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Folks, I just can't justify a special race this weekend. The weather is dicey. I expect we'll have a tough time getting in a race, and if we do, it will likely be shortened to Redding (180 miles) or less. I'd hate to lose your birds due to weather problems, I can't control the day or conditions of the release if the birds are on the combine trailer, other than to cancel releasing them. 
So, it's time to return your birds. Please let me know how you want them returned. I'll likely go to the CSRPO convention, so some might be returned there. Otherwise, the mail is the likely route. If you don't want them back, let me know and I'll transition them to another loft & fly them in old birds, if possible.

You know, as I reviewed Average Speeds the other night I only looked closely at the prize winners to get that information out to you. Today, I noticed just how close the speeds were. Junior Juanich's 794 at 6th place was only 0.1 second behind 5th, and Dave Harrett's 1927 placing 7th, was less than 3 seconds behind 5th place. Antonio Gomez's 83 placed 8th and was just 40 seconds behind the 5th spot and Rick Nanez's 6640 was just 47 seconds behind Antonio's bird. The first 17 birds in Average Speed were separated by less than 1 hour. 
If your bird(s) didn't do well enough to earn a spot in your breeding loft, I'll be happy to race them in old birds. If your birds do well and you want them back after the old bird season, just ask. 

Congratulations! It's understandable... Elation and disappointment... 19 birds on the drop! No one gets a great prize. I'm gratified to have 19 on the drop, but I know each of you hoped for a nice winning prize... Unfortunately, we can't have both. Special congratulations to Dave Harrett placing 4 for 4 and Antonio Gomez placing 3 for 3 in the first drop! Bob Occonnor and Ralph Rosas entered only 1 bird in the race and finished 5th overall Average Speed.

Average speed:   664.642 miles
$4617 split 40/25/20/10/5
1st. 60669  Wayne Broyles           1349.366ypm
2nd.  1940  Dave Harrett             11.4 seconds to win
3rd.   1937  Dave Harrett             28.6 seconds to win
4th.   6154  Bieche-Stevenson      1.25.4  to win 
5th. 16117  Bob & Ralph              4.53.1 to win​


Due to last week's storm, the Mid-Valley Combine postponed the Hornbrook race until this weekend. In order to keep the birds on schedule, I have chosen to race from Hornbrook this weekend rather than waiting another week for Klamath Falls. It's been about 10 days since the second race from Weed. This change presents an oportunity. The combine will be racing next week from Klamath Falls, so we could add another race to the Delta Classic program this year.

I'm considering one more race from Klamath Falls next weekend if you, the breeders, would like to do that. It will NOT include Average Speed as the rules are already set.  It will require the breeders to put up another entry fee of $50.00 per bird. If you're interested, please let me know. If the interest is there, we'll do it!

Second day birds started arriving this morning at 7:52. I came out to the loft to find a bird about to enter the loft. The power was already on, so it registered without a problem. Birds came in all day and by days' end, there were 36 birds in the loft. The birds flew a short time this morning without forcing them, just a little fly around to limber them from their Tuesday effort. 

I drove the birds, myself, to Weed and released them at 8:00 a.m. The official sunrise at Weed was 7:18 a.m., but with Mt. Shasta rising to over 14,000 ft, the sun was just peeking over its shoulder when I released the birds with great expectations. I packed up and hustled home non-stop. As I drove, I checked the wind direction at various points along the way and found it coming from several directions. The weather was clear through out the day. Seven birds dropped together just before 13:45. Five minutes later, another 8 birds hit the board. After 8 minutes more, another pair hit and again another pair came in only a minute later. Ten minutes later, one more hit, then it was a long wait before another came and then just one more on the day and we were done. To those that don't have a bird home or those missing more, I apologize. Perhaps tomorrow will find more birds returning in greater numbers.


I gave the birds a short toss Tuesday to get them up the road and limber them up both physically and mentally. The birds fly daily, whether at the loft or on the road, but I feel they need to get up the road consistently between races. I gave them 3 day rest period after the Red Bluff race, so it was time. 

Today, I tossed the birds from 65 miles. The release time was adjusted to 8:35 a.m., but the speed did not adjust, so they were flying more like 1500 ypm. I had to pull water trays and button things up on the truck before leaving, so they had a head start and beat me by 5 minutes. When I got here 31 birds were in the loft and the other 30 were in the air. They would not come down, so I figured we had cooper hawk company and sure enough, it moved after I sat down for 10 minutes. I chased it out of the area and the birds finally came in. Four of the remaining birds stayed in the air, then two of them came in, then one more, but the last did not clock until much later. We have 59 birds in the loft when I pulled the computer at 4:30 p.m.

