Falconry?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by wy0mn, Dec 28, 2004.

  1. wy0mn

    wy0mn Transplanted RedNeck

    Messages:
    198
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    I realize this isn't a typical bunch to survey, but here goes. I'm studying to become a falconer, hunting with hawks/falcons, and want to see what ya'll feel about it. Is it right to trap a wild raptor & learn to hunt with it? Is there anything that you feel to be unethical about it? I have my own opinion based on studies on the web & off, but I wanna see what "public opinion" is.
    Thanks
     
  2. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,576
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    Before you trap a wild raptor, you better check with your state or federal laws that usually protect these birds in the wild. The fines could be pretty stiff with keeping these without a license and proof of where you got them.
     

  3. idahocurs

    idahocurs Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    65
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Location:
    SE Idaho
    I say welcome and good luck! I spent atleast 1 hour per day with my redtail on non hunting days as a 1st year apprentice and my weekends were filled with hunting but I no longer have the time needed to devote to the sport but hope that will change in the future. There is nothing better that to hunt with an animal you trained and then set him free in the spring...
     
  4. idahocurs

    idahocurs Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    65
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Location:
    SE Idaho
    By the way are you allowed to hunt as an apprentice with anything besides a redtail or kestrel? I know that there are some states that you can. Also do you plan to hunt squirrel seeing as you are from TN or what is your primary game? I was lucky enough to go with a falconer in Utah and get an Eyas Peregrine when they opened the take season a few years ago. They are awsome birds but due to my location if I start again and become a general I would probably get a sharpie or coop and a Prairie. Man you have got my blood pumping as I have tried not to think about this for years...
     
  5. caballoviejo

    caballoviejo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    442
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    There would be no falconry, no domesticated animals, and no animal husbandry if animals had not been captured from the wild and trained or selected.
     
  6. Jan in CO

    Jan in CO Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,938
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    I'm probably the only woman who'll respond as having wanted to do this! Years ago, when hubby was in the Air Force and stationed in California, I checked in with the state to see what was required. I still have the booklet somewhere in my stuff. I know at that time you had to be an apprentice to a master falconer first, and had to go out and catch your first bird, a redtail hawk. The requirements were very strict, you could not leave the bird with anyone of a lesser standing than you were, in other words, a master falconer could not leave their bird, whatever they had, with an apprentice, etc. I'd LOVE to do it now, if I could get hubby to help build the pen for one. Not sure what the requirements are in different states, but I know a vet was willing to be my sponsor in California. We weren't stationed there long enough for me to do it, tho. Good luck, and let us know what you decide! Jan in Co
     
  7. idahocurs

    idahocurs Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    65
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Location:
    SE Idaho
    The requirments are strict but really not that hard to pass and if you plan to be succsessful they are pretty much the min required but the sport is a blast and some of the best hunts I have had were with other falconer in the back yard hunting sparrows with sharpies...Just go out and try it and you'll be hooked.
     
  8. diane greene

    diane greene Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    297
    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    I don't know what the laws are in your state, but here in NY you cannot have wild birds of prey unless you have passed the state training and apprenticeship programs (takes about 3 years) and are fully licensed. Trapping wild birds are a big "no no" and can get you fined and jailed.

    PS Jan- Classes here are about 1/3 female.
     
  9. kjerckie

    kjerckie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    152
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    Location:
    NW Washington
    I have read some on it, and I think the whole idea is fascinating. Good luck with your adventure.
     
  10. painterswife

    painterswife Sock puppet reinstated Supporter

    Messages:
    12,605
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Location:
    Wyoming
    I have been looking for help for awhile and no one responds, maybe you can help!

    I rescued a kestrel in August. It was unable to fly. I have it in a large cage(dog crate). It keeps growing feathers but they break off. we let it out in the yard every couple of weeks hoping it will fly. No luck yet. It is still missing some tail feathers and wing feathers. I have emailed several raptor groups but get no response.

    We are in western Wyoming and we are now worried that it is too late to let it go before spring. I would appreciate any help or suggestions on
    helping this bird make it back to the wild.

