Newspaper Archive of
The Adams County Record
Council, Idaho
June 27, 2012     The Adams County Record
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June 27, 2012

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The Adams County Record Wednesday, June 27, 2012 Page 3 Continued from front page Saturday morning before 5:30 AM, which was the announced time for the start of the race. As the day dawned and people yawned, it began to dawn on those in attendance that race time was 5:30 AM Pacific Time, not Mountain Time--a bit of information that would have gained everyone there an hour of sleep had they known. This annual race is the "Super Bowl" of pigeon racing. As one racing pigeon owner put it, "This is the race that separates the men from the boys!" Just before 6:00 AM Mountain Time (5:00 Pacific) the big fifth- wheel trailer containing the pigeons pulled into the Shell parking lot. Driver, Wes Askan, and his assistant had spent the previous night in Cambridge. The $50,000 trailer is an interesting piece of mechanical engineering. There are 70 doors on each side, each covering a cage. Many of the cages were empty, but the occupied ones each contained about a dozen pigeons. An exact count on the number of birds to be released wasn't given, but Askan said the average for this race is between 700 and 800. There were 107 owners participating in this race, many racing several pigeons. He explained that the pigeons have been trained in other, shorter, races in preparation for this 600- mile marathon to San Francisco. Their owners had fed the birds a special high-energy diet during the previous week, and Askan had fed the pigeons another special feed mix about 2:00 PM the day before the race. As the starting time drew near, Askan POsitioned the trailer for the release and pulled out his cell phone. His partner went around to each door and released a small l tch that allowed the door to open slightly and rest on an upright metal stop. Each metal stop was welded to a bar that extended the full length of the trailer and ended at the rear where levers that operate the rods were secured with a padlock until just before the race. As everyone watched, Askan announced, "Thirty seconds:' At exactly 5:30 Askan's partner quickly flipped two levers on each side of the rear of the trailer. The long bars along the sides rotated the stops down and away from the cage doors, allowing them to flip open. There was a flurry of wings on one side of the trailer and then the other as the birds flew out. The assistant quickly walked up the isle inside the trailer, banging on the cages to make sure there were no malingerers. All of the pigeons gathered into one big ball of birds in the air over the trailer and began circling at an altitude of about 100 feet. As they climbed higher, the ball of birds expanded and contracted as if it were inflating and deflating. The flock arle .( I ean s Hilarie Murphy, daugh- ter of Dennis and Pam Murphy of Council made the Dean's List at Lewis- Clark State College at Lewiston, Idaho, for the past semester. To qualify for the Dean's List, students must have at least a 3.25- 3.749 grade point aver- age for the semester and' take at least 12 graded credits in level 100 or above classes. seemed to go in random directions, all of them moving in unison like a school of fish. After about a minute, they circled farther to the south and soon went out of sight, still mostly in one big bunch. At 8:15 PM, 13 hours and 45 minutes after the pigeons were released, the first place hen, belonging to Mike Cambra, entered its home loft near San Francisco. Cambra, who has been racing pigeons for 55 years, had the winning bird in this race several years ago. This hen had a new chick at home, which may have given her a little more motivation to get home quickly. Now if we just knew if any of those eggs left behind were :hers. Just as with racehorses, the offspring of a big winner are worth a lot of money. See the Record's Facebook page for more photos: One of the pigeon eggs recovered after the pigeons left the cages. Several people took eggs home to see if they could get them to hatch. Death Notice Ernest Arnold Bryson Jr 76, of Council died June 22, 2012 at his home. Arrangements are under the direction of Thomason Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent to the family at lienkaemper-thomason. com. Death Notice Mary Jane Rivers, 78, of Weiser, passed away June 22, 2012 at a local hospital. Arrangements are pending under the direction of Th6mason Funeral Home, Weiser. Condolences may be sent to the family at Now Available Stephen Mehen's ' [he Legend of Council Mountain" The Adventures of Sean and Rory This story weaves historical legend and personal experience together for an intriguing story. To order your book today go to and follow the instructions, or call 208-634-9899 OPEN SU.DAY 11-5 - 1802 SW 4th Ave Ontario, OR L,~3 (2 ( .~L~ ~( 2~L~:~ All prices net of factory rebates and incentives. Photos for illustration purpose only. / Plus tax title and dealer doc fee of $75.00. Offer ends June 30, 2012.