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  1. #1
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    Default Apprentice Test in MD

    Anyone have any tips for taking the apprentice test in Maryland? I'm about to contact DNR to set it up but my studying is getting frustrating. I have a practice test from NY from a few years back that is very random and has some topics that no new falconer knows. I was wondering how obscure the Maryland one is if anyone's taken it recently. I've been helping out a sponsor for 7 years and finally decided to get the license myself. I know a lot about husbandry (for falcons and some hawks, but the practice test was asking about species that don't even live near here), weight management, lure training, and some other stuff. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I took the MD test a few years back and it was exactly what was on the NY test. Granted a lot of it is superficial knowledge but its not too much that wrote memory can't handle. I think I heard a change may be in the works but I'm not sure how soon thats kicking in.
    -Lee *3rd year General*
    Maryland (DC area)

  3. #3
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    First of all you need to put your signature on your posts before a moderator gets you. Second are you interested in Falconry or rehabing? If you have been working with a Falconer for 7 years terms such as weight management, lure training, etc., etc., should be common well known terms. If its Falconry (working with and training birds of prey to HUNT with you) you are looking to get into then you will find a lot of helpful info on here. Good luck!
    David

    We only go through this circus once, so enjoy the ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red-tail71 View Post
    First of all you need to put your signature on your posts before a moderator gets you. Second are you interested in Falconry or rehabing? If you have been working with a Falconer for 7 years terms such as weight management, lure training, etc., etc., should be common well known terms. If its Falconry (working with and training birds of prey to HUNT with you) you are looking to get into then you will find a lot of helpful info on here. Good luck!
    The first time I read the post I was thinking the same thing but I think the punctuation threw you off as well Dave. If you look closely its really saying.

    Quote Originally Posted by OP View Post
    I know a lot about husbandry, weight management, lure training, and some other stuff for falcons and some hawks (but the practice test was asking about species that don't even live near here)
    -Lee *3rd year General*
    Maryland (DC area)

  5. #5
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    IDK, but seems to be the key word to me Lee. We shall see
    David

    We only go through this circus once, so enjoy the ride.

  6. #6
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    The MD test, and the NY test are the same, according to the licensing folks at MD DNR.
    That said, Learning about other species cannot hurt you, quite a lot of the info works for most species.
    One book I would recomend is "Bents" Life histories of N American birds of prey.
    Additionally, do not fear asking others for their opinions, (Hint) always get at least 2 opinions.
    Wm, (Bill) Maguire

  7. #7
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    Hey Lissy

    Md DNR contact is Connie 301 478 2690
    go to apprentice form download the apprentice study guide sticky
    it is great and almost exactly like the Booklet that you get from Ny
    If you are interested in Falconry you need to find some one to get you out hunting.Its not like doing shows at Midieval Times.
    Find a sponsor that hunts.
    Good luck
    Neal Eckenbarger
    Life is like a Roller Coaster there are a lot of ups and downs. Hold on and enjoy the Ride.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neal561 View Post
    Hey Lissy

    Md DNR contact is Connie 301 478 2690
    go to apprentice form download the apprentice study guide sticky
    it is great and almost exactly like the Booklet that you get from Ny
