What are the Steps?
If you’re reading this, you have probably spent at least a good part of your life with a deep admiration for birds of prey. Consider yourself lucky, most people will go through life and never really notice them sitting on a power pole or soaring high above open plains looking for prey. In fact, the only real experience they will have with these birds is in a zoo or if they’re lucky, a childhood experience when a falconer or fish and wildlife officer visits their school for a conservation demonstration.
Falconry can be reduced into two primary passions. Birds of prey and hunting. So if you have a passion for these two things, you’re well on your way to becoming a falconer.
So what is the process?
- First and foremost, ask yourself, “Am I a hunter?” if your answer is no, there’s no need to continue. Falconry is a hunting sport and it is required by law that you hunt with a falconry bird.
- Join the AFA and Alaska Falconers Facebook page. Ask questions.
- Download and read the Alaska Falconry Manual (No. 11 is the most current).
- Contact your region’s falconry representative at ADF&G (listed in the manual).
- Hunt with a falconer.
- Study Bird health and biology.
- Common illnesses and how to treat them.
- General Husbandry
- Take your Exam
- Find a sponsor. Read the Find a Sponsor article on this site.
- Gather the required equipment – Anklets, Jesses, Swivels, Leashed, Perches, etc
- Build Mews (housing)
- Trapping Ops (August to mid-October) red-tail hawks migrate
The process may seem a little overwhelming at first but if planned out and you commit yourself, it will move along faster then you think.
Download the Alaska Falconry Manual
Contact your region’s falconry representative at ADF&G
Hunt with a falconer
Your next step is to take the exam.
Finding a Sponsor.
Hope this helps explain the process a little better, please join AFA today and get access to more article and our member directory.
Good luck, Falconry is the most exciting journey you’ll ever take.