Welcome Mavic Pilot!
Jump in and join our free DJI Mavic community today!
Sign up

Mavic Pro- Defender of the chickens

hherbson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2018
Messages
100
Reaction score
137
Age
112
It been a rough year for my flock, since a family of Cooper's Hawks (aka chicken hawks) took up residence nearby. In person they're not nearly as friendly as the one in the old Foghorn Leghorn cartoons, with their favorite method of assassination being to land talons first on the neck of a chicken. It started this spring, with my discovery of a dead and picked at chicken in the back yard.

A few weeks later I was sitting on the deck, and one swooped down, grabbed a young one, and flew off without missing a beat while I was 25 feet away. The attacks have become more frequent, and I've tried using one of those horns on a can of compressed gas and roman candles with limited success. They tend to circle overhead and screech while planning their attack, then enter a steep dive like a feathered German Stuka. My rooster will occasionally see them circling overhead and sound the alarm, but lets face it, chickens aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer, and after a minute they go back to eating and playing.

A little background on these *precious* federally protected birds........ You can't catch them, shoot them, transport them (unless your a licensed falconer with a permit) or even possess a hawk feather, unless you want a multi thousand dollar fine. However, if they are attacking your livestock, you can legally harass them.

I've started keeping the Mavic gear by the back door, and when I see them circling overhead, or hear my rooster sound the alarm (his name is Rooster Cogburn because he's old and crusty and walks with a limp), I start everything up, quickly set it on the deck and blast skyward at 22 mph, or about 2000 feet per minute in aircraft speak. The chase is on.........

I've found the Mavic makes a very good Hawk interceptor, and it's strangely satisfying chasing them across the sky, especially with the goggles on, where it feels like your in a video game dogfight. My Mavic will do about 46 mph, and the hawks have a really hard time outrunning it. As I close in, the hawk will panic and do a hard left hand dive, trading altitude for speed. I follow, while panning around to look for his wingman. They always seem to attack in groups of 2 or 3. Now the hawk has become a chicken, and as it tires it flies down into the woods to hide. No worries, I'll face him another day.

I gain altitude while panning and soon find his accomplice, orbiting nearby while he contemplates what the heck is happening, and questioning his status as the local apex predator. This time I chase him from below, gaining altitude while in pursuit. Battery over-current warnings continue to flash as I keep it full throttle, in the Mavic's version of War Emergency Power. I can see him nervously looking over his shoulder as the giant "angry bee" closes the gap. I'm careful to stay slightly below him, so he doesn't make a diving turn. Instead he weaves to the left and right, reminiscent of the WW2 footage where a pilot is firing on an inexperienced adversary who panics and doesn't know what to do.

Then it happens...... my remote starts saying battery level critical, and I flip up the goggles to see I'm at 8% power. No way to make it back home, I'm 2 miles away. In the heat of battle, I lost track of that small detail, and get the sinking feeling a fighter pilot would experience when the low fuel light comes on. Think Kevin think! I pan the camera around and start looking for a suitable landing site. Nothing but woods and soybean fields. My stomach tightens, and I can feel my pulse in my neck. 4%..........3%........... in the distance I see the abandoned golf course. My instincts want me to get their quickly, but I remember reading that best endurance is around 20 mph. By sheer force of will, I putt along at this paltry pace. 2%..............1%.......... Thoughts race through my mind....... If I lose it, will I buy an Mavic 2?????? But that would mean I'm out a total of 2 grand, and I swear I could feel my wallet quivering..... Keep it together son! It's not dead yet!

As I make it to the nearest overgrown fairway, I'm dumping altitude. The battery has been at 0% for what feels like an eternity, and I'm still 80 feet up. Come on baby, hold together just a little bit longer....... At 60 feet the hills and trees block the signal, and I no longer fight the Mavics desperate attempt at auto landing. I hit the land now button as the screen goes blank, with the last view being a black and white still image of shaggy turf.

I hop in my car, and head to the golf course, chain smoking and wondering what I'll find, if I find anything at all.... It was such a good drone, in the prime of it's life, and we've had so little time together. Everyone thinks their drone is the best, but combat forges a special bond that is hard to explain. After 20 minutes of tromping through the weeds, walking in circles using the find my drone app, I find it there with grass twisted around the rotors. Good sign, the motors were still turning when it landed. With great relief I picked it up and checked for damage. Whew! nothing but some finely mulched plant matter on my baby, and a june bug stuck in the grill. Gimbal looks good, man that was too close......

