Couldn't be happier for our second week hunting.
With my wife and kids in tow I wanted it to be a good outing and surprisingly there were a lot of birds out and about. We had a decent slip at sparrows in a Home Depot parking lot and then found a group of about 20 starlings feeding out in a field. I tried to get as close as possible before throwing Goliath at them but they busted while I was still 20 yards away. I tossed him anyway but he just went up in a tree and yelled at me until I showed him some food. I got another toss at some sparrows on the way back to the car but that one didn't work out either.
We then headed to the Walmart where I caught the sparrow yesterday and hit the jackpot! The hedges were LOADED with sparrows. After he missed on the first slip I tossed him at some stragglers trying to hide in a small pine tree. I kicked the tree and tossed him at the fleeing birds and he chased for a bit before landing on a light pole directly above me. It was kind of cool to see him stoop to the fist from that angle when I brought out a tidbit.
We went back to the original hedge and the sparrows had returned. He shot off the fist and this time I saw him snag one on the edge of cover before he disappeared. I'd forgotten my good camera so I grabbed my cell phone and snapped this quick pic of him buried in the hedge:
I reached in and was able to grab a hold of the sparrow and lift them both out of the hedge. #2 in the bag! I snapped this photo with the good camera when we got home:
A crazy side note to the story is that last year I flew Hayduke several time in the same area. I was still experimenting with snap jesses at the time and had a pair whose snaps didn't quite "snap" like they were supposed to. Hayduke chased some sparrows into the very same hedge one time and came out without jesses. Luckily I had another pair and the day went on just fine. It's been almost a year since that happened but yesterday as I headed back to the car with Goliath and his sparrow in tow, my wife points to the curb and says, "Are those yours?" I took a look and said, "Yeah, they're mine from a year ago!" They were dirty and pretty crusty but otherwise in good shape (not that I'll use them, since the snaps are bad but still...). Crazy: