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The Adams County Record
Council, Idaho
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June 20, 2012     The Adams County Record
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June 20, 2012
 

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The Adams County Record Wednesday, June 20, 2012 Page 13 The Great Race that Wasn't...Yet. BY DALE FISK As Robert Burns once said, "The best-laid plans of pigeons and men / Often go awry:' Or something like that. In any case the best-laid plans of men for pigeons in the big race that was supposed to happen on June 16 hit a snag and had to be postponed. The truck carrying the pigeons to Council broke down, and the birds were sitting in 90-degree heat, so the race was called off for that week. The race has been rescheduled for this Saturday, June 23 at 5:30 AM at the Shell station. About 15 people showed up at the Shell station last Saturday to find nothing happening. Arne Pederson tried to get the word out of everyone, but of course it was impossible to even know who to call. So he came to the Shell station Saturday morning to break the news to those who showed up. Arne said, "I'd like to apologize to all the pigeon fans that have so faithfully stuck by this seemingly comedy of errors and again thank Shirley and Roy Eastlick for being so positive and flexible. If anyone wants to make sure there is going to be a race this Saturday--call 253-4998 We'll know if everything is a go by Friday morning. Race info According to a 2005 article in the San Mateo County, California "Daily Journal," approximately 3,000 thoroughbred racing pigeons were released at Council that year. The overnight journey by truck is 1,300 miles by road, but only 600 miles as the pigeon flies. The paper said, "The pigeons were fed and watered the night before the race, but their next meal" is in their own warm and comfortable lofts if they hurry. Approximately 10 to 12 hours after release in Idaho and with favorable winds, the homing pigeons should have arrived at their lofts at around 7:30 p.m. Saturday. If weather stations in Winnemucca, Elko and Reno report adverse weather conditions in the Sierras like lighting or snow, the race secretary in Hayward will cancel the race before the birds are released." The birds average about 45 mph, and don't fly at night. If they encounter a strong head-wind, their air speed may. decrease to 30 mph and the flight time may take up to 20 hours. Sometimes a racing pigeon will get lost. In 2005 a Florida pigeon was found in California and shipped home. The pigeons return to their own home lofts, so a clever and high- tech method is used to determine the winner. When t.hey arrive home, the birds pass over an antenna at the entrance of their loft. The sensor registers the GPS microchip in a small band attached to the pigeon's leg. That information is recorded in a clock that the owner brings to the racing club, where it is officially unsealed. Before microchips, the information was stamped into a special clock that would be sealed after the pigeons arrived. Apparently not everyone thinks pigeon racing is good old-fashioned fun. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), has launched a campaign against the sport of pigeon racing, pigeon racing hobbyists and the American Racing Pigeon Union (AU). Mon, Tues, Wed 7am to 8pm Thurs 7am to 9pm Fri & Sat 7am to 10:30pm Sun 7am to 7pm Mann Creek Country Store & Cae 1498 ltwy 95 Weiser 549-2153 Pia00dge Tues- Sun 8am to 8pro Daily Specials Friday and Saturday Prime Rib Special 5445 Hwy 95 16.5 miles North of Council 547"5900 [ S00_0000OUSE [ Whether You Run A 5-Star Restaurant or A Hot Dog Stand Advertise your eatery for just $10 a week *$10 a week pricing requires minimum 8 week commitment -- ad design induded, ads will. be printed in color at our discretion.