Above-par effort frees hawk at golf driving range

Photo courtesy of Iron Tree ServiceEric Roensch of Iron Tree Service frees a hawk that was tangled in a net at the Sun 'n Air Golf Center driving range in Danvers on Tuesday.

DANVERS — Golf and birdies are usually a good combination, but that wasn't the case Tuesday at the Sun 'N Air Golf Center in Danvers.

A worker from Iron Tree Service had to rescue a hawk that got tangled in a 50-foot-high net at the golf center's driving range on Conant Street. With golfers holding off on their shots and watching from the tees, Eric Roensch used a bucket truck to reach the caught hawk and a pair of scissors to cut it free.

The hawk flew off, apparently unhurt and free as, well, a bird.

"We thought he was going to kind of drop, but he flew right away," said Steve Jones, Sun 'N Air's general manager.

Jones said there are a couple of hawks that hang around the driving range, but they usually sit atop the poles that hold up the net. The net runs along the right side of the driving range to prevent golf balls from hitting the adjacent assisted living facility. The hawk got caught in the net about 30 feet high. Jones said one of the bird's talons got twisted up in the net as it apparently struggled to get loose.

Jones said the golf center called the Danvers animal control and the fire departments, but Iron Tree ultimately had the best chance to reach the hawk because of its smaller bucket truck. Jones said the hawk was stuck in the net upside down for about two hours. It took Roensch, Iron Tree's co-owner, only about 10 minutes to free it by cutting the nylon net with a pair of scissors.

Jones said the nets have been up for about 25 years, and this was the first time a bird has gotten stuck. "Hopefully it's the last," he said. 

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2535 or pleighton@salemnews.com.

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