Falconry is defined as the taking of wild quarry by a trained raptor. This is a form of hunting, but among falconers, a more common word for the practice is “hawking” rather than “hunting.”
Historically, hunting in falconry was a reliable way to bring food to the table. This is true in a few remote cultures of the present day. It can also be said of the modern falconer in the USA, but hunting with a raptor today often has a different purpose, that of developing the high levels of skill and knowledge needed to practice falconry. The type of hunting a falconer knows is both an art and a sport that brings an appreciation and understanding of the natural world and man’s place in it.
Though hunting in falconry is different in many respects from traditional hunting, it also has several similarities:
1) The hunting regulations that must be followed are many. Permits, licenses, training, and fees are required. Seasons are established during which hunting is legal, but outside of which, hunting is forbidden. 2) Friends and fellow hunters may join the hunting party to flush game and carry gear. 3) A dog is often a part of the hunting team, both in falconry and traditional hunting.
For novices learning the craft of falconry, the first step is hunting for a raptor itself. To understand the steps involved for and trapping a raptor in the wild, Western Sporting offers books, films, traps and related supplies. For answers to all your questions about falconry and hunting, we invite you to our website and the inventory you’ll find there.