News and Updates
Aug-26-2019
OAK SPRINGS ROAD TODAY

Headed out for another toss today at Pumphouse Road, however recollecting back on the way they just headed out straight north yesterday I decided to take them up on the ridge another 5 miles for their first toss from Oak Springs Road.  It was cool and clear with no wind, so no need to just toss from the same spot when they excelled the day prior.  Today the birds had to circle around for several minutes before figuring out that they were only 5 miles farther up in the hills, looking down at the valley below once they got off of the ridge.  They will be released tomorrow from the same spot and hopefully they shoot right out and head toward home.  If they have no issues then we will progress from there. 

Today most of the birds were trapped in and then a Cooper Hawk came by to investigate.  It did not attack, just flew by, but that was enough to get the last 80-100 birds flying for another hour or so.  Finally decided since those birds were spooked the only way to get them in the loft would be to just lure them in with the majority who had already trapped.  It worked and as of this second we are 701/703 birds for today, 701/713 since we started training.  Lets all hope this continues!

Tomorrow we will be at Oak Springs Rd again, 25 miles.  

 

Rick & Olga 

Aug-25-2019
FIRST TOSS AT 20 MILES

The birds had their first toss at 20 miles this morning.  When we pulled up to the loft after the toss they were still flying, and many continued to fly for well over a hour due to it being nice and cool.  It started to get windy about 9 AM and as most of you know, they like to play in the wind. 

The birds are really feeling "it" right now!  They are healthy and telling us they are ready for about anything at this point if pointed in the right direction at release.  Having said that, we have at least three more tosses at 20 before we progress out any farther. 

Do not stress if your birds are not trapping fast, they are probably the stronger birds who just want to fly!

 

Rick & Olga

Aug-23-2019
GAME PLAN FOR NEXT FEW TOSSES

Today the birds were released for a second time at Parker Heights School which is 10 miles directly south of the loft and about 5 miles south of Konowock Pass.  Once the birds are coming through Konowock Pass, the depression in the ridge that runs east and west 5 miles directly south of us, we can let out a big sigh of relief.  The ridge itself, just looked it up but could not find the information, is about 30 miles long.  We learned from experience that if you release on the south side of Rattlesnake Ridge without the birds first feeling comfortable and us visibly seeing them fly up above the ridge, then releasing them on the south side can spell disasterous results!  We really took our time this year, and the weather has been very cooperative, to get them used to the area around Konowock Pass so that the first time we let them out they would not panic.  Yesterday they crossed the ridge, and or went through Konowock Pass like real champs, and did the same today. 

Game plan is to release again from Parker Heights School tomorrow at 10 miles, if all goes well we will progress to Pumphouse Road at 20 miles and is at the base of the next ridge they must learn to cross which is Toppenish Ridge.  They will get at least 2 tosses from this spot and if all goes well we will then go a few more miles up on top of the ridge and release at Oak Springs Road before we progress on to our next stations.  

The birds look incredible this year!  No smoke yet which really plagued us last year and put us behind schedule with training and races.  If everything works out as planned the birds will be trained during the last part of our hot weather and the races will start when it begins to cool off.  We hardly ever get any rain here where we live but it does get cloudy and some rain starting in Nov, and snow in Dec.  So if everything works out as planned we should be having the final race mid October.  We will not indicate a specific day because we adjust as needed for the benefit of the birds.  We load birds up on Sunday, race on Monday.  By avoiding racing on weekends we avoid the chance of our birds getting mixed up with birds from OR, WA, and CA who may be racing the same day and going in the opposite direction.....a situation we absolutely want to avoid. 

Cross your fingers and pray along with us folks, everything is going well thus far.......lets keep it that way!

 

Rick & Olga

Aug-20-2019
LET THE TRAINING BEGIN!

As most of you know we had our first toss yesterday from 5 miles.  It being their first toss, it took them a few minutes to figure out what they were supposed to do but once they did they beat us home.  Yesterday we released 713 and had 707 by the end of the day, today we released a mile short of yesterday and ended up with 710 so we picked up 3 from yesterday. 

If this is your first year flying with us, let us briefly explain our course. 

