My name is Thomas Nockles (preferably Tommy) I am 21, and I am from Gresham, Oregon. I grew up as a outdoors/wilderness nerd and spent all my time watching animal planet where I fell in love with wildlife and the great outdoors. I also grew up participating in the Boy Scouting of America program where I was able to earn the rank of Eagle Scout! During scouting, I was even more exposed to the majesty of the wilderness through camping, backpacking, and hiking. My dad has been fortunate enough to buy his own whitewater rafting equipment, and my family has been out on river for the past 25-30 years. I have a passion for serving the public and protecting wildlife so I decided to enroll at Oregon State University and pursue a degree towards Fisheries and Wildlife Science with a specialization in Law enforcement. This upcoming fall will already be my senior year!

My entire family is an outdoors type, but none of us have never been involved in the hunting aspect. I got involved using firearms last summer and this last spring when I went skeet shooting and spring turkey hunting. I've had a previous internship with OSP doing 100 hours of ride alongs and have just started another internship this past July with the Oregon Department of Fisheries and Wildlife which goes through December.

I have always been fascinated by wild raptors and how truly unique and amazing they are. I had never known about falconry until about a few years back. Ever since then I have been obsessed with watching all sorts of videos on youtube and picking up a bird book and attempting to identify raptors I see perching on power lines. This last week I got to do a falconry inspection of a mew with my boss, and I decided there that I was going to start seriously considering falconry and doing research. I love hunting and being in the field. Having the privilege to be in cooperation with an actual wild raptor to hunt just blows my mind and fuels my passion for wanting to dive in and get hands on experience.

I have my hardest year of school coming this next year, while I am still working part time. I will only have a little bit of time here and there during school to study and read all the books and information. I would definitely make time to go to falconry meets and assist with hunting on weekends though!

-Thomas Nockles