o you think you want to be a falconer...
Welcome! Both legally and logistically there are some requirements and considerations.
- You must be over 12 years of age in some states, and 14 in others depending on the regulations.
- You must enjoy working with animals as there is a lot of training involved. These are animals that see you as a food source, not as a source of affection, and they do not give affection back. Working with animals is much easier when we see them desiring to be with us. Cats, dogs, and horses all have a built-in desire for relationships. Most of these species of birds do not. This may make it not as rewarding of an experience to you and is something to consider.
- You must be able to meet the bird's needs. This means a facility to house her, quality food, and medical care as well as your time and attention.
- You must enjoy the outdoors. You will be outdoors with your bird hunting - cold days, wet days, and beautiful days.
- You must enjoy hunting or be wanting to hunt. The sport is for the purpose of hunting, not for the purpose of pet keeping. Exotic species may be purchased for that and without much of the legal overhead.
- You must be willing to spend years dedicated to the sport. You will have a minimum of two years as an apprentice directly under the supervision of a general or master falconer. This is a commitment on both sides.
- You must be able to spend a portion of each day, every day, with your bird. Some days this is just feeding, some days this is training, and on hunting days you could be spending sun up to sundown out in the field.
- You must be patient - getting through the legal paperwork will take some effort. Manning the bird will take patience. Getting out in the field and successful will test your patience. Can you be patient and persistent?
This is not meant to set anyone off the path they are interested in. The falconry community needs more people supporting it, both practicing falconers and those who just like to watch. Almost anyone can be a falconer given time and patience. You need to decide if you would rather spend your free time in other ways and be involved in the falconry community as an observer, or if you want to spend your time caring for and training a hawk. Your success as a falconer will depend on your ability to adapt your lifestyle to the needs of your bird, your ability to secure high quality food that is the best for her species, and your ability to gain access to land with an abundance of legal quarry and adequate daylight hours for hunting.
All images and text Copyright © 2004 - 2013 - Lydia Ash