I’ve seen something I’ve never seen before.
|Victim and Predator Image from Jim Burns|
A small hawk had found a pigeon separated from its flock and managed to crash it in traffic in front of my car. The hawk took a second or two to regrasp the pigeon, look around and then drag the injured bird off the road and on to the glass berm, out of sight.
The hawk was lucky on several accounts. Traffic was slow and I recognized what was happening while they were still a flying tangle of feathers heading to the pavement. I could stop and wait the 10 seconds it took.
There is a tactical message in all of this. Let’s ignore the implication the pigeon was unarmed and the hawk armed with sharp talons.
The hawk cruised around until it found an isolated pigeon, a victim of opportunity. It struck with maximum force to disorientate the victim. He then took a second to make sure a bigger hawk would not steal his victim, made sure he had control of his victim and then took the victim to a secondary, more private location. Needless to say the pigeon lost more than his wallet and watch.
What do we get out of this?
Armed or not, it’s safer in a group. Pay attention to the surroundings. If that pigeon knew about the circling hawk, it would have taken cover with the rest of the flock. A criminal attack will be violent and unexpected. See your attacker approach and start your counter before he arrives.
No, I don’t mean drawing your gun. That’s dependent on the circumstances and may be appropriate. But opening your coat to make access to the fighting tools easier, emptying your hands, moving to cover, moving back to the store entrance, getting the family to safety, all start the process. This sends a clear message to the predator that they have been seen and you are not surprised.
Final observation. Never let yourself been taken to a secondary site. There is a reason the criminal wants to take the time and risk exposure and possible capture to move you to a move private location.
Remember that pigeon.