Thursday, December 18, 2008

Help - We Have an Owl Dilemma

We're having a dilemma over here and I need some input from ya'll.

As you know, we're on a mission to see and photograph the Great Horned Owl. And as you also know, we haven't had much luck. We hear him but never do see him.

So the other night we were sitting out there, waiting, and talking about this whole owl spotting thing. I've read that lots of people see these owls often, so why is it so hard for us to see this one? We're here at the right times, we hear him directly above our head, but we can't see him.

Hmm.

What if we could lure him to us? Make him show himself so we can get a good look at him?

And then a plan was born. A plan that sounds good but for some reason seems to hang somewhere in that gray area where a lot of good plans start but then go horribly wrong. I'll tell you the plan and you let me know what you think.

Here's what we know about these owls:
They are very careful hunters and and will usually land on a tree branch to check out the area for prey. Once he has an exact location on his prey he'll swoop down, grab the prey and return to a branch to eat.

So.... What if we buy one of those mice they sell at Petsmart, tie some fishing line to it's leg and then send it out into the field next to the tree the owl sits in. With the fishing line we can control where the mouse goes and we can keep him out in the clearing. Then we use an animal call that simulates a wounded small animal to summon the owl.

We might see him come in and land but even if we don't, we'll for sure see him grab the mouse. And we can track where he flies to after so we'll see him once he lands on a branch as well.

I realize that there are those who would be opposed to sacrificing the mouse but these mice are sold as snake food so their life's mission is to be food, right? Why not owl food?

The Island King and I both agree this sounds like a good plan. But, we both agree that there is something slightly off. Is it wrong? Is it cheating? You can't hunt on a baited field. But we're not going to kill the owl, we just want to take his picture.

We both keep remembering the WKRP in Cincinnati episode where Les Nessman donates turkeys to the community at Thanksgiving but as PR stunt he dropped them from a helicopter over a parking lot. You see, Les thought turkeys could fly and that he was doing a good deed but it went horribly wrong.
The owl plan feels a little like that LOL

So tell me what you think. Is this a good idea or a bad one?
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