I will likely give the birds two more tosses before the next race. I will not race this weekend, but will likely send them to Weed, CA for a Tuesday or Wednesday release. I will then likely race from Klamath Falls, OR, on Saturday, the 22nd of October. The birds are looking good and are flying well around the loft, especially when a cooper is in the neighborhood!

Great race today from the loft manager's perspective.. It's a small pay day for the breeders, however. We had 26 birds on the first drop. The second drop was just 1:32 minutes behind with 27 through 49. There are 60 of 66 birds entered in the first race in the loft at the end of the day.

Bob's family is hosting a Celebration of Life on Saturday, October 8th at 3 p.m. All are invited. It will be at the VFW hall close to his home. I'll release a group of race birds in his honor. I also have a wedding that afternoon, so I'll be up the hill as soon as possible after leaving that program. I hope you local flyers will attend, your support will be appreciated by his family. 

I'll possibly run Race 2, Weed, CA, mid-week, in about 9 or 10 days, weather permittingn. That way, the birds will be set up for the 3rd race from Klamath Falls, about 10 days after that. The birds will be trained out regularly during the interim of both races to keep them sharp. The time will hopefully allow the late birds time to recuperate.

Training toss today with 63 birds in the clock. Most were in the clock in short order. 

Shipping for the first race is this Friday at the Manteca club house. If you want to handle your bird(s), please let me know and be there by 8:00 p.m. If you're shipping birds with another club and can get to the club house before we finish, let me know and I'll hold your birds for you until we need to load them. 

I expect to release the birds at Red Bluff instead of Redding. The birds have had a 95 mile toss, so this is approximately a 65 mile jump. That's plenty for the first race. There is a major weather change in the coming days. This may add an extra challenge or help the birds; only time will tell.

Please get your entry and pool money in ASAP. The post mark will determine that you've paid in time and eligible if you won't be here in person. 

It's time to pay the second entry of $100 per bird for all race ready birds. If your bird is showing on the training sheets, please consider it race ready. If it is not race ready or lost before the first race, I will return your cash. Also, in place of a standard set of pools, I'll have a single pool of $30 per bird per race. To simplify, you might choose to send $190.00 per bird and be finished with your entry & pool payments. If you like, you can pay the $30 pool money before each race, but then you'll have to send or make several payments. If your bird is lost in the first or second race or you choose to not pool it after submitting the money, I'll refund your money that hasn't been put into action yet. 

It seems that Friday, September 30, might be the best shipping night, if the combine allows me to ship the birds on the truck. It will allow me to be here on race day to host the race without a hitch. The weather also seems marginally better on Saturday if it turns out as the forcast suggests. If that doesn't work out, we'll ship on Saturday night. I'll talk with the appropriate persons Monday and let you know. Regardless, get your payment in please. 

Today, I gave the birds a quick 10 mile toss to give them an easy toss and get them off the property and update the inventory for you. The last toss was Thursday, so it was time. The birds will continue to get a few more tosses this week of 30 to 65 miles to keep them sharp. Another bird returned this afternoon; AA1378 is the bird. 

Go figure! The birds looked good, nice weather... but only 55 in the clock! There were 44 on the drop it seems, and 3 more just behind them. Then just a few more, and it cut off. Maybe the other group split and stayed west into the next valley over into the bay area. The birds were released at 10:10 due to 2 traffic accidents. With the cool weather, I figured it was best to go with it. Traffic was trouble on the drive back with another accident and a fuel stop, so the birds trapped on their own. 

My long time friend and partner, Bob Mitchell, passed away this morning. I can't count the years we worked our birds together, likely 25 or so. He travelled down the hill, a 60 mile round trip, daily to care for the birds in one way or another. Bob has been on oxygen for a while and was receiving treatment for cancer over the last year or more. I'll miss him and his clear headed thinking greatly. 

I'll continue working the birds, getting them ready for the first race. Tomorrow, I hope to toss them from 100 miles or so. As you know, we tossed them from 65 miles twice with good results, so it's time to put more miles on them. 

We have two birds that came in from the last 65 mile toss with broken legs. Unfortunately, I set a cast on the legs and can't tell you the I. D. number of one of them. That bird has a compound fracture on the leg that had an eband and a standard fracture on it's banded leg. The eband came off in the collision. Suffice it to say, he won't make the races. I'll let you know his band in a couple of days when I check him again. The other bird has just one broken leg on the band leg, of course. I just put her through the antenna to check the band. It's number is 77563. Bob said both birds were Hollywood Lou birds, but I can't find my note to be sure. Like I said, the bird has no eband and I don't want to disturb it again. I had to set the compound fracture leg again today, so I'll let it rest. By the way, I have found over the years that a quarter baby aspirin (80mg tab split in quarters to approximate about 20mg) will keep the band leg from swelling due to poor circulation. I have not cut off a band in years because of this therapy.

