Joy - Worries - Relief: The camp
Central, pivotal point: as springtime comes closer, the camp and thoughts about it are overwhelmingly present. Who will be coming, what will it be like? Which falcons? Will this weather keep up?
Since the year of 2000, we have run an annual training camp for about two dozens of falcons. This is where different kinds of hybrids, peregrine falcons, saker falcons, and gyrfalcons are prepared for hunting and other tasks. Subsequently, in fall, a large part of all falcons are used for hunting in the Arabian world. Others are used for educational purposes for students, others again are being prepared for repellents or also personal hunting purposes.
From the beginning of July to the end of September, we dedicate around three months just to the training, for which a huge deal of operating expenses, such as time, staff, and money is necessary. Falconers from all over Europe and of course also from the Emirates attend our camp in order to see and experience what happens, what is being done, and to see how much progress "their" birds have made, after leaving them for us to train. There is always the concern that everything works out all right and that there is will be no need for veterinaries. However, not even we are safe from demonstration effects, of course.
This is also the time where we take falconry students under our wings, since they ought to receive the most possible practical experience. The trainees "grow" as their birds grow, which is how it should be. Interested parties can also be part of this "very normal insanity" (Leo Mandlsperger) on a daily basis in order to receive a first impression of this "deployment" (Leo Mandlsperger).
In September, the whole brunt of the work is relieved. This is when all healthy and fully trained birds can be presented in rank and file. They will then be ready for their new task: to show what they have learned. At this point, having to hand over the falcons, wistfulness will overcome some trainers, since over time they have grown very fond of many a falcon...