If you are still reading, you might have what it takes to being your falconry journey.
(Intro to Falconry 4 of 4)
Here are the three stages of falconry as I see them.
When there is a hawk or falcon on your fist for the fist time, I have described it as a religious experience. Your first falconry meet with the birds in a weathering yard as your first day at Hogwarts. It’s pure magic! When in the preappentice stage of falconry, go to as many club meet ups, join Facebook groups, read all the books you can and especially the required reading from your state’s fish and game. Call their office ans ask them for the falconry packet, then study!
While attending events, see who you can make friends with. Ask if there is an the apprentice chair for you to talk to and let them and everyone else know you are looking for a sponsor.
Sponsors can’t be paid for their training, so they will have to spend their own time for the love of keeping the art of falconry alive for another generation. Choose wisely, not all sponsors are alike, inf act some can be down right bad.
This was my favorite stage of falconry. If I could forget what I know and go back and experience this again, I absolutely wold! First time trapping, manning, training, making mistakes, leaning, first free flight, first kill and first release back to the wild. There were more ups and downs in these 2 years than I expect to experience the rest of my life.
- General and Master Falconer
Once your sponsor graduates you to general class, your are able to fly a wider variety of raptors. The difference between General and Master falconer is 8 years, that’s it. Don’t let anyone brag that they are master class, a general class can be amazing and a master can be a poor falconer. Once master has been reached, you are allowed to house even more birds.
How to Become a Falconer
- Get the study material. Ask your state for the books, they will mail all the material. Study it. It’s filled with great information.
- Join your state’s falconry club. A quick google search later, you will be on their website. Go to as many of their meets and mini meets as you can.
- Find a sponsor, find out who is the apprentice chair and let them know you are looking for a sponsor. Know the rules of sponsors. If you think they aren’t right for you, you are allowed to transfer at any time. Your sponsor is also able to drop you at any time. Remember, it’s not a rush to general class.
- Building the right facility and equipment. Before you can progress and get your license to start trapping, you will need the state to inspect your mews and equipment (furniture). Before any fish and game officer visits your residence, your sponsor will inspect these to make sure they are up to code.
- Trapping and training! This is it, time to spend some time with your sponsor scouting the prefect bird for you. Trapping is exhilarating and as incredible as it is, the first bird to stick to the trap might not be the right bird for you. Let your sponsor help you decide. This process could take days, weeks possibly months if conditions aren’t right. Once you have your bird, you are well on your way.
Remember to take your time, it’s the journey with these magnificent raptors. These are the stories that will stick with you for a lifetime. You will build friendships and experience things 99.9% of people will never get to experience.
Be sure to come back, I would love to hear your stories. Good luck and godspeed!