For Pre-Apprentices and Apprentice Applicants.
Some things to consider and do before you start looking for a sponsor.
1. Contact the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, and ask for a falconry information packet.
2. Read and Study the State and Federal falconry regulations.
3. Read as much as you can on the subject of falconry. Falconry books are available in many libraries. Take advantage of the inter-library loan system. Many new falconry books are available online and there is a great deal of information on the web. Familiarize yourself with falconry terminology, raptor biology, and general falconry husbandry and training concepts.
4. Attend some of the state club functions. The OFA has an annual picnic in June, falconry workshops in the fall, and a field meet each winter. Details of these events are posted in advance on the OFA website. This is an excellent way to determine if falconry is for you. Make contact with falconers and get into the field to observe falconry in action. It will require you to adjust your schedule to fit theirs. Meeting different falconers may enable you find a potential sponsor.
5. With the above experience behind you, and having thoroughly researched and studied falconry, you may find that you are determined to make a commitment to pursue licensing. At this point you will need to begin the process of selecting a sponsor if you haven’t found one already. OFA Apprentice Coordinators will assist you in finding potential falconer sponsors nearest you.
The falconers you contact about your apprenticeship will want to meet you in person to discuss falconry and to determine that you are ready and willing to do what it takes to become a falconer. Falconers receive many requests for sponsorship, but few applicants actually persevere to meet the demands required of an apprentice falconer. It is at least a two-year commitment for the apprentice as well as the sponsor. He or she will want assurance that his commitment to mentoring you will be a fruitful one. Expect this to be a thorough and informative decision-making process.
Obtaining a falconry license is very labor-intensive, but the apprenticeship, as well as the path to General and Master class levels is vital preparation for this passion-driven and difficult hunting art form. Falconer devotees insist the rewards are all worth the effort. For those of you who truly wish to become a falconer best of luck in your journey!
The Oklahoma Falconers' Association-
Once you have completed all the necessary steps, and you think you are ready to take the plunge, contact one of our coordinators. They will ask you for a short biography to present to prospective sponsors. Good luck in your journey and enjoy the flight!