The birds race directly south along HWY 97 in to CA.  Five miles to the south of us is a long ridgeline called Rattlesnake Ridge, about 1,200 ft high, and directly south of us cut in that ridge is Konowock Pass.   We inch the birds out to the base of Konowock Pass getting them used to coming from that direction, once they seem proficient we take them to the top of the pass hoping they are smart enough to fly directly north toward the loft recognizing the points they have been trained from the days prior.   Once they have this down pat, it is time to take them on the other side of the ridge a few miles so that when they are released they "hopefully" spot Konowock Pass which is the lowest point on the ridgeline and shoot right over it.  Taking them a few miles to the south of the ridge gives them a running start at the pass.  After a few tosses on the south side of Konowock Pass we take them to the Toppenish Ridge which is about 20 miles from the loft.  Next major obstacle is Satus Pass, which is about 2650 ft high.  This is actually pretty easy for them because we release on the north side of the pass and they can see downhill in to Toppenish at release.  The most nerve wracking part is taking them in to Goldendale for their 60 mile toss because they have to shoot right over Satus Pass, then over Toppenish Ridge, then through Satus Pass.  Once they do this well we have to cross the Columbia River which is about 65 air miles from the loft.  In year's past we have released in Wasco, OR but last year we had a few bad tosses from Wasco because we believe the birds panicked once they saw the river and most likely got attacked by falcons who sit on the cliffs.  So the game plan this year is to back up farther off the river so the birds can get more of a running start at the river up higher so they will not panick their first time trying to cross the mighty Columbia River through the Columbia Gorge. 

So our major obstacles are Konowock Pass at 5 miles, Toppenish Ridge at 20, Satus Pass at 40, Goldendale 60 miles, then crossing the Columbia River.  This means your birds will be flying over ridges, hills, desert, forest, mountains, and  across a river sitting down in a Gorge with incredible side winds.  If you wanted to see if you have tough pigeons and not just flatland racers, then you have sent them to the right place my friends!

We will train every day, weather permitting of course, and we do plan on taking off Labor Day as this is opening dove season weekend. 

Once we get the birds out to say 20 miles we will shoot a video so you breeders can get a feel for what our course looks like. 

As per our rules, if you had a bird lost before our first training toss, you will get a free perch redeemable the very next year.  Thank God for you and for us, there are very few this year! 

Our goal is to get 600+ birds to the first race this year.  Lets all cross our fingers and hope this becomes a reality. 

 

Rick & Olga

Aug-13-2019
FLAGGING AND INVENTORY

Some of you may of noticed that we started to run a inventory this morning but it stopped at 8 pigeons.  It took us a few hours before we figured out that a door had been slammed on a cable running to the pads and a nail went through the cable.  It took some moving pads around and replacing cable, now we are back in business.  Ran the birds back out and they are trapping in SLOWLY while this is being written.  It is fairly cool and sunny today and the birds already have had a big drink, so they are in no big hurry to go in until their feed is put in their trays. 

Friday we pick up our rental truck that we will use to haul the race this year.  After blowing up two engines last year we decided to either buy a larger truck, or to simply rent.  It is more cost effective to just rent for a few months each year since our insurance covers the rental and all services are also covered.  If our helpers do not go out of town this weekend we may start training over the weekend, but most likely the first toss will be Monday which is what we have told our help all along and we can't expect them to cancel their mini vacation before we get hot and heavy with training and races in about a month. 

This week the birds will be flagged each day to insure each and every bird is up and flying well before we haul them down the road.  This morning they were flagged up three times and every bird did a good job.  Their flights are back in and most are on their 6th, 7th, or 8th flights, so they will absolutely have a full wing for the longer races and most importantly the final.  Temps are dropping and the birds are really enjoying it.  

For the next 7 days the birds will be treated for canker and respiratory. 

Good luck to all of you in the One Loft Races which have already started, and of course in the Apple Cup this year!

 

Rick & Olga

 

Jul-30-2019
LATE JULY UPDATE

Hi folks, it has been 21 days since we conducted the flight pull and health/chip check and thought we would give a quick update. 

The birds are starting to exercise again as their flights grow back in.  Hopefully we will start road training mid August provided the smoke does not end up being a issue like it was last year. 

We are down a handful of birds on today's inventory since the last inventory.  Health is excellent at the loft and no birds have had to be removed since the last inventory, so we can only assume that while out exercising some birds got in to wires, collided with each other when the flock breaks up and flys in different directions, anything really can happen.  If you are down a bird BEFORE the first training toss, we will give you a free perch next year. 

We will run a few more loft flying inventories before we hit the road next month. 

The birds get to loft fly each and every day.  Health is excellent this year, best it has ever been in the four years of running this race.  We will run the birds on a respiratory treatment and canker before road training starts. 

If you have any questions please contact us, contact info under the contact tab. 

 

Rick & Olga

 

 

Jul-20-2019
LATEST SINCE FLIGHT PULL

It has been 12 days since we pulled flights, did the chip and health check.  The birds 9th and 10th are about a inch out already and most are up and flying like they were before we pulled flights.  Some of the older birds are dropping 6, 7, or 8 so they don't fly very long but once 9 & 10 are in a bit more they will be flying longer.  Before we pulled flights most of the birds were flying high and for quite some time with many small groups breaking off and coming back over a hour later.  We are having our well deepened and the power is off out at the loft.  Once we get all this well business completed we will run another loft flying inventory and we will run a few more before we actually start road training in August.  Health is excellent and holding, that is 90% of running a One Loft Race.  This is the best the birds have looked in four years of doing this, so hopefully everything holds together this year.  Our experience is that if the birds start the series healthy then everything else just falls nicely in to place. 

