DEC Announces Falconry Examinations

Online Exams on April 14; Registration Deadline April 12

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced no-cost exams for individuals seeking a license to practice the sport of falconry, become a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator, or use leashed dogs to find wounded or injured big game animals are scheduled for Friday, April 14. The exams will be offered exclusively online.

Interested New Yorkers can register for any of these exams (leaves DEC website) at the NYSDEC Special License Exams Registration website and follow the directions provided on the webpage. Applicants will receive an email acknowledgment of registration and then later, an additional one-time link that can be used to access the webpage on the date of the exam. The deadline for registration is Wednesday, April 12. The link to the registration webpage can also be found on each of the individual license webpages at DEC's website.

Please see NYSFA's guide to starting out as a falconer for more details. From the NYS side of things, here are the requirements to get your apprentice license.

Apprentice Falconry License

Falconry has a rich history and tradition throughout the world and requires a significant commitment of time and effort. Apprentices are limited to possessing one bird, either an American kestrel or a red-tailed hawk. A falconry study guide and examination manual are available from DEC at no cost at DEC's website. The cost of a five-year falconry license is $40.

To qualify for the Apprentice Falconry license, applicants must:

  1. score 80 percent or higher on the written exam;
  2. be at least 14 years of age;
  3. possess a valid New York State hunting license;
  4. maintain DEC-approved facilities for housing falconry raptors; and
  5. be a resident of New York State.