The definition of falconry is simple

Falconry is the taking of wild quarry in it's natural habitat with the use of a trained raptor.


Is Falconry for you?

Falconry is the most highly regulated field sport in the world, and requires a huge commitment of time and energy. It's not like other hunting sports, where you simply put your chosen weapon away after the hunt is over. There is a great deal of responsibility that comes with the undertaking of raptor husbandry. Our hunting companions are wild creatures that are tamed to allow our presence in the pursuit of wild quarry. They are not pets, and require much more attention to be properly taken care of. Falconry is not an "overnight" achievement and there is no such thing as a part time falconer.

Becoming a falconer.....

There are several requirements to becoming a licensed falconer.


First, you must fill out an applicatioin and pass an exam given by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The exam covers raptor biology, raptor health, literature on raptors, basic care and handling of raptors, and laws and regulations pertaining to raptors.


Next, you must make or acquire certain equipment, and build special housing facilities that meet a minimum standard set forth in the falconry regulations. These facilities and equipment must be inspected, and approved, by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.


Finally, you must find a general or master class falconer to sponsor you for the first 2 years of your falconry endeavor. Your sponsor will guide you, and teach you the basics of falconry. With any luck, a long and lasting friendship will also come from it.


Please be aware that sponsoring someone is a big deal. It takes a great amount of time away from a falconer's personal life. They will be dedicating 2 years of their own time to help you in your journey. Because of this, don't expect the first falconer you contact to just automatically say yes to you. There is a high turn over rate of new apprentices that try to enter the sport, then quickly drop out when they realize just how much is involved in being a successful falconer. Because of this high turn over, many falconers are hesitant to take on new apprentices. Don't be discouraged if someone tells you they prefer not to sponsoryou. Keep seeking other falconers, and continue to show you are commited to the sport. It is also important to find a sponsor that lives somewhat close to you. Long distance relationships rarely work in life, and falconry is no exception to that. Find someone that is as close to you as possible so that they are readily available to you when needed.


For more information, you may request a falconry packet from the Georgia DNR by contacting the special permits unit in Social Circle, Ga.