T. Jeremy and Lori Kessler, Kurt Reineck, Corey Roelke, Debra
Best, Axel Schardt, Grace and Donald Roeber, Steve Oleson,
James C. Davis, North American Falconers Association
Remembering Steve Boyd
By Don Roeber
I met Steve Boyd in the early nineties at one of the Texas Hawking
Association Abilene field meets. We became fast friends and
compared a lot notes not only about falconry, but on herpetology
as well. Steve would have me and others up to Borger, Texas where
he lived at the time, to fly falcons. Later, Steve and family moved
to Glen Rose, Texas (near to the DFW metroplex where I live). We
started hawking together routinely. He would come over to the
DFW area and fly my ponds and I would run down to his areas.
We had the greatest of times. Steve and I were on the same page
on just about everything.
Steve was a very generous person. We went to one of the Lamar,
Colorado field meets together. I had just lost a tiercel peregrine
to a redtail. Steve talked me into trapping a prairie.
We trapped on the way up to the meet. My pigeons
were tame and did not fly very well. We ran out of
sparrows. In Lamar we saw on old abandoned house
next to a feedlot with pigeons all over its roof. Steve
got that gleam in his eye and said, lets come back
tonight and get some. That night, Steve boosted me
up through a hole in the ceiling where I stuffed every
pocket in my coat with pigeons from the mass of
birds in the attic. The next day, at Steves urging, we
drove all the way down to Sunray (a town north of
Dumas, Texas) and trapped my first passage prairie,
in short order, with one of those fresh, wild pigeons.
As I was selecting from one of my poorly-made
hoods to put on the new bird, Steve pulled one
out from his tack box, saying ‘try this’. It fit
perfectly. I told Steve I would get it back to him
after I procured a better hood. Steve said “nah,
just keep it”. I still have that hood. I’ve heard
similar stories from others regarding Steves
generosity. By the way, that prairie falcon
trained up to be one of the best game hawks
I have had and really opened a lot of Texas
falconers’ eyes on the value and potential of
prairie falcons.
Another story comes to mind. I got a call from Steve while he
was on the way to Borger to visit his son. Steve had pulled off of
the main highway and flown a pond with his peregrine and as
Steve often did, he called me to describe the flight. So, we were
talking and all of a sudden Steve let out a round of frantic swear
words. I said, Steve, whats wrong, and Steve immediately said,
Don, I have to go! I just got bit (and it turns out, sprayed) by a
skunk! Later, after getting the required ten shorts into his stomach
to take care of the rabies that the skunk obviously had, Steve went
on to explain that when he was talking with me, he was sitting by
the bird while it fed up on the duck and he had placed one of his
hands behind him on the ground to prop himself up. Next thing
Steve knew, he felt a pain in his thumb and looked down to see a
skunk chewing on his thumb! You just cant make this stuff up.
When it comes to herpetology, Steve was second
to none as a top-notch herper. In fact, I learned
later that Steve was one of the first people to
collect gray banded kingsnakes. The story goes
that back in the day, graybands were considered
to be almost a mythological creature that was
only seen in dusty old natural history books.
As a teenager, against advice and some amused
looks from older more experienced herpers (and
falconers), like Buzz Ross, Steve went out to the
Texas Trans Pecos region where this species was
supposed to occur and collected not one, but
several graybands on that first trip! Steve went
on to catch many, many more graybands.
I lived vicariously through Steve when it
came to collecting these snakes, as I waited
for his latest report from out in the Trans
Pecos. And every time he collected one,
it was like the first time for Steve! He just
got so excited about it! If the gray bands
were moving, if people were finding them,
he would call me and say ‘they’re snappin
down here’!
Steve’s excitement about falconry was something to behold. Every
day in the field was going to be the best day ever. I can’t tell you
how many times that he told me that he had just experienced the
‘best flight ever’. So it follows that Steves enthusiasm for life is
what I will always remember about him. Every day was a new day
filled with possibilities. Anything could happen. You could not
help being pumped up when you were around Steve.
Now Steve has moved on. And he has left the rest of us to
carry on. We can all honor Steve and his legacy by being just as
enthused about life as he was. Every time I have a particularly
good flight with one of my birds, I offer up a few words to Steve.
Somewhere out there in the ether, I have no doubt Steve hears me
and smiles.
So long, Steve.
Steve Oleson We were shing at Lake Georgetown. I
hadn’t even had a nibble, so we started walking through the
water to try another spot. Steve stumbled a bit and said
that his foot was caught in some shing line, underwater.
