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View Full Version : New to the Sport and Eager to Learn!



LarkoftheRiver
08-21-2016, 05:03 PM
Hello! I'm Sarah; don't quite feel like using my last name yet as I'm still a minor. I want to get into falconry soon! Not sure how soon because my future is still changing constantly, but it helps to get into the community, I know.

I guess I should tell you about myself, heh.

I'm 17, and going into my senior year of high school. Tomorrow. But this also means I'm looking for colleges. And my parents won't let me build a mew in the backyard.

Currently I'm looking into veterinary science as a major, specifically with exotic animals. Or animation.

I live in Texas.

I volunteer at a bird of prey rehab hospital. I have been learning so much about birds and their ailments and temperaments, and have started my training with the ambassador birds! Today I worked with our mississippi kite; it was my first time having a bird on my glove! I've been volunteering about two months.

I work in a pizza shop.

I'm an award winning artist and animator. My team and I have made it to South by Southwest and the All American Film Festival in New York city. I've been drawing for seven years now. I might post some art here on this thread, when I have more time. I mainly draw canines.

I'm in the marching band at my school and I play flute and piccolo, sometimes bass flute. My band went to the Tournament of Roses Parade!

I have an aquarium and am well versed in fish husbandy. I also have a cat and dog. I've been around animals my entire life.

I love science fiction and fantasy.

Well, that's me. My dream bird to fly is either an American kestrel or a golden eagle (two opposite ends of the spectrum, lol). I'm saving up my money slowly but surely, and the center I volunteer at has offered to help me get my glove when I'm handling birds more.

While I'm not actively looking for a sponsor, I'd like any advice anyone can give me so I can jump right on that when its time!

I'd also love to post some photos of the ambassador birds I've been around lately, but they aren't my birds, so I'm not sure it would be allowed?

Anyway, nice to meet you all! Feel free to message me about anything; I don't bite!

47CHAMP
08-21-2016, 07:44 PM
Welcome aboard. First off, enjoy your last year of high school. If you have any spare time, which it doesn't sound as if you do, pick up some of the books that you will find mentioned around here. It is a good place to start. Get as much info as you can... Take your time and have fun!!

DirtHawker
08-21-2016, 08:24 PM
I would strongly recommend joining the Texas club. They are a great group of people, and have a great meet. Been to it a couple of times. You can go hunting with people and that is the best way to meet a potential sponsor. Even if you can't get into it for a while, having your face out there and letting people know that it's something you want to do will help establish your credentials. Plus you get to see a cool lot of birds flying and hunting.

Breeze
08-21-2016, 08:31 PM
Hi Sarah! What part of Texas are you in? NOT asking for a town or something to try and pinpoint your location. It's wise at your age to not share this info! But Texas is HUGE - so are you in the northern part? Western? Central? East? South? Just thinking if those of us in Texas had a clue if you are close enough to get involved, someone(s) may contact you by PM to give you invites to join them flying birds, etc. Just a thought!

Sader762
08-21-2016, 11:18 PM
My daughter is 14 and just started high school. She is an Apprentice Falconer and could have written what you wrote. If you are near Tyler you are more then welcome to come out with us when hunting season starts, we both have Redtails and mostly Squirell hawk.

LarkoftheRiver
08-22-2016, 06:53 AM
Thank you all for the replies! I've been looking into joining the Texas club for sure, but the membership costs money, and I'm juggling paying gas money and insurance on my car, so I'll see about it eventually if I end up getting a raise.

I'm in Northeastern Texas.

I'm actually a few hours from Tyler; I could come out for the day! Just let me know details when they come up; I'd love to come along but as long as I'm still under age its kinda up to my parents if they let me. I'll probably start looking for opportunities to watch hunts next fall.

Icantmove
08-22-2016, 10:19 AM
2 hrs from Tyler is like Texarkana to Greenville to Nacogdoches, maybe somewhat closer. But you say raptor rehab, makes me think Blackland Prairie, which puts you in Greenville / Terrell area. I used to live in Lone Oak / Greenville in Hunt county and knew some falconers that lived near there. If you are in Hunt county, DFW falconers will probably be closer to you than Tyler falconers.

THA has a list of people / contact info which I think they got back up on the website. You'd have to join to get access. It's $35 / year, which is less than ... almost everything else involved in falconry. A piece of roo hide can be $100 (I think that's what I paid), a mews $1000, a hood is $20 for el cheapo and at least $40 for something decent, gas money for trapping varies but will probably be more than $35, etc.

Fun fact: when I joined THA, the then-secretary lived about 7 miles from me (in Hunt county), and he called me the night I joined (iirc) and invited me to hunt with him. I met him and he gave me a left-handed glove that day ... it's actually the glove I currently use.

