Story and photos by RODNEY D. BOAM
It all started when he saw an advertisement for people interested in joining a pigeon-racing club in Logan about nine years ago. Since then, Bo Weeks has been into the thick of training and racing his birds.
The races stretch anywhere from 70 to 500 miles. For the 500 mile race, 20 to 23 bird owners take three to 400 birds to Eureka, Mont., nine miles from the Canadian border, and cut them loose. The one that flies the fastest yards per minute wins the race.
Racing pigeons have two plastic bands, one on each leg. One band has a number to identify the bird and another band has a microchip in it. When the pigeon makes it into its coop at the end of a race there is a mat it crosses before entering the coop. The mat acts as an antenna that sends the time the bird crosses into the coop. The information is recorded on a pigeon racing time clock. The identification and time is printed out. Times are compared with the other birds set loose at the same time and place to declare a winner.
Weeks said he has won his share of the races. The club gives out certificates instead of trophies.
He has learned to breed the fastest birds to increase the likelihood of quality racing offspring.
Weeks said that they release the birds in Eureka at 8 a.m. The birds will be back at their Banida roost by 3 to 5 p.m. the same day.
This story is sponsored by IFANorth Region.
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