Relief washes over me like a cool wave, and my wallet falls back asleep.... Now I'm thinking of the great combat footage recorded on my bird. When I get home and upload the video, I discovered it was corrupted, and never finished writing the file before the battery died. Oh well, at least I have my Mavic back safe and sound.

As a show of gratitude, I'm thinking of giving it a paint scheme like the Cincinnati Miss, a pristine P-51 Mustang at my airport. I think she deserves it, and may even put little hawk symbols on the side of her nose.

As you can imagine, battery power will be on my mind during our next encounter. I'm also raising the warning alarm level back up, since I don't get a battery readout in my goggles with it set on "non DJI battery".

Please show your drone some love, you never know when it will be the last time you see it.

Regards,

Kevin

p.s. I would like to officially state that a neighbor kid was maintaining visual contact with the drone while my goggles were on ;-)
 

Classic flyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2017
Messages
1,070
Reaction score
425
Age
68
It been a rough year for my flock, since a family of Cooper's Hawks (aka chicken hawks) took up residence nearby. In person they're not nearly as friendly as the one in the old Foghorn Leghorn cartoons, with their favorite method of assassination being to land talons first on the neck of a chicken. It started this spring, with my discovery of a dead and picked at chicken in the back yard.

A few weeks later I was sitting on the deck, and one swooped down, grabbed a young one, and flew off without missing a beat while I was 25 feet away. The attacks have become more frequent, and I've tried using one of those horns on a can of compressed gas and roman candles with limited success. They tend to circle overhead and screech while planning their attack, then enter a steep dive like a feathered German Stuka. My rooster will occasionally see them circling overhead and sound the alarm, but lets face it, chickens aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer, and after a minute they go back to eating and playing.

A little background on these *precious* federally protected birds........ You can't catch them, shoot them, transport them (unless your a licensed falconer with a permit) or even possess a hawk feather, unless you want a multi thousand dollar fine. However, if they are attacking your livestock, you can legally harass them.

I've started keeping the Mavic gear by the back door, and when I see them circling overhead, or hear my rooster sound the alarm (his name is Rooster Cogburn because he's old and crusty and walks with a limp), I start everything up, quickly set it on the deck and blast skyward at 22 mph, or about 2000 feet per minute in aircraft speak. The chase is on.........

I've found the Mavic makes a very good Hawk interceptor, and it's strangely satisfying chasing them across the sky, especially with the goggles on, where it feels like your in a video game dogfight. My Mavic will do about 46 mph, and the hawks have a really hard time outrunning it. As I close in, the hawk will panic and do a hard left hand dive, trading altitude for speed. I follow, while panning around to look for his wingman. They always seem to attack in groups of 2 or 3. Now the hawk has become a chicken, and as it tires it flies down into the woods to hide. No worries, I'll face him another day.

I gain altitude while panning and soon find his accomplice, orbiting nearby while he contemplates what the heck is happening, and questioning his status as the local apex predator. This time I chase him from below, gaining altitude while in pursuit. Battery over-current warnings continue to flash as I keep it full throttle, in the Mavic's version of War Emergency Power. I can see him nervously looking over his shoulder as the giant "angry bee" closes the gap. I'm careful to stay slightly below him, so he doesn't make a diving turn. Instead he weaves to the left and right, reminiscent of the WW2 footage where a pilot is firing on an inexperienced adversary who panics and doesn't know what to do.

Then it happens...... my remote starts saying battery level critical, and I flip up the goggles to see I'm at 8% power. No way to make it back home, I'm 2 miles away. In the heat of battle, I lost track of that small detail, and get the sinking feeling a fighter pilot would experience when the low fuel light comes on. Think Kevin think! I pan the camera around and start looking for a suitable landing site. Nothing but woods and soybean fields. My stomach tightens, and I can feel my pulse in my neck. 4%..........3%........... in the distance I see the abandoned golf course. My instincts want me to get their quickly, but I remember reading that best endurance is around 20 mph. By sheer force of will, I putt along at this paltry pace. 2%..............1%.......... Thoughts race through my mind....... If I lose it, will I buy an Mavic 2?????? But that would mean I'm out a total of 2 grand, and I swear I could feel my wallet quivering..... Keep it together son! It's not dead yet!

As I make it to the nearest overgrown fairway, I'm dumping altitude. The battery has been at 0% for what feels like an eternity, and I'm still 80 feet up. Come on baby, hold together just a little bit longer....... At 60 feet the hills and trees block the signal, and I no longer fight the Mavics desperate attempt at auto landing. I hit the land now button as the screen goes blank, with the last view being a black and white still image of shaggy turf.

