NY DEC Announces Exam for Falconry Apprentice

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Exam Slated for April 22; Applications Due April 1

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that the examination for individuals seeking an apprentice license to practice the sport of falconry has been scheduled for Friday, April 22, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to noon at DEC Regional offices across the state (the exam will be offered from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Avon Office, Region 8). The deadline for registering to take the exam is April 1, 2011.

The list of Regional Offices can be found at on the DEC website. There is no charge to take the written falconry exam.

Falconry has a rich history and tradition throughout the world. In the United States, recognition and acceptance of falconry as a sport is promoted primarily through the efforts of dedicated enthusiasts. In New York State, the tradition is continued by over 200 licensed falconers. Falconry is a demanding sport which requires a significant commitment in time and effort. The novice must be prepared to accept the responsibility that is part of falconry.

To qualify for the DEC Apprentice Falconry license, applicants must be at least 14 years of age, possess a valid New York small-game hunting license and maintain DEC-approved facilities for housing the raptors. Apprentices are limited to possessing one bird, either an American kestrel (a falcon also known as a “sparrow hawk”) or a red-tailed hawk. The cost of a two-year falconry license is $20.

After two years as an Apprentice falconer, a licensee may qualify for a General falconry license. To become a Master falconer, the licensee must have a minimum of five years experience practicing falconry at the General falconry level. At the master falconry level, individuals may possess up to three raptors of a variety of species.

More information about the falconry license can be found on the DEC website. To apply for the falconry exam contact the Special Licenses Unit by calling 518-402-8985 or by writing to:

NYS DEC, Special Licenses Unit
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-4752
Email: fwslu [at] gw [dot] dec [dot] state [dot] ny [dot] us