Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Falconry Update!

Things are really coming together for E12's adventure into falconry. One of the first steps is to find a master falconer who is willing to apprentice the interested person in the sport. We have one of those! E12 gets to begin working around the bird at the end of September or early October when all of the red tail's flight feathers are back in business. It's unclear how often he'll be engaged with it to start, but he'll be working with two others this year.

We've been gathering information on this for a long time, but have now really nailed down the specifics and we are looking forward to seeing this unfold for E12. He'll need a small game hunting license and in order to get that he'll need a hunter's education class. We have that schedule and hopefully this fall he and Dan will take the class. The summer class was full already. Imagine that! He'll need to take a falconry exam as well. With those in place, he can apply for his falconer's license. Though the federal guideline allows a falconer's license at age 12, NY State says 14! So...this time next year he can apply for the license which is actually a full falconer's license not really an apprentice license. He'll be able to fully work with certain birds of prey and, in fact, he will be required to have a mews in order to get the license! So, it's really a "beginner's license" and we are considering this next year the real apprenticeship as he gets close to the bird and gets a feel for what it's like to take care of a raptor! 

Our falconry packet arrived the other day straight from the DEC in Albany, NY! We are all set to begin the process and it's very exciting!

This is the exam booklet. E12 has already taken a look and he'll be studying the 300 questions while he works with his master falconer this year. In April, he'll take the test. He needs to pass 80 out of 100 questions to apply for the license next summer.

I had a chance to speak with the DEC staff person in charge of the falconry program here in NY and he is excited about this opportunity for E12. I was very encouraged that he was so eager to see him be successful and he let me know that he would be as helpful as he could as we get E12 prepared for the license. Dan is looking forward to hunter education class! And he is considering getting the falconer's license himself so he and E12 can work together. That is not set in stone, but it's a possibility. Hunter education for Dan is happening for sure- a father/son outing.

I think my biggest "concern" is that once E12 gets a chance to help clean after a bird, prepare the prey for the bird to eat and all those "messy" reality items, he may be less enchanted with the sport! However, we remain hopeful that this will be "his gig" for the teen years and that it will serve him well for a long time.


Tracey said...

Sounds like a good "gig" to have. I hope he is successful and enjoys all the messy droppings.

Naptime Seamstress said...

wow. I would have never thought of a sport like that. It just never occurred to me. I guess that's another beauty of homeschooling - really interesting, not-average sports. Kudos to the 12 yo!

Kisha said...

So cool! I bet he'll do well. What a great job to have as a teen.