Wednesday, December 8, 2021

A Bird in the Hand - Ronnie Shumaker

I am pleased to let you know the AU has a race clocking procedure ideal for youth and youth groups that does not require the purchase of any type of clock.   This new system takes us back in time to the use of the countermark machine and physically removing the countermark off the leg of our feathered athlete when it returns from the release point. 

The cost of clocks has prohibited many children or youth groups from participating in our sport.  This new system helps eliminate that cost.  This system is ideal for youth groups, such as 4-H, schools, or home school groups.

Regrettably many pigeon flyers today have never experienced the thrill of removing a countermark from the pigeon’s leg and with trembling fingers placing the small countermark in a capsule to drop in the clock.  The clank noise of the old clocks being hand turned has been replaced by the multiple beeping of birds rushing across the pad and being clocked automatically.  Now, a pigeon owner can be on the lake fishing and get a text or email that his or her bird has safely made it home from miles away.  With today’s technology no one has to be there to witness this remarkable feat of possibly flying hundreds of miles overcoming many obstacles.

As a former teacher that has had lofts at many different schools, I know the importance of the interaction of children and our remarkable birds.  This clocking system ensures this interaction because the junior member must remove the countermark and by using an electronic device enter the countermark number on the AU National Database.  The bird will then immediately be clocked in the race. 

If your club has countermark machines you can donate to this program, the AU will be happy to forward them to groups that will use them.   

I would like to thank
Southwest Zone Director, Bud Williams, for starting the work on this project and JoyceStierlin for her efforts working with the programmer to make this tool available for our youth members. 

Contact me for details to help any juniors or youth groups in your area utilize this clocking system. 

Ronnie Shumaker- Youth/School Coordinator-, 601-938-6775.


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