    Jill
     
  11. wy0mn

    wy0mn Transplanted RedNeck

    Messages:
    198
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Painterswife, I'd call the game warden & let it be his problem, before he discovers you have it, then you have a BIG problem. Raptors are federally protected, not something to mess with. Personally, congrats on just keeping it alive. Kestrels are
    'longwings", members of the falcon clan. Depending on the design of your "cage" I'd bet he/she is breaking the tail-feathers while gripping the bars & sitting on its own feathers. Diet could be off too, some missing nutrients???

    Cur. I've studied for the exam for over a year. I've planned the mews & weathering area to what I believe would be almost perfection, But... I see no sense in constructing them, nor taking the exam, until I can locate a sponsor. Thirteen falconers in my state, less than half are qualified to sponsor, those who are qualified either have their limit of apprentices or do not want any.
    It will probably be a long while before I can pursue this.
    Thanks to all of you for your replies.
     
  12. reitenger

    reitenger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri
    I have been interested in falconry for several years. While we lived in Colorado, I took the test and started my preperations for licensing. I had my choice of two great sponsors. One flew a gyr/peregrine, and the other had a peregrine and a prairie falcon. Each had been at it for several years and trained their birds in completely different ways. I was totally immersed in knowledge. Now I am in Missouri. It took me a couple of weeks for the dept of conservation to track down a list of licensed individuals for me. I just need to sit down and start contacting the ones that are more local. The club in the state is mostly centered around St Louis or Kansas City, and i'm south of Springfield. I'm just going to get all of my stuff built this summer and be completely set up before I find a sponsor this time. Are you planning on raising quail or rabbits to help offset feeding? I think it's a wonderful sport that teaches patience and love of the wild in so many different ways. After having such a hard time finding a sponsor, I plan on sponsoring someone when I am able to help keep the sport alive.
     
  13. wy0mn

    wy0mn Transplanted RedNeck

    Messages:
    198
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    I'm checking in northern Alabama for a sponsor now. There is, or was, a group calling themselves the "Alabama Austringer Association".
    Auburn Universities raptor rehabbers have been NO HELP at all. They won't even send me a list of avian/raptor certified veterinarians in the area.
    There are two excellent YaHoo falconry groups. Gamehawking & huntinghawks, I believe.
    One of my acquaintences from the groups raises his own rats for feed. I'd probably do the same. Then you'd never lack for bait in a B/C.
    Finally got my membership to NAFA! Not as easy as I had imagined. They are super paranoid about PETA fanatics getting "inside" with the power to vote. lol
    I'd love to start with an RT, maybe one day working myself up to a GHO. Been devouring books about "Bubo horribilis", lol.
    NAFA sent some very informative links regarding Kestrels, although they didn't come right out & say it, I believe they rightly judge the Kestrel to be too dainty & fragile for Apprentices.
     
  14. Vera

    Vera Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,054
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2003
    The only falconries I ever visited were in Germany. They were state-run, if I remember right, and took in injured/abandoned raptors and rehabilitated and trained them. It's a mindblowing experience to watch skilled falconers and trained birds in action.
    Also, one of my family's favorite stories is that my father, as a boy, nabbed a baby "Turmfalke" (small falcon with a brick red head that often lives in church towers?) from the town church, hand-raised it and trained it. I wouldn't put it past him... he's got a knack for critters. Today, this would be illegal, of course, but back then, it was WWII and nobody gave a hoot about the legalities of a boy and his bird :D
     
  15. idahocurs

    idahocurs Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    65
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Location:
    SE Idaho
    Federal law allows your sponsor to live in another state so if your state laws do as well you might try that route. As far as Kestrels being fragile my sponsor felt the same way and told me he would support me if I got a Kestrel but urged me to stick with the RT I had a great experince with him (yes a tercel) but if I start the apprentice ship over I will trap a hen Kestrel (haggard I hope) and fly a long wing as game is much more available not that there are not alot of rabbits but it is not what I really enjoy hunting and it means loading up to hunt where as sparrow and starrlings are alway plentiful in the "back yard". Good luck Brad