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Obtain a Permit

Falconry Home | Get a Permit | Costs of Equipment |Want to become a falconer?| Things to Avoid | Resources | Falconry Regulations | Nebraska Falconry Statutes | Raptor Collecting Permit |

The Steps to Obtain a Falconry Permit:

1. Study Material Related to the Practice of Falconry
Study federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to falconry and raptors. Copies of appropriate legislative statutes and regulations are in your information packet. Become familiar with local raptors and their natural history. It is important to learn as much as possible concerning the natural history and identification of our hawks and owls. Much can be learned from reading and the additional resources give a list of recommended references, hut nothing replaces experience in the field. Learn about these birds first hand.

Become familiar with the care of raptors and the practice of the sport of falconry. Pay particular attention to the proper methods of day-to-day care and management of captive raptors. Additionally, you can learn a great deal through association with an experienced, active falconer. Any such association will prove far more meaningful if you have first studied the recommended resources well.

2. Construct a Proper Facility to House Your Raptor
Proper facilities are among the most essential ingredients to successful falconry. Mews, or hawk houses, vary considerably in size and construction. Enclosed are the minimum requirements for both indoor and outdoor facilities while the references on falconry (see Additional Resources) provide appropriate details. To be adequate, your housing will require ample space and should be properly ventilated, insulated and drained in addition to providing proper protection from excessive heat and cold, wind, rain, predators, disease, and excessive human disturbance. Totally unacceptable are bird cages of the pet store variety and facilities that do not afford the bird proper space or protection.

3. Assemble Proper Falconry Equipment
The following equipment is necessary and must be in readiness before obtaining any raptor: jesses, leashes, swivels, glove (gauntlet), large bath pan, accurate scales, and appropriate indoor and outdoor perches. Hoods, bells, and a lure may be added later. (See the Costs of Equipment)

4. Assure a Proper Food Supply
There must be fresh, lean meat available each day. Natural food should make up the principle proportion of the diet of any captive raptor. Fur, feathers and bone provide castings which are necessary and the nutrients essential for the good health and vigor of your hawk. Each applicant should be aware that it is unlikely that he can shoot birds or animals in sufficient numbers to provide a continuous and reliable food supply, even for one hawk. A supplemental meat supply, such as mice or quail from a vendor should be available. Mineral and vitamin supplements can also be very useful.

The greatest portion of any diet, however, should consist of unprotected birds and small animals, such as House Sparrow, Eurasian Starlings, Rock Pigeons (feral pigeons), and mice and rats. Learn the laws involved; only a few species of birds and animals are not protected by law in Nebraska and there are restrictions on shooting within most towns or cities or near occupied buildings. Specific permission (in advance) is normally required of land-owners. Food for raptors must be obtained legally.

5. Obtain the Assistance of a Sponsor
A sponsor who is a holder of a General or Master Class permit, with at least two years of experience, is required for the first two years in which an Apprentice Class permit (beginners) is held, regardless of the age of the permittee. Sponsorship must be obtained before application is made for a permit.

6. Apply for Permit
Complete the attached application form and forward it to the address specified with the appropriate fee and request an appointment to take the required examination. (NOTE: There is nothing to be gained by forwarding this application form until you have completed all of the above steps and are thoroughly prepared to take the examination.)

7. Take Falconry Examination
This examination will be administered at the nearest office of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. The examination is written, consisting of a number of true/false, multiple choice, and completion questions covering knowledge of the life history, ecology, care, diseases, and training procedures of raptors.

Approximately one hour is required to complete the examination. If the examination is passed, you may proceed with the steps below. In the event that the examination is failed, your application fee will be refunded. After restudying the appropriate references, but not less than six months after the preceding examination, you may reapply, as above, and be reexamined.

8. Inspection of Facilities and Equipment
Upon notification that you have passed the written examination, make an appointment with your local Conservation Officer (name and address will be given to you) for the required physical inspection of your falconry equipment and facilities. If these are found to meet the necessary standards, your permit will be forwarded to you, and you may commence your falconry activities.

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Nebraska Game and Parks Commission - 2200 N. 33rd St. Lincoln, NE 68503 - 402-471-0641

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