here in Central Oregon.  We are dealing with wildfires and lots of smoke.  I had to drive to Redding CA this last Friday and it was smokey all the way down. The weather forecast doesn't look good for the next week with daytime highs of 100 degrees and air stagnation.
 
Birds on the other hand are looking and acting great.  They are out loft flying every day and I think are they are enjoying not having to road train. I am keeping a close eye on respiratory health to make sure nothing arises due to the poor air quality, but so far they seem to be doing well.
 
At this point I don't have a date for the 150 mile qualifier, as soon as I do I will let everyone know.  Once the weather clears I will have a better idea on the race schedule.
 
My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone down in Texas affected by the storm.
 
Take care and have a great week.
 
Lucas

 
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
Aug-23-2017

Good Morning Flyers,

 
Yesterday afternoon we had a thick layer of smoke roll into Central Oregon that has again put us on hold.  I currently have 2-3 miles of visibility here at the loft and some rain clouds are passing through.  Hopefully, we will get some rain to help clear this out.
 
Yesterday the birds came well from 54 miles...the clock worked perfectly, but there was an error on the server that sends the information onto Wincompanion.  I have been assured the problem has been fixed and the results posted last night.  Sorry for the inconvenience.  The clock has been working perfectly this season, but there has just been issues with the communication of servers.  I do have back up plans in place, so if there are server issues the data is not lost.  Results are always up on Topigeon.com and we get the results sent via SMS, which Terry is able to upload to Wincompanion if needed.
 
Birds continue to fly well on loft flying days.  Let us hope that this smoke doesn't linger too long and we can get back on the road. I have updated the race dates on the website, but as always, these are subject to change.  150 mile qualifier was scheduled for the 29th or 30th, but that may also be pushed back.  I will keep everyone posted.
 
Take Care
 
Lucas
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
Aug-16-2017

Good Morning Flyers,

 
I just got home from taking the birds 86 miles today and they did really well.  At this time I am  still out about 30 birds, but I'm guessing I will see most of them back fairly soon.  I have a few stray race pigeons on the roof, so they got in with some other birds somewhere along the way home.  The birds cleared quickly and headed north in one big group.  I posted a video on Facebook, for those that would like to take a look.  
 
Schedule....the birds will loft fly and get baths tomorrow.  I will try and sneak in a toss on Friday. We are being inundated by eclipse tourists in our small town, so most likely will not be able to train during the weekend and most definitely not on Monday. I'm looking ahead to do the 150 mile qualifier on the 29th or 30th...depending on weather and smoke.  Next week look forward to at least one 100 mile toss.
 
Birds look super healthy and are content to lay in the aviaries all day post training. Birds continue to have healthy appetites.  They love eating the pink mineral from Natural...I always have it available to them and they really seem to go through it. It tastes a bit salty, so I think they consume more of it when it's hot out. They continue to get fresh grit weekly, which is a mix of jovati, versa laga, natural, winners cup, and charcoal.
 
I hope this finds everyone well. Good luck to those that are starting to race young birds.
 
Take Care
 
Lucas
 

Lucas Cramer
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
Aug-09-2017

Good Morning Flyers,

 
I continue to loft fly the birds daily on these smokey/hazy mornings.  The birds are flying great and are on the wing much of the time they are out.  I will continue loft flying until this smoke clears out, which looks to be clearing more and more each day.  I use Grizzly Mountain (17 miles to the south) as a barometer on if I'm going to road train or not....if it's clear we go, if not we loft fly.
 
The end of this week is going to bring some cooler daytime temperatures.  I am looking forward to getting these birds back on the road.  As of today, our schedule is pushed back at least one week and I think this has been beneficial to the birds. This loft flying break has given some of stragglers and injured birds a chance to catch up.
 
Birds are out flying right now and will get a bath today.  We have canceled our first local club racing this week due to the weather and smoke. 
 
Entry fees are not due until after the 150 mile qualifier, but before the 200 mile race. Invoices will be emailed and at that time you are able to decide which birds you would like to enter in the B race. Entry fees are refunded in full if your bird does not make it to the first race. Please call or email me if you have any questions.
 
I hope everyone is having a great week.
 
Take Care
 
Lucas
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
Aug-04-2017

Good Morning Flyers,

 
Road training is on hold due to the smoke here in Central Oregon. Birds will continue to be able to get out and stretch their wings, as long as we have a few miles of visibility.  There are some local fires creating this smoke, but the majority of it is being blown in from British Columbia.
 
The birds have a good base, so I'm not worried about picking up where we left off once this clears out.  Race dates will most likely change, but I will keep everyone posted.
 
Take Care
 
Lucas
 
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
Jul-31-2017

Good Morning/Afternoon Flyers,

 
Birds continue to do well with training.  Today I had planned on taking the birds to Brothers, which is 60 miles and off line to the east. When I got down that way there was a smoke plume that looked to be between Brothers and home, so I headed west and went to Horse Ridge, which it 54.5 miles.  The birds cruised home and look like they didn't even fly this morning, I like how the birds are looking and acting. I will try for Brother's again tomorrow.  
 
The birds got to loft fly yesterday and enjoy a bath.  The weather is heating up this week with daytime temperatures in the low 100's.  The training plan is to get an 86 miler in at some point this week and at least one 100 mile toss the following week. 
 
Wire hits continue to be an issue, but I do have a few birds coming out of the injury ward that are back in training.  I try to get them healed up and back training as soon as possible.  
 
Birds continue to get Ropa B in the water daily, along with rotating Primalac and Pro Vital.  Appetites are great!
 
As many of you probably notice, there can be a large delay on the clock updating when the birds land in big groups.  The Topigeon clock runs on cell phone (gsm) technology and when I have 200 birds clock in 2 minutes the clock gets bogged down on the upload speed.  Unfortunately, this is something that we will have deal with on training but shouldn't be much of an issue on race days.  The clock and pads have no issue clocking the birds, it is just on the upload speed.
 
I did a hand inventory this week and was very pleased with the condition of the birds. I was sure to take good look at a few of the birds that are continually late, but did not find any issues.  There were no visible signs of canker or respiratory in any of the birds.
 
Have a great week!  
 
Take Care
 
Lucas

 
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
Jul-24-2017

Good Afternoon Flyers,

 
Birds went 50 miles today and again were released in several groups over the course of an hour.  There was a good head wind of 7-10 mph at release and about the same at the loft when I got home.  Some of the late birds coming in are super spooky, so I'm sure at least one of the groups got spooked by a raptor on the way home.
 
Training continues and we are on schedule for the 150 mile qualifier on August 15th. Now that we are at the 50 mile mark, I will do at least one mass release this week. Those that flew with me last year, know that I continue to do group tosses throughout the season.
 
I have started to receive some entry fees...they are not due until after the 150 mile qualifier, but please plan ahead if you are going to be out of town.  I will email entry fee invoices after the qualifier and entry fees will be due before the 200 mile race scheduled on August 23rd.  Entry fees are refunded in full if your bird does not make it to the first race.  Entry fees are $250 and if you wish to participate in the B category it is additional $500 for a total of $750.
 
I have a couple birds that came out of the injury ward this week and are starting to train again.  I had a couple more wire hits this week and those birds are recovering. 
 
I hope everyone has a great week and if anyone has any questions, please feel free to contact me.
 
Take Care
 
Lucas
 
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
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