9/15/16 Wednesday & Thursday Training Tosses
​We trained from Sankey Road @ Hwy 70, 50 miles, on Wednesday with a large drop of perhaps 70 birds as I recall. We had a few late arrivals and were missing two. Check training to see how your birds came.

Thursday, today, we trained from Plumas Lake Blvd. @ hwy 70, a distance of perhaps 65 miles. The computer was not responding before I left, so I figured I would just put up the trainer after I got back, but in my rush to leave, I left the Wincom open to register birds. and because of this the birds' clocking is not retrievable a second time, so only the late arriving birds. We had 36 birds on the drop at 12:09 and were out 11 birds when I returned around 12:40.

Here is a list of the birds' trapping order:

At 12:09: 6154, 830, 64, 26 60647 4004 6200 6121 1927 78083 10299 1936 1383 782 78094 78082 794 10287 78086 6137 6113 6255 6181 6156 78071 24974 62146 16117 61563 6014 2350 1931 78080 124 78085 2316  

At 12:11 60653 629 4600 158 783 603 6640 61586 66 273 30

At 12:12 6528 6002 62141 6134 6008 2347 4009

At 12:13 6150 2303 6005 6003 78074 172 60691 60669 118 77591 78088 62138 6012 60645 127 60686 35 793 6213

At 12:15 62147 At 12:16 606 1370 779

At 12:17 1378 24983 78099 24977

At 12:23 1940 At 12:46 2317

At 13:18 1937 274

At 13:36 78068

At 13:57 83

At 14:25 4001

At 16:14 24984

At 19:19 10298

Currently, we have 89 birds in the clock @ 16:45.

9/13/16  We finally got the clock to transfer info to the internet on Wincompanion. It seems my USB to serial adapter cable was defective. The cable just sat in a drawer since last year with the rest of the equipment, so there was no reason to suspect it and we tried just about all we could think of with the kind and patient help of Terry @ Wincompanion and Camille @ Siegel's. The data would not transfer the com port updates over to allow Wincompanion to find it.  

We put up an inventory this evening after loft flying the birds earlier today and the last couple days. We've had numerous birds injured coming home in training, but all but one is on the road. It seems they've gone through power lines, as we have several injuries and we're missing birds we feel we shouldn't have lost. Well, after 3 or 4 days of registering the birds and getting training and race data online, I'm ready to get back on the road! The birds will go out to Howsley Road on Wednesday. 

Thank you for your patience, 
John & Bob

8/31/16  Since my last update, the birds have pretty much been trained daily except Sunday. On Friday, we tossed the birds from Acampo Road, a distance of 4.5 miles. Saturday, we tossed from Collier Road, about 7.5 miles, and the birds came well. Monday, the birds were tossed from Hwy 99 at Liberty Road, 9.25 air miles. Tuesday, we tossed from 13.3 air miles, just south of Twin Cities Road. We then tossed the birds at Arno Road at 99, a distance of 16 air miles. Today, we tossed the birds at 20 miles, just south of Grant Line Road and Hwy 99... somehow, I've missed a day here, but these are all the tosses, so far. The birds came broken up today, but most are in. We've gotten the ebands in and are working on the Pidex to get them registered in the system. We'll then start giving you training updates on Wincompanion. I'm working the next three days, but will try to get it done soon. 

​8/26/16  We've started training this week, though the distances are short. We held off training due to taking in birds longer than normal. Then, the weather was hot, so we held off. We haven't put ebands on the birds yet as the band have been held up in the mail. At this point, we first took the birds to the end of the property just to give them experience leaving the baskets. Then, we took them about 1/2 a mile up the road. We followed that by two 1.5 mile tosses to Victor Road. For some reason, the birds came broken up from the first 1.5 mile toss, so we took them back the next day. Today, we sent the birds out from perhaps 3 miles at Bruella and Schmeidt Roads and they came quickly. 

2/29/16 About time I got this site updated! We're open for business!! Hopefully you've put your best together and you're ready to take a prize home this fall. Last year was the most competitive one loft race I can recall in a three race series. The birds benefited from mild weather and mild tail winds on the first race, calm, mild weather from Weed and cool temps with very mild head winds from Klamath Falls. We had releatively large drops on each of the races, so average speed is where the larger payouts occurred. The payout came from $50.00 nonrefundable entry per bird when placed in the loft, and $100.00 for all race ready birds entering the first race, less 20% for our expenses. The total was 11,160, but we rounded all numbers up to the whole number amounting to 11,179. I've not seen average speeds so close before. The first four birds were only 16 seconds apart, and 2nd, 3rd, and 4th were only 1.1 seconds apart! So, you might say Ken Chhi's bird, FMT 0301 was WAY out in front... 14.9 seconds! The 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th Ave speed winners were BIECHE 5252, Hi-Cal Connection's SD 1137, and two from Dave Harrett, JEDD 0083, and ​JEDD 0077!