Harry McElroy

I worked as a psychologist and retired in 1984 to concentrate on falconry, writing, and to travel. My motivation for writing is to have other falconers consider my rather oddball techniques. During the 60 years that I have flown hawks, my ambition has been to simplify the process. My hawks are free lofted and flown in the free fight system. I developed the 22 hour weight control system and have used it with all hawks. My system is centered around adjusting taming and training to the individual, and I adapt various techniques used by falconers to obtain maximum performance. My charges are maintained on a whole bird small, mammal ration, and they are kept at flight weight the entire season. Their weight is controlled during the molt to maintain training. My recent books include Desert Hawking IV and Desert Hawking II: Updated Edition.



Desert Hawking II: Updated Edition


Revisit Desert Hawking ll (published in 1977); The original Coopers Hawk and Harris’ combo is now redone with updates and additional chapters. Now 225 pages with both old and new black and white photos. The book contains the original chapters plus three additional articles.

Jamaica Smith writes about hunting a Coulson-Project Harris. Greg Smith adds his take on the Cooper’s hawk hunting quail in the Arizona desert and Harry McElroy writes about his Goshawk; Don Quixote. This print on demand edition was completed in 2014 with the help of Kenn Filkins.

Desert Hawking IV: Quail


This book is a continuation of the Desert Hawking series, and it could be viewed as a culmination of my hawking techniques. From the beginning of my falconry career, I have favored the direct pursuit hawks such as the accipiters, Harris and aplomado. Because of my senior status and the length of our flights, I hunt with four good legs under me.


My preference is the Peruvian Paso. Desert Hawking IV: Quail begins with a focus on the Harris at quail and then moves on to hawking this game bird with the aplomado. There are 327 illustrations including color photos, drawings, and works of art. It is slightly shorter than its predecessor with 368 pages. The book closes with a chapter written by my friends hunting other prey with the aplomado, but the reader is forewarned that this work is narrowly focused on hawking desert quail.