So my normal release spot today was "unusable" today so I adjusted down the road a bit, not the issue. Today I released in crates of 13-14 birds. The first group was released at 1135 and once they were out a bit, a large flock of commons ate them up (I've never seen that at this spot). The whole group circled for about 12 mins before it appears the 13-14 birds released cut out and headed home. I waited about 3 mins as they disappeard in the distance before I let the next group go, right about that time, the first ggroup cut back.. What a cluster!! After they headed home the next 4 crates left like they should've. Don't let todays speeds concern you, I was here when they arrived and they looked fantastic.
Between rain last week, club races Saturday and heavy hunter presence on Sunday,the birds have been loft flying. Tomorrow they will go 20 miles and hopefully the weather will cooperate on Tuesday and Wednesday, as its calling for more rain.. I'll get them safely down the road though. Check your emails for more updates.
After the 80 mile toss I let the birds rest on Friday, went 40 miles Saturday, loft flew on Sunday (didn't set the timer, but trust me they flew) and today 30 miles. Todays toss was a bit slow, there was some intermittent fog along the way, but they got a good start. The birds on the botom of the return today were still flying around when I arrived home and trapped in when I called them down. Tomorrow I plan to have all 85 birds out by 0745 if the condidtions are right, there has been fog around here until after 0900 but I don't forsee that being a big issue tomorrow, hopefully. Tomorrow should be a good activation toss, the wind forcast has dropped a bit down to a 5-10 mph headwind.
Remember all birds that return must be activated as soon as possible as the 150 will be the following Thursday (9/28).
So today we figured that since the birds have been doing well, for the most part, we would toss at 50 miles and then tomorrow, 9/14/17, take them to the 80 mile spot. The biggest thing is to make sure I can get at least 2 hours on the wing before the 100 mile toss next Tuesday, 9/19/17. They will have head wind the whole way and this will be a true test of what they have in them. Tuesday won't be any easier as it's calling for 10-20mph winds in their faces, but again I did promise you a tough race series so what a better way to start. The plan is to fly the 80, then toss 30-40 miles each day until Monday when they get to rest. The next update will be Monday evening.
Yesterday I took the birds due East at 48 miles, they left good and all were home when I pulled up, I'm still not getting the time on the wing I'd like with these dang tailwinds so I'm having to go further down the road.
Today I took them more along the line of flight, to 56 miles. I did 2 releases 5 minutes apart and they left great. I was finally able to get just a bit over an hour on the first group and a bit more on the 2nd one, as they were still circling when I pulled to the house. I'm still having to deal with the tailwinds, so tomorrow I'll head a bit west of the line of flight and try to get to my 65 mile spot and do another single release so everyone can gauge their birds a bit.
Wednesday I plan to go 70 miles and have them ready for the 100 mile (107 miles) activation toss for next Tuesday.
Tentative Race Schedule:
350 miles-10/27 or 29
Remember, where you see multiple days, it's because I will look ahead and see how the winds will be. I have always said I didn't plan to send them in a race with a tailwind, I'd rather there no wind or a headwind.
Check your email for more in depth infromation...
Single release from 40 miles, 9 of them broke away and the rest were in 7 minutes later. I'm thinking I'm gonna take them back there tomorrow and release 2 groups at a time, but then again I might stretch them out another 10 and see how they do before the weekend. Remember, there is the special white wing season in the area on the weekends. I might look at the conditions though and take them around mid-day when any hunters are done for the morning, just to be safe.
Went 30 miles today, released in groups of 5-6 to keep the chance of hitting anything along the way to a minimum as the winds were high and gusting in the 20s. Looks to have been a success as all are well, but still out 2 from yesterday. Tomorrow they'll go 40 miles in one group, there'll be a slight tailwind, which I don't really care for but they need to get down the road and more time on the wing.
I let the birds go in groups of 15 today from 30 miles, something happened and you can tell from the way the birds came in that the groups stayed together. I'm also out a group of my personal birds from the same spot, they've done well from this same release point before, so I'll see how the rest come in this evening.
I had originally planned to take the birds 20-30 miles today, but something came up that I had to be home for this morning and I decided to loft fly. This also allowed me to watch the birds flying and be able to tell who is truly struggling and who is just not motivated enough to trap into the loft after flying. You'll see they flew for almost an hour just around the loft and I was able to keep an eye on them when they would fly into and out of sight. There are a handful of them that tend to want to land as they passed by, and I these are the ones that are normally "later" in the group.. Once I opened the landing board up, I allowed them to land and trap at their liesure and there were still a few that felt the need to contine flying.
This weekend (9-2/3) marks the start of dove season in the north and central zones of Texas. I am 15 miles south from the central and south zone boundry. Tomorrow I will toss them one more time (on this side but more east) and then leave them in the loft over the weekend. There is a "special" white wing dove season on the weekends for the whole state and I will not chance anyones birds, including my own, when there are hunters out. Once the season gets a few weeks in, the hunter numbers will drop and the weekly tosses will be safer, because that's the ony time they will get tossed. Again, the weekends will be "lock down" time due to the hunters. I will try and get a race schedule together and send it out this weeked.