Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Falconry Update: Inspection Tomorrow! *I HOPE*

I have been asked to update you on the state of my Falconry Apprenticeship. Where I last left you I was waiting for a state inspection by a game warden. I still am. I must have called my local office up in Warrensburg five times a week trying to pin down an appointment with an officer. I got an appointment back in September but the warden never showed. A month of calls and phone tag later I am (fingers gently crossed) being inspected tomorrow. What that entails is a comprehensive look at my preparations to this point. He will go through a list of requirements that include facilities, perches, equipment, and animal welfare. If he signs off on the work done here I can include his report with Master Falconer Ed Hepp's letter (his agreement to be my sponsor) and an official Falconer's Apprentice application to the State of New York.

Then I put it in the mail and pray.

I need to get my license soon as possible so Ed and I can start trapping. I can not trap or start training a bird until I have the approval of the State in hand. This isn't so much meant to be a hassle for me as it is a systematic weeding out of people who aren't willing to go to all this trouble over a 2-pound bird. The Powers That Be want to make Falconry Licenses a lot harder to obtain than a hunting license or drivers license. Trapping a wild animal is a huge responsibility and I am actually glad it has taken a year of preparation to even begin the application process. No one on a whim would spend a summer building a mews, weathering area, buying supplies and ordering dead frozen quail if they weren't serious about the sport.

So hopefully tomorrow I will mail off my application. If I am granted an Apprentice's license then I can trap and begin working with my red tail every day, training him or her to be my partner. I am optimistic and excited about this. I can't wait to share the journey with you, either. So wish me luck, say a prayer, place some lavendar in your pocket or touch those prayer beads, folks. This woman's head is full of feathers right now!