Mr. and Mrs. Paul Adkins, Roger and Linda Bain, Robert Barter Trust, Lee
Bass, Louise Bernhard, Marga BiJler, Elisabeth Bittner Joung, Mr. and Mrs.
Christopher Boland, Kara Boudreau and Richard Hurd, Robert Brach, Dr.
and Mrs. WiUiam Burnham, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Callahan III, Mr. and
Mrs. James Clark, George and Helen Cornell, Mr. and Mrs. Christopher
Cox, Delta Interest Inc., Martha Lyn Dippell, Roger Eisinger Family Trust,
George Esherick, Herbert Fletcher, Cina Forgason, Stephen Gordon, George
Gould, Lyle Gramley, Robert Griffin, John Grimm, Gilbert and Margot
Hahn, Steve and Joan Harlan, Helen Hellmuth, Mary Howes, George
Huguely III, International Swimming Pools Inc., Floyd Jennings Jr., Violet
Jollymore, Catherine Jones, John Marvin Jones II, Ruth Kemp, Patricia
Korbel, William Lane, Mr. and Mrs. J. Richard Leaman Jr., Bettlu Hines
Lynn, Mr. and Mrs. John Manfuso Jr., Forbes and Elizabeth Mann, Mr. and
Mrs. J. Willard Marriot Jr., Mrs. Harry Martins Jr., Samuel and Frances
Maury, The Monitor Group Inc., Elizabeth Muskey,. Brian and Ruth Mutch,
Philip and Jane Neal, John Ourisman, Mandell Ourisman, Mr. and Mrs.
Sam Pickard, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Pusey, Margaret Ritch, Joseph and Ellen
Sanford, Jim and Linda Shad, Molly Ann Silver, Mr. and Mrs. John Smoot,
Amal Elias Van Wagenberg, William Von Bargen Jr.
Halter Cunningham. began his
involvement with raptors in the
1920s and '30s as a teenager in
Chevy Chase, MD. He became a longtime
friend, supporter and board member of The
Peregrine Fund.
Halter was a neighborhood friend of legendary falconers, authors and
naturalists, Frank and John Craighead. They loved peregrines. Peregrines
migrated along the Atlantic coast. Assateague Island was a favorite
trapping spot of falconers. They buried themselves in the sand, holding a
pigeon to bait passing falcons.
Halter had homemade perches for his trained falcons in the back yard.
He hunted with them in nearby open fields. He released them when it
was time to migrate again. In later years, he and friend Brian McDonald
developed the pigeon harness, a leather harness with several slipknots of
fishing line sewn on. Once the pigeon was harnessed, it was released with
a long cord attached. When a falcon snatched the pigeon, its talons were
caught in the slip knots and the falconer could then capture the falcon and
train it. One of Halter's pigeon harnesses was bestowed to The Archives of
Falconry along with numerous other artifacts by his son, Tom.
In an article co-authored with William F. Turner in the September 1947
issue of Hunting and Fishing magazine, Halter (aka. "Dusty") explained falconry
and falcons to the layman, caJling the Peregrine Falcon "the finest thing that wears
"To look in on [the nest of)
one of these rare birds:" he
continued, "requires the
following: a strong pair of
legs, a broad back, a long
rope, and not too much
regard for your future."
Halter possessed all those
traits. He applied them in
other areas besides falconry.
The day after Pearl Harbor
was attacked, Halter enlisted
in the Marines. He was in
the first wave to land on
Guadalcanal. He was awarded
the Purple Heart for battle wounds he received there.
He worked as a game warden on the Chesapeake Bay after the war. Later he took
over the family's business, Lanman Engraving Company. With Halter at the helm,
the company became the largest privately owned pre-press and commercial printing
business in the eastern U.S. Clients included major entities such as Smithsonian
Magazine, National Geographic, and Disney.
Among his lifelong passions, Halter included polo, fishing, duck hunting. To the
benefit of wildlife conservation, his passion for raptors never waned. Even in his mid-
70s, Halter accompanied fellow board members of The Peregrine Fund on peregrine
monitoring expeditions at South Padre Island, Texas.
If we had our money back that we have spent chasing these birds from coast to coast, we could probably retire; but if we tried to place
a value on the experiences that Falconry has afforded us, we don't think a million dollars would cover it. For the conservation-minded
reader, remember that a lad who spends his time in the pursuit of hawking will save many more birds than he will kill, for through
constant contact with wild things a fellow must learn to love them. We have acquired an intimate knowledge not only of birds of prey,
but of nature in general, which is of incalculable value, both physically and spiritually.