I hop in my car, and head to the golf course, chain smoking and wondering what I'll find, if I find anything at all.... It was such a good drone, in the prime of it's life, and we've had so little time together. Everyone thinks their drone is the best, but combat forges a special bond that is hard to explain. After 20 minutes of tromping through the weeds, walking in circles using the find my drone app, I find it there with grass twisted around the rotors. Good sign, the motors were still turning when it landed. With great relief I picked it up and checked for damage. Whew! nothing but some finely mulched plant matter on my baby, and a june bug stuck in the grill. Gimbal looks good, man that was too close......

Relief washes over me like a cool wave, and my wallet falls back asleep.... Now I'm thinking of the great combat footage recorded on my bird. When I get home and upload the video, I discovered it was corrupted, and never finished writing the file before the battery died. Oh well, at least I have my Mavic back safe and sound.

As a show of gratitude, I'm thinking of giving it a paint scheme like the Cincinnati Miss, a pristine P-51 Mustang at my airport. I think she deserves it, and may even put little hawk symbols on the side of her nose.

As you can imagine, battery power will be on my mind during our next encounter. I'm also raising the warning alarm level back up, since I don't get a battery readout in my goggles with it set on "non DJI battery".

Please show your drone some love, you never know when it will be the last time you see it.

Regards,

Kevin

p.s. I would like to officially state that a neighbor kid was maintaining visual contact with the drone while my goggles were on ;-)
That kid can see it 2 miles away???
 
  • Like
Reactions: frank candor

Dabrain

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2017
Messages
236
Reaction score
127
Age
70
Location
Southern Oregon USA
Well, I loved the story. You pontificate very well. I was wondering if you kept the neighbor kid by the back door too? Kind of raises the little red flag thingie. Video writes as it goes, so it would be there up until the battery dies, there's that little red flag thingie again. Still loved the tale.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mortenf

macoman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
823
Reaction score
746
Age
43
Cool story but remember that when a battery get drained to 0%, you are increasing damage to it. If you do it more than twice, you will not be able to charge it anymore and a battery error can show up on your screen.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mortenf

Sailorsteve

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
53
Reaction score
35
Location
California
Very entertaining and well told story!
I especially chuckled at the thought of the 'little hawks painted on the side of the Mavic'.

You could cover the chicken coup with a couple layers of chicken wire to defend against the hawks diving attacks,
but then you would lose material for future stories!!
 

choo choo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
302
Reaction score
261
Age
56
Fabulous, I was metaphorically sat in the cockpit as the flight unfolded word for word. Could almost hear the roar of the engines as you gained height looking for another adversary, and feel the beads of sweat running down your forehead looking for somewhere to land.
 

LongRifle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2017
Messages
118
Reaction score
82
Great story and well written. It looks long-winded at first, but it's so well paced and articulated that it actually felt short in the end. You should start a blog if you don't already have one. Call it "Chicken Chronicles." LOL
 

dvarapala

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2017
Messages
295
Reaction score
223
Age
65
Great story, but this is a war you cannot win. You will get tired of this little game long before those birds do. :D

And where's the video?!?!?!!?
 

RLW8888

Active Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2018
Messages
35
Reaction score
36
Age
71
Wish someone would come up with a miniature machine gun with a maverick mount LOL oh that would probably void the warranty but keep chasing them.,,But watch your fuel tank level
 

Mark W

Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2018
Messages
22
Reaction score
15
Age
59
No video but Mountain Dew was blowing out my nose. Thanks for the humor - loved every minute of the encounter. Made my day.....
 
  • Like
Reactions: Drgnfli

hherbson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2018
Messages
100
Reaction score
137
Age
112
Wish someone would come up with a miniature machine gun with a maverick mount LOL oh that would probably void the warranty but keep chasing them.,,But watch your fuel tank level
Yes, it does void the warranty, but my biggest issues are dealing with the recoil and keeping the feed belt away from the props. With a little tweaking, I should be able to use the goggles for "look to shoot" like on the Apache gunships.
 

Attachments

FlyGuy8675309

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2017
Messages
869
Reaction score
906
Age
49
Yes very well told! I always keeps a lump of coal with me when I fly. If things get dicey I drop it down the back of my shorts. That way if I lose the Mavic, I at least have a nice diamond to put towards a new one.
 

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
73,377
Messages
849,835
Members
100,513
Latest member
nejcklinc