Being a good citizen, he stared to pull it in, to dispose of it
properly. He said: “I think there’s a sh on this line!” Sure
enough, there was a nice bass on the hook! Steve is the
only guy that could catch a sh when he wasn’t even trying.
Ron Frye I took a duck with my falcon. During the long
walk back to the truck, I put my receiver on the ground. I
went back to get it and looked for six hours without nding
it. I jokingly told “The Steves” (Boyd and Oleson) that a
coyote must have taken it. Days later, the Steve came up
with a picture of a coyote with telemetry! This is a perfect
example of Steve Boyd’s sense of humor and personality
and a great reminder of our years of friendship .
David Williamson I met Steve about 1963. He was
into herping . I helped him get his falconry permit years later.
Steve Boyd was the guy one could always count on to help.
Example: I had to move some paintings from Fort Worth
to Oklahoma. I rented a trailer but needed a vehicle that
could pull it. Steve volunteered his new Toyota, even though
it would be a long, sweltering trip. He is simply irreplaceable.
By Clark Cole He told me about some of his childhood
activity. He grew up in the TCU area of Ft Worth, TX. He and
his buddies would, like hobos, catch rides on the freight trains
headed west, into the rural area where the trains would go
slow enough that they could jump off and play all day. I am
wondering if you knew that Steve donated one of his kidneys
to a half-brother he never knew until Steve learned the
brother needed a kidney. Steve was a perfect match! Steve
was also into herpetology. He had several terrapins and many
snakes. He had a mating pair of Pigmy rattle snakes. Pigmy
rattlers very rarely breed in captivity, but Steve’s pair was
successful. I released 5 of the offspring in the same area my
son caught the pair. I wonder if you had the falcon if story
about Steve locating his peregrine falcon, Buffey, perched on
the dome of the local nuclear power plant! Steve initially
had difculty convincing the security team why he was there,
requesting permission to enter the secured area, but soon
had a team of fascinated security guards helping him recover
Buffey. Falconry sure took Steve a lot of places! So many
memories of my good friend. We were like blood brothers
the day we met even though he was my boss at Glen Rose
Medical Center May 1995-2005.
By Jan Boyd (Steve’s wife) Steve always told me it was not an adventure
until something happened and it would be fun when we got home. Thank you Weebie
for all the adventures and yes it was fun when we got home. You will always be my best
adventure. Love, Jan
By Glenda Boyd (daughter-in-law) Steve Boyd. When one thinks of Steve, the
word boring never comes to mind. He was adventurous, admirable, and knowledgeable and the
best story-teller I have ever met. (not because he knew how to embellish the truth, but because
you knew that those outrageous details that only happen in movies, were true). He was the go-
to person. Got a bug you have never seen? He would tell you the scientic name and offer details
about it before you could blink your eye. Got a snake somewhere (for me, it was a rattlesnake on
my back porch), he would be there in a jiffy to scoop it up and remove it. Need a contact in the
middle of nowhere as you travel to a specic destination? He knew people everywhere who were
so happy to help (I’m sure because at some point, Steve probably helped them and they wanted to
show the same kindness). He was a mentor with a life so large it lled any space. His life reminds
me of the beloved movie “Big Fish”, with a life so large it touched so many, no matter what race,
religion, sex, gender or culture. You are missed every single day. We love you.
By Elizabeth Boyd I am Steve Boyd's granddaughter and I had just a little silly story about
Weebie. I was about 10 years old when I went to Arizona with Weebie and my Brother, Brandon.
This was a whole trip but there was one specic day that stuck with me for the rest of my life just
because it explains my grandfather and his moments. We decided to go hiking through part of the
hills in the desert of Arizona and look at the beautiful scenery. Keeping in mind that it is midday, and
around 112 degrees outside, my brother and I start to get quite thirsty. We went to the truck and
started going through all the things Weebie had packed such as chips, and candy, and could not nd
any water. Turning to him, I said "Weebie where's the drinks??", only for him to reply " Duh, they are
right here" and pointed at a 24 pack of diet fresca, which was all he brought.
Falconers’ Memories of Steve Boyd
Texas lost an important part of its heart when Steve Boyd passed in September, 2018. Steve was a vivid,
charismatic, interesting and warm friend to so many. Whenever his friends get together, we usually share
our favorite Steve Boyd stories. Here are a few that give an idea why so people loved him.
ank you for e many years
of iendship and adventures!
Family and friends remember Steve