Is falconry for you? If you’re interested in getting into the sport of falconry the first step is to meet a falconer and go watch them hunt their bird. Falconry isn’t necessarily what you imagine it is or what you see on the internet. It’s not just having a pet falcon, there is a lot of work involved and keep in mind that it’s a hunting sport. If you’re not interested in hunting then falconry may not be for you.

A good way to meet local falconers is through online falconry forums and Facebook groups. is one of the largest online forums

There are many Facebook groups for falconry, one I recommend for those in Florida is the “Florida Gamehawkers” group. You’ll likely find local falconers and answers to some of your questions. (And don’t go online posting for a “sponsor”, most will not agree to sponsor someone they haven’t met.)

The steps involved in getting into the sport. Be patient, this is a long process, it takes most people about a year to get their first bird.

  • Find a local falconer and go see what the sport is all about. You don’t want to invest a lot of time and money only to find that falconry isn’t for you.
  • Begin the learning process, you have a lot to learn, there are numerous books on the sport and a few websites where you can start learning about the sport and the birds we use. is a good place to start.
  • Pass the Florida Wildlife Commission’s falconry exam (some potential sponsors won’t agree to sponsor someone who hasn’t passed the test)
  • Start obtaining the necessary equipment (Perches, gloves, leather, leashes, hoods, jesses, traps, swivels, bath pans, etc.)
  • Build a place to keep your bird. In Florida, most falconers don’t have an actual “mews”, most just have a weathering area to keep the bird but a lot of this is personal preference and you should seek advice from your sponsor or experienced falconers.
  • Once you pass the test, have your equipment and facility inspected by FWC and have a sponsor you’ll then receive a falconry permit and you’ll be ready to trap your first bird.

The Florida Wildlife Commission has a webpage on Falconry including a reading list, equipment list and application for the permit

Falconry books and equipment can be purchased from one of several online falconry suppliers.

Mike’s Falconry –

Western Sporting Publications –

Northwoods Falconry –

Mike Dupuy Hawk Food –