Becoming a Falconer in Utah
Congratulations on beginning the adventure of a lifetime. All falconers start out with interest and start looking for more information about how to become a falconer. If this is your first stop on the journey, the UFA is excited to welcome you into the sport.
The first step is to realize the scope of what you are looking at doing. Falconry takes a lot of time and effort. You are taking charge of an amazing creature and caring for it every day. You will be working and training with a bird with the end goal of taking it out to hunt. It is an amazing thing to watch your bird do what it does naturally as it hunts. Watching how majestic and powerful these birds are is something very few people get to see up close.
Start reviewing the state laws and learning about the birds. There is a test you need to pass that the Division of Wildlife Resources oversees with at least an 80%. It is something that you will need to study for. There are many great resources and books to help you prepare. Utah DWR has a list. There is also a book on Amazon written to help people get through the test called Utah Falconry Exam Prep and the California Hawking club has a guide as well but is written specifically for California.It has a lot of information about the birds that can help with the test as well.
You will need to find a sponsor, build your facilities and gather your equipment. A DWR officer will need to inspect your facilities and equipment prior to getting your license. We would recommend you becoming a member of the Utah Falconers’ Association as it will help you connect with other falconers and potential sponsors. The UFA holds monthly events and holds apprentice workshops to help prepare you for your first bird. We can help you on your journey.
Once you have your license and your sponsor, you have officially started the journey. Your sponsor will be your teacher and your mentor. Listen to them, respect them and follow their guidance. Your sponsor will put in many hours into helping you. They volunteered and you accepted their help. Falconry has many right ways to do it, but unlimited ways that could go wrong. First learn from your sponsor and do what they say. Discuss everything with them. They are there to protect you and the bird you are working with.
Again, congratulations from the UFA on starting an adventure that will change your life and take your breath away. We look forward to seeing you in the field.