The journey begins…

Indy

Indy

Since my first post I have a new friend. A beautiful male retail I have named Indy. The first day I just had him on the glove just to used to me. I have to admit seeing him eye to eye destroys any deep down illusions that he one day would be a pet.

All the hour of reading, studying and dreaming are ready to be used. I’m excited to begin this adventure with an amazing powerful companion.

The Why…The How…The Thank You….

an example of a red tailed hawk

Stock Photo not mine : )

Why falconry? Does anyone still do that? Interesting hobby… when telling some of my friends that was just some of the responses I received.

So what is my draw to becoming a falconer? I think a lot of it started when I was a youth and read a book called My Side of the Mountain. I had such a connection with the charter Sam (if you have a child I would recommend this book for them) and as I got older and life “got in the way” I forgot about wanting to be a falconer until one vacation I met a master falconer at a demonstration and my daughter said “I want to do that when I grow up!” Like a flood the memories of my youth came back and I stuck around after the show and asked a bunch of questions. When I returned from vacation I called the DNR and started right away on the things you need before the test. The road was not an easy one for me, there were books, equipment, housing and a sponsor to get before I took the test.

Here are the books I used in my studies:

In addition to the books I decided I should join North American Falconers Association (N.A.F.A.).

Maryland falconry laws are funny, you need to have a sponsor before you can apply to take the test.  After calling from a list of registered falconers I was put in touch with someone in my area who after talking to and meeting agreed to sign for me. I should note this isn’t a small decision on either party.  As an apprentice you have to be very grateful to anyone willing to show you things that are not really published. However, there should be a good chemistry because you will be spending sometime with this person. So choose wisely! The truth is once you have a sponsor, if you lose the ability to learn from him you are on your own! So treat his or her time as gold.

So with a sponsor that signed for me and my mew build and equipment ordered I was ready to take my exam. I felt very confident walking into the testing center until I sat down. Maryland’s test is based on New York’s test and is full of  questions ranging from identification and breeding habits to medical diagnosis. Needless to say I didn’t pass my test and had to wait 2 weeks to retest. on the second try I did pass and could move to the next step. I had to schedule a representative from the DNR to inspect my mew and send in the report. After a few weeks I received my falconry permit. Unfortunately,  much of the season had passed and I missed my window for getting a bird to train and hunt.

So it’s a new season and I am excited and ready to begin.  I hope to use this as a field journal type of blog. If your reading this and interested in falconry I hope you follow my adventures. One goal of this is to offer a place for new people who may be experiencing the learning curve as I am. Who knows maybe well all learn together.

Cheers,

Dom