How to Become a Falconer

Falconry is the ancient practice of hunting with raptors, or birds of prey. Today, falconry is highly regulated in most countries. In the U.S., falconers need to go through an extensive process of permitting before they can begin hunting. Once a falconer is prepared, the training of the bird can begin. Falconers receive their reward every time they witness a magnificent bird in pursuit of prey.

Study for the federal falconry exam. Your state may require an additional exam. The exam is not difficult for those who prepare.

Get a state hunting license. This is required because, as a falconer, you will be hunting with your bird, not simply keeping it as a pet.

Select a falconer who will sponsor you throughout your training. Your sponsor must approve your advancement through the process.

Purchase the necessary equipment and set up your mews, or hawk house. You will need to buy a leash, outdoor perch, swivel, scale, bath pan and jesses. Your sponsor can help you find the equipment that meets the legal requirements.

Submit your application to the Fish and Game department with your sponsor's signature. You cannot apply until your equipment and mews are ready for inspection.

Allow a game warden to inspect your mews and equipment. Once you are approved and complete some additional paperwork, you are a falconer.

Trap your falcon or hawk during the appropriate season. Now you are an apprentice falconer. After 2 years, you can advance to general falconer, which gives you more privileges including permission to train 2 birds.

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