Four Falconry Fundamentals
Review of Matthew Mullenix´s new book
June, 2020 I Kátia Boroni
(Journalist I MTB: 002.0435/MG)
“Falconry is not a simple sport; it isn´t even a single sport but rather a dozen or more distinct pursuits and a loose, almost endlessly spooling list of related activities that together make something like a life-style.”
Apparently the quarantine imposed on us by COVID-19 gave us a gift, a Matthew Mullenix's new book, called Four Falconry Fundamentals.
One of the great qualities of Mullenix as an author is his ease in synthesizing and simplify concepts and techniques,
making reading easy and accessible. His new book is a guide that should always be read and reread, always keeping in mind what has been proven to work in Falconry.
His target audience in this new work is the apprentice, and Mullenix is an author who is always willing to help everyone who wishes to venture into the Falconry lifestyle. However, this book can help even the most experienced falconers, as an opportunity to exchange experiences through reading.
His book covers what he calls the four fundamentals of falconry: Prey base, husbandry, recall and slip management.
On each chapter he discusses these fundamentals, teaching and reflecting on the importance of each one in the practice
The four fundamentals provide a base for the practice of the sport, as he says: “without but one, the pattern breaks.”
In the first fundamental dedicated to prey, the author discusses how an adequate base of wild prey must be the falconer´s first consideration.
In the second fundamental about husbandry he shows his point of view on weight management, in addition to talking about other key points like the use of appropriate equipment, bird health, feeding, etc.
In the third fundamental he talks about his unconventional and expansive use of the word recall. Positive reinforcement, partnership and entering are some of the key points he discusses in this chapter.
In the last chapter dedicated to the slip management the author discusses how success in the field depends on planning: “knowing which levers are available to gain advantage is more important to success than almost any other consideration.”
Matthew Mullenix is an experienced American falconer. Since 1984 he has been flying specially American kestrels and Harris’s hawks. He has previously written two books, including the successful “American Kestrels in modern Falconry ”, which has already been translated into several languages, including Portuguese (our translation). He has also written several articles and chapters on the sport both for falconers and the general public.
Mullenix has the ability to say the obvious in a very objective and clear way, he not only teaches about the subject, but also makes his reader think. As more experienced the falconer is, the more he will reevaluate his practice of falconry after reading the book. It's easy to get lost in this art if you don't keep on the right track, but luckily it's easy to return to the correct track following the principles proposed by the author.
It is definitely a book that should always be around. It´s excellent not only for falconers (apprentice or experienced), but to everyone who are interested in this art, and thinks about joining in this lifestyle called Falconry.
The book is available in paperback and e-book editions on Amazon. Due to our successful partnership in the translation of the book “American kestrels in modern Falconry”, I translated this new book into Portuguese. It is available for purchase on Amazon.
By Kátia Boroni
Brazilian journalist specializing in falconry, birds of prey and environmental education. Official translator of the book “American Kestrels in modern falconry” and
"Four Falconry Fundamentals by Matthew Mullenix
into portuguese. Editor and translator of the digital magazines Diário de Falcoaria and Corujando por aí.
Key words: Falconry, Four Falconry Fundamentals, Hunting, Hawking, birds of prey, falconry books.
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