This information has been obtained from a  pamphlet that the NYSDEC out of Albany produced. It is VERBATIM…. and contains all the information you need.

Falconry is the sport of hunting small game species with trained falcons, hawks, eagles and owls (collectively known as raptors). The sport of falconry has a rich history throughout the world and the basic components have changed little over time: a dedicated and knowledgeable falconer and a healthy, well-trained raptor working together as a hunting team.

Falconry is a sport that demands both time and money. A person thinking about becoming a falconer must understand that the falconer is responsible for meeting the day-to-day needs of his or her raptor, including: feeding, housing, exercising and ensuring that the bird has appropriate veterinary care. Falconry is a constant learning experience. You must spend time with your raptor, learning about and eventually bonding with the bird. You must learn what constitutes safe and secure housing and how to build and maintain these facilities. You must learn how to hunt with your raptor. Finally, you must learn that the welfare of that bird and the future of the sport of falconry are YOUR responsibility.

Falconry is regulated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). These two agencies have a cooperative working relationship that assigns DEC the primary responsibility for licensing people to become falconers.

Falconry licenses in New York State
DEC issues three levels of falconry licenses, including:

Apprentice - the entry-level licensee. The applicant must serve two years as an Apprentice Falconer under the guidance of a General or Master Falconer. An Apprentice Falconer can only possess either a Red-tailed Hawk or an American kestrel.

General - the next-level licensee. The Apprentice Falconer, who has served two years and has been recommended for advancement by his or her sponsor, the general or Master Falconer, may be licensed as a General Falconer. A General Falconer may possess raptors other than Red-tails or A.Kestrels and maintain up to two raptors for hunting.

Master - the highest-level falconer license issued by the DEC. To become a Master Falconer, a General Falconer must serve at least five years as a General Falconer, be recommended for advancement by three Master Falconers and by the NYS Falconry Advisory board. A Master Falconer may maintain up to three raptors for hunting, including captive bred Peregrine Falcons.

Requirements for becoming an Apprentice Facloner:
To become an Apprentice Falconer, the applicant MUST:

• Receive a score of 80 percent or higher on a written examination, the NYS Falconry Exam, administered by the DEC.

• Obtain required equipment for the falconer and the bird (a leather glove, leash, jesses, outdoor and indoor perches and lures, to name a few items)

• Construct DEC-approved housing facilities for raptors.

• Possess a valid NYS hunting License to hunt small game

• Arrange for a General or Master Falconer to serve as a "sponsor".*

• NOT have been convicted of a violation of any Federal or State wildlife law or regulation within the previous five years.

How to obtain a falconry license in New York State:

DEC, with the New York State Falconry Advisory Board, has developed two publications to help applicants obtain an Apprentice Falconry License. They are:

New York State Falconry Guide-provides an overview of the Falconry Program and the procedures for obtaining a Falconry License. The guide lists what to do and what not to do and describes the minimum falcon housing facilities. It also includes prices on the necessary equipment, a suggested reading list and a suggested list of equipment vendors.

New York State Falconry Examination Manual-with the New York State Falconry Guide, provides information for a person preparing for the required New York State Falconry Exam. In addition, the guide and the exam manual cover an array of falconry-related topics from species of raptors, training techniques, equipment and health care to federal and state regulations.

How to Begin:
The first step for all applicants is to obtain the New York State Falconry Guide and the New York State Falconry Exam Manual by printing out and completing this form and sending it to:

Falconry Program
NYSDEC, 625 Broadway
5th Floor
Albany, N.Y., 12233  


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