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FIRST FALCON TRAPPING IN 50 YEARS
The first Peregrine falcon has been trapped in Tennessee in more than 50
years on the banks of the Mississippi River by a Carroll County
resident. Tennessee was awarded one permit by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service allowing the trapping of one Peregrine falcon for the use in
falconry beginning in 2011 in selected West Tennessee counties.
Brian Brown, of Clarksburg, made the historic capture on a Friday
afternoon at around 2:30. He used a Dho-ghazza net and lured the
Peregrine he has named “Belle.” He brought the bird to the Tennessee
Wildlife Resources Agency in Nashville for the proper processing.
Peregrine falcons were the primary bird used in falconry for hunting in
the 1800s. The population of Peregrine falcons, through state and
federal conservation efforts, has recovered enough since their
near-extinction in the early 20th century to allow for a limited take of
these birds for the use in falconry. Tennessee was allowed to issue a
pair of permits this year.
“This is a true mark of success in our conservation to reestablish the
population of these birds,” said Walter Cook, TWRA Captive Wildlife
Coordinator. “Once again, this was an effort supported and carried out
Belle is believed to be one of the few trapped recently in the
southeast. A Peregrine was trapped in the Jonesboro, Ark. area during
the prior week. Brown plans to have Belle go through a brief training
period prior to her being used as his hunting bird.
Belle weighed just under two pounds on her visit to the TWRA. Peregrines
have a body length of 13 to 23 inches and a wingspan ranging from 29 to
47 inches. The Peregrine is famous for reaching speeds of more than 200
mph during its characteristic high speed dive.
The Peregrine's range includes land regions from the Arctic tundra to
the tropics. It is the world's most widespread raptor.
Steve McCadams is a professional hunting and fishing guide here in the Paris Landing
area. He has also contributed many outdoor oriented articles to
various national publications.