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Long Range Hunt---Great Gray Owl

 
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  #1  
Old 01-23-2005, 08:09 PM
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Long Range Hunt---Great Gray Owl

Jack Sullivan and I photographed owls in northern Minnesota last weekend. We used bait to bring them in and to get flight shots of the owls hunting the mice we set out.


The mice we bought at the Petco store were white. So...how far do you guess an owl can see a white mouse against white snow! We had fed one owl and it took the mouse back a little ways into a woods. So we set up on a different owl and set out our white mouse bait. The original owl was about 45 degrees off to our left. We were intently watching the new owl, hoping for him to spot our mouse. Then at one point the new owl looked in our direction and turned his head very slowly, almost like a panning action with a scope on a tripod. Off to my left I saw movement and noticed an owl flying away...just 20 yards or so from where we had set out the mouse. This is what our new owl had been watching.

I looked 30 yards out and could no longer see our mouse. We had been watching the new owl through the viewfinders of our camera and its powerful lens. I started getting suspicious and trudged out to find our bait. It was gone. The old owl had snuck in and stole our bait from the new owl.

So...how far do you think the owl came to get the white mouse on the white snow?
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Old 01-24-2005, 04:32 AM
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Re: Long Range Hunt---Great Gray Owl

The second photo, the "air-brakes" photo is really nice...

If those owls are anything like my wife they could possible see a white mouse on a white background at several thousand yards [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]... do they crawl up higher in the tree and scream too!!!
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Old 01-24-2005, 07:11 AM
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Re: Long Range Hunt---Great Gray Owl

Dave

The owl saw our mouse at 250 yards screened slightly by the trees it was roosting in.
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Old 01-24-2005, 07:33 AM
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Re: Long Range Hunt---Great Gray Owl

Len

250 yards! That's pretty good resolution...something maybe 2" or a little longer...

Thanks.

I wonder if they see the mouse, meaning the different shade of white, the different parts of the mouse (eye's, nose, etc) or if they see the shadow??

I've heard that for Polar bears the better time to spot them is in full sunlight and see the shadow. I also know that birds, doves and geese, can spot a shadow of a hunter and balk at coming in. Just wondering what the mechanism of identification might be??
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Old 01-24-2005, 08:51 AM
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Re: Long Range Hunt---Great Gray Owl

I have often wondered how many animals see in the infra-red band. It would make hunting, especially at night, a lot easier.
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Old 01-24-2005, 09:08 AM
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Re: Long Range Hunt---Great Gray Owl

Movement maybe what they saw to attract attention. Great pictures! Got any others? What are you using for a camera?
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Old 01-24-2005, 06:28 PM
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Re: Long Range Hunt---Great Gray Owl

Cowboy, these are shot with a Nikon D2H digital camera.
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