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DEC announces Falconry Apprentice Exam

ALBANY - The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced that the examination for individuals seeking a falconry apprentice license has been scheduled for Friday, April 16, from 10 a.m. to noon at DEC Regional offices across the state. Applications for this free, written examination are available from DEC. The deadline for applying to take the exam is April 2, 2010.

Falconry has a rich history and tradition, promoted primarily through the efforts of dedicated enthusiasts. In New York State, the practice is continued by over 200 licensed falconers. Falconry is a demanding sport which requires a significant commitment in time and effort. The novice must be prepared to accept the responsibility that is part of falconry.

All applicants will be sent a letter of confirmation with a list of locations around the state where the test will be given April 16. The cost of a two-year falconry license is $20.

To qualify for the DEC Apprentice Falconry License, applicants must be at least 14 years old, possess a valid New York small-game hunting license and maintain DEC-approved facilities for housing the raptors. Apprentices are limited to possessing one bird, either an American kestrel (a falcon also known as a "sparrow hawk") or a red-tailed hawk.

After two years as an apprentice, a falconer may qualify for a general license. Master falconers must have a minimum of seven years experience.

For more information about the falconry license visit www.dec.ny.gov/permits/28632.html.

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