WHAT IS FALCONRY?
"Falconry is the taking of wild quarry with a trained raptor!"
Western Sporting provides a full range of falconry equipment and we are a publisher of falconry information in the form of books and films. The very latest falconry information from the world’s leading authorities is conveniently available from Western Sporting. We carry everything from newly published works to the classics.
At Western Sporting, we strive to supply our customers with pertinent information for all their falconry needs including: the history of falconry, the basics for beginners or for those with a casual interest in falconry, and the equipment and regulations of falconry. We carry field guides, adventure and travel books by falconers, and classic and collectible falconry books covering a wide range of topics including: 1) hunting, gamehawking, and dogs 2) accipiters, especially goshawks 3) longwings, especially peregrines and gyrfalcons, 4) trapping, 5) falconry in European, Asian, and Arabic cultures, 6) raptor conservation and protection, and 7) pigeon loft and training supplies.
Information on products sold by Western Sporting can be obtained at the “Resources” button on our website. Under the “Links” button are links to all of the U.S. state and national falconry organizations and game departments. Western Sporting is pleased to sponsor NAFEX (North American Falconers Exchange) and IFF (International Falconry Forum), two forums where new falconry information unfolds and evolves daily in online discussions among falconers of all levels of experience. Western Sporting maintains a close relationship with the Archives of Falconry, the most complete collection of books, articles, essays, manuscripts, artwork, equipment, memorabilia, media, and other sources in the world.
FIRST: WHAT DOES FALCONRY DEMAND FROM A PERSON?
There can be no denying that when a person sees falconry practiced for the first time, he or she is quite taken by the apparent control the falconer has over the raptor. The most commonly asked question is, "How do you get the bird to come back?" It is important to understand the type of person and the tremendous expenditure of time needed to practice this sport.
It would be advisable to first meet up with some falconers in your area to see how falconry has changed their lives and to better understand the types of demands made on them and their family members. We would suggest a visit to your State Wildlife Resource Agency to request the package of information pertaining to falconry.
Then, it would be advisable to join your state club and/or national falconry organization. The national organization is called the North American Falconers Association (NAFA), and you may download a membership application via their website. Call us toll free and we will supply you with the information about the NAFA representative for your region. [1(888) FLY-HAWK]
There are a few books recommended for learning more about the sport and to prepare you to take the falconry examination necessary to acquire your license and actually fly a hawk or falcon. You cannot start practicing falconry by simply going out and buying a bird! There is a two-year required apprentice / apprenticeship program that has been designed by falconers to insure you have the proper education.
Here at Western Sporting we provide a collection of hard-to-find books and DVDs, as well as a complete range of equipment which, for the most part, is made by falconers for falconers. We offer low cost, fast service and advice along the way. We will not sell you books that you do not need or want, and we will dissuade you from becoming a falconer if we feel you are not up to the task.
- California Hawking Club - Apprentice Study Guide (FB1076)
- California Hawking Club - Apprentice Manual (FB1091)
- Falconry: A Guide for Beginners (Book/DVD Combo) (FB1058)
- American Kestrels in Modern Falconry (FB1046)
- The Falconer's Apprentice - The Training of the Red-tailed Hawk (FB2440)
We also highly recommend a subscription to American Falconry Magazine. It is full of articles of interest about all types of hawks and falcons and will help you understand what is current in American Falconry these days.
Let us know if we can be of further assistance: Toll Free 1 (888) FLY-HAWK. Click here for a free falconry starter package.
A LITTLE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE SPORT AND WESTERN SPORTING
Falconry is the only currently practiced sport in which man cooperates with trained wild animals to procure wild quarry. The history of falconry is believed to begin as long ago as 2000 B.C. During this long history, the essence of the sport has changed little. The raptor is gently conditioned to return to the falconer, and the falconer utilizes the natural instincts of the raptor to capture its quarry.
A WORD OF CAUTION: (taken from A Treatise of Modern Falconry, 1773 by James Campbell.) "PREVIOUS to the instructions I am to deliver concerning hawks, I shall briefly point out the qualities necessary in the person who is to manage them. He ought then to be of great strength to bear the fatigue of ascending hills, wading over rivers, pressing through thickets, and of surmounting the other difficulties that may lie in his way. Agility is also requisite, that he may be able to attend his hawks in their flight and serve them with game, while they are hanging over his head in the air in keen expectation of it. As they will often outfly his utmost speed, his voice should be full, clear, and loud, in order to be heard at a distance, and to bring them back to the destined scene of diversion. They demand great regularity in their food and exercises, and, that he may be seldom tempted to neglect it, he must be methodical and temperate in his way of living. His love of the sport must be very intense, to animate him to undergo, undaunted, the numberless inconveniences of attendance, weather, and soil, wherewith it is generally accompanied. This will make it his main pleasure to be always with his hawks, training them to obedience, correcting their faults, and consulting their health and beauty. To do these things effectually, he must understand their temper and constitution, and ought to possess much patience and mildness in the application of his knowledge. Hawks, under the management of a man thus qualified, will be always in good order for flying, exhibit the greatest boldness and address in chasing their prey, give the highest pleasure to the beholders of their motions, and do just honor to the skill and attention of their keeper."
If you are up to the task, we offer a service to falconers and those interested in raptors of providing in-print books, videos, dvds, equipment, artwork, jewelry and collectibles. The books we offer contain information on training; falconry for beginners; hunting with raptors; health; history; making equipment such as gloves, bags, and hoods. Many have pictures of peregrine falcons, hawks, other raptors such as bald eagles, golden eagles; original artwork and prints of peregrine falcons and other raptors; some have recipes for wild game. Additional books, videos, and dvds contain information about hunting dog breeds, ferrets, and pigeons. We have recently, through popular demand, branched out into falconry equipment and we offer: kangaroo leather; telemetry; bells; swivels; braces; hoods; game shears; knives; multi-tool; flashlights; leashes; tethering systems; blocks; bow perches; bath pans; exercise equipment; bird launchers; gelatin capsules; raptor vitamins; lizard skins; rotary punches; hole punch sets; grommet setting pliers; grommets; X-Acto knives and blades; hemostats; leather conditioners and jess grease; awls; embossing and spacing tools; rotary cutters; sewing awls; nylon thread; beeswax; sewing palms; needles; adhesives and contact cements; leather mallets; strip and strap cutters; whistle lanyards and whistles; falconry scales; falconry gloves; jewelry and falconry collectibles.