The Falconry Pages

The American Gamehawker

Falconry

"The true falconer must at all times be patient... he must realize that he is under an imense obligation to his hawk. Whatever he wants to do, his hawk must be his first consideration, the ruling factor of his life"-- Sam Barnes, Falconer, naturalist, Ornithologist. (Bird of Jove)

Falconry for me has been a major part of my life since 1983 when I first acquired my Apprentice level license. Over the years I have flown a number of birds and formed some wonderful friendships facloners from all over the world. When one makes the decision to become a falconer, one gives up many things. Relationships, employment, family, living situations, all revolve around the ever demanding sport. These are the sacrifices that all falconers share in common.

Living in California and practicing the sport of falconry provides itís own challenges. Over the years I have watched land that once was wild become vast urban seas. Housing, that few can afford, swallow up the bunny fields, duck ponds and game bird habitat become shopping malls. Fences go up, private property signs are in place, in short large tracts of hawkable land disappear.

Falconry, for me, is a bitter sweet endeavor. Finding suitable, hawkable property to fly on is becoming harder and harder to find. The property I do have, is becoming more and more popular with the general public. Seems like every day I have to talk to people and explain what it is that I am doing.

I took a couple of seasons off from the sport, and with that short respite, a divorce and moving back into town, I am fresh and anxious to start the 2015 season.

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