We did shoot a video recently and put it on Facebook, just of the front of the loft and birds playing around.  We will try to put this on Youtube so you guys can just click on the link in the next email we send out.  We try to remember to post videos of most training tosses, everyone loves these.  We also ALWAYS video the activation race and all races after so that everyone can see the birds are being released from where we say they are being released from and in good weather.

Everyone try to stay cool!   

Rick & Olga

 

 

 

Jul-08-2019
CHIP CHECK/FLIGHT PULL

Just got done performing a chip/health, and pulled flights today.  The most recent loft inventory prior to today showed 707 birds, today 706.  We did have a black bird that just would not trap a few days ago and was no where to be found before dark on or around the loft.  The next day the bird never showed up so something probably got it that night, if you are missing a black bird this was probably your bird. 

Overall the health of the birds were very good, a few thin birds and these got separated and will be treated for worms and bacterial.

There were 13 bad chips, they are as follows.  

190 Clausing

1909 Papas Loft

19630 Desha

332 BXC

438 House Of Paine

1992 CU

8 Jag Lofts

1906 J&J Medina

298 Vita King

1158 Kenny Chen

20 JSRL

2006 SCHE

2499  RI

We will change the chips on these birds tomorrow. 

 

Thanks everyone, it has been a long day!

 

Rick & Olga

 

 

 

 

Jun-29-2019
ALL BIRDS SETTLED!

All of the birds have been settled to include the last 22 we received, this last group has been out loft flying three days.  We had a big hawk come through today and chased the birds for several minutes.  There are currently no birds outside the loft and we are down a few birds according to the inventory.  We will keep the clock running the rest of the day and tomorrow, hopefully we get the rest to trap. 

The majority of the birds are flying high and long, which tells us they are getting stronger with each passing day and that they are healthy.  Health has been much better this year than in year's past.  There are a few things we are doing differently which may be contributing to this, but overall we just got in a good group of birds this year and most were very healthy upon arrival. 

We will conduct a chip and health check early July, also pull the 9th and 10th flights.  If we discover some chips that are not working we will post this info for all of you to see. 

Hope everyone has a great Fourth of July!

 

Rick & Olga

Jun-18-2019
BOOSTER SHOTS/LOFT SANITATION

Olga and I sure are glad school is out and it is summer vacation and we have our teenage helpers every day.  Yesterday I got our daughter Angelina (15) and my younger brother's son Raymond (16) up at 0530, and believe me, they earned every penny that they made yesterday.  While Raymond scraped the entire loft, sprayed it down to include the floor and feeders with Virkon S, disenfected the waterers, Angelina caught pigeons for me and I boosted 230 pigeons for PMV and Paratyphoid.  All of these birds have been here for a minimum of a month and have been through the traps several times and taught to come in when I whistle to them.  Each bird boosted was carefully slipped through a window to the landing board.  Most just hung out on the landing board or on the roof and there were just two birds hanging outside the loft this morning wanting in.  All of the birds were pushed out of the loft and I am sure a few more who stayed out overnight returned.  We will run a inventory in a few days to see if we are missing any.  Of course it is too late to send replacements, but at least you will know if your birds are settled and out flying.  As per our rules, if you are missing a bird BEFORE the first training toss, then you will get a free perch next year.

Invariably, any time you let out a new group of birds for the first time they get scattered to the four winds when a crow or raven flys by, and especially Red Tail Hawks.  After a few days out they absolutely ignore the Red Tails, especially our resident female who has been here since we moved here 6 years ago.  Knock on wood, I have never seen a Red Tail even try to catch one around the loft.  With their help, along with the crows and ravens, they keep all the small hawks and falcons out of their territory so I don't mess with them, as long as they don't mess with the birds.

So at the current moment all birds, with the exception of the last 22 birds to arrive from Liu's Loft, Lazy AC, and Brooklyn Loft have been settled and boosted.  I had the kids clean out the last section yesterday and moved these last 22 birds in to that section where they will stay for a week or so learning the trapping system and like always, they will be boosted for PMV/Paratyphoid before getting to test their wings and added to general pigeon population. 

Almost forgot the best part!  Each bird also received a overall health check yesterday which included a examination of the throat.  One bird was in poor health and removed from the loft and put in quarentine, the rest looked perfect.  As always, lets hope it stays this way! 

Next step is to get these last 22 birds integrated with the rest of the flock.  Once they are flying with the rest of the flock and trapping well we will run all the birds in to our loading chute at the end of the loft to do a chip/health check and pull the last two flights. 

Hope everyone had a great Fathers Day and that you are enjoying your summer. 

 

Rick & Olga

 

 

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