Falconry, the taking of wildlife by a trained raptor such as a hawk or falcon, is an art that has been around since ancient times. Still today, falconry is a sport that well-trained falconers may practice in the majority of U.S. states.
Curious if falconry is something you’d like to pursue? Learn more about the sport in the overview below, with information compiled from the North American Falconers Association, the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations and American Falconry magazine:
Licensing and Training. There are three levels to falconry licensing and training: Apprentice Class, General Class and Master Class. An apprentice must serve for two years under the guidance of a Master (or sometimes, General) falconer before advancing to the General Class, which requires those two years’ experience along with recommendations from more advanced falconers. Finally, to become a Master, one must have five years of experience at the General level, several recommendations for advancement and approval by a board.
As falconers advance, they’re able to obtain more raptors and mentor aspiring falconers, among other things.
Investment of Time. As noted above, becoming a Master falconer takes, at the very least, 7 years. In addition to the time-intensive studying, training and testing one must undergo to practice falconry, the falconer’s raptor itself also requires regular feeding, watering and exercise. In addition, many falconers spend a fair amount of time traveling for hunting and training purposes and to meet other falconers. Those considering falconry should carefully consider this significant time investment and take into account other commitments including work, family, church and so on before deciding to pursue the sport.
Investment of Money. Falconry is not an inexpensive endeavor. Not only must falconers purchase their raptor, but they must also cover costs of fresh meat, shelter and veterinary care. In addition, fees for permits and educational materials such as books add up. Finally, many falconers spend a significant amount on travel, which is another consideration for those contemplating joining the sport.
Along with reading the above information, additional thorough research, discussions with current falconers and a lot of careful consideration can help you to determine if falconry is the right sport for you.
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