My advice is to hunt with people as much as you can and read / be informed. I spent 5 years waiting since I was going to school and felt I didn't have enough time to devote to a bird, and stayed reasonably involved over that period of time. In the process, I met maybe 20+ falconers who lived near-ish to me and got to know several well enough to ask to sponsor me. I could have asked and been denied by 10 people before I started to get nervous. (It didn't take 10 people.) As a result, I do not relate to the people who think finding a sponsor is the hard part. There's really way too many potential sponsors in DFW for anyone to be able to say that imo. Story is probably the same a bit further east, but I'll let others speak to that.

Making equipment won't be important until you're within maybe 1 year of becoming an apprentice, and you may want to have a sponsor's input on some of it. I did mine way early and it led to problems: being locked into the bird I'd sized my equipment for (FRT; made switching to a HH harder to justify), a giant hood that was not sized well (in spite of being directly from a book), and a trap that was far too heavy.

We like pictures. Post pictures. Only reason there'd be an issue is if you didn't take them or if the rehab place didn't want you taking them. Or if there was some kind of cruelty involved, but that'd be strange.

Welcome!

Bird_Dog
08-22-2016, 05:15 PM
My advice is to read all the falconry books you can get your hands on. There are good websites for apprentices you might want to check out. Of course you can join Texas Hawking Association.

Scott

LarkoftheRiver
08-23-2016, 10:20 PM
I thought it would be more; $35 a year is great! I'll be joining as soon as I cash my next paycheck.

I have to go by the bookstore for some books for my classes anyway, so I'll hunt around the book section of this site and write down a few titles.

I'm not sure if I could ask someone to sponsor me. I have no idea how to go about it.

Ducksanddogs
08-23-2016, 10:55 PM
I thought it would be more; $35 a year is great! I'll be joining as soon as I cash my next paycheck.

I have to go by the bookstore for some books for my classes anyway, so I'll hunt around the book section of this site and write down a few titles.

I'm not sure if I could ask someone to sponsor me. I have no idea how to go about it.

Hey Sarah,

I give the same advice to everyone in your shoes. Don't be too eager to find a sponsor. I think a sponsorship is usually conveyed as some surreal blessing bestowed upon you and when it happens, you have to accept it no matter what.

The reality is that you're about to embark on a two year journey with someone. You should be screening him/her as much as he/she is screening you. Try to find someone who hunts the way you would like to hunt and someone you get along with. If you don't want to pick up the phone to call your sponsor because you don't get along and you always get an ear full, it's not worth having that person sponsor you.

I did my apprenticeship in Texas and can tell you there are PLENTY of falconers down there. Be patient and hunt with several people several times before bringing up that subject. If you do it that way, you'll have a good idea of who you get along with and who you don't.

If you can take two years to learn about the sport and also make a new lifelong friend, it's far more rewarding than a situation where you each tolerate each other until the time is up. Just my two cents. Someone on here likes to say when it's done being fun, it's time to quit, or something to that effect. Keep that in mind, find a sponsor you get along with, and have fun!

Good luck! The THA has an apprentice coordinator who will help you out with this process. Reach out to the club - that $35 membership fee will be worth every penny as you progress.

Breeze
08-24-2016, 11:21 AM
Hi Sarah!

Something to consider. Gather titles/authors of falconry books you want to read, then ask for them at your library. I read MANY inter-library loan books, while studying as an apprentice, then bought the ones I wanted later. Checking them out at the library is something you may want to consider.

Enjoy your journey!

LarkoftheRiver
08-24-2016, 09:28 PM
I'll totally be joining the club soon. Got paid yesterday *rolling in cash*

Well, I gotta go to the used book store anyway, so if I can pick up some books for cheap it would be great.

Some more questions (I'm annoying I know) about the site in general. For one I'm still having issues uploading my icon. It just... won't upload.
Also where would falconry art go? Not just photos, like painted birds and stuff.

mjh1990
08-24-2016, 09:58 PM
The avatar issue could be due to some updates that need done to the site, I couldn't get a new one to upload either.

ClaytonBoyd84
10-27-2016, 10:17 PM
I'll totally be joining the club soon. Got paid yesterday *rolling in cash*

Well, I gotta go to the used book store anyway, so if I can pick up some books for cheap it would be great.

Some more questions (I'm annoying I know) about the site in general. For one I'm still having issues uploading my icon. It just... won't upload.
Also where would falconry art go? Not just photos, like painted birds and stuff.



Sarah,

Welcome to Nafex. I'm a master level falconer in north TX. Just north of Denton to be specific. I'm currently flying an imprint goshawk. I would be more than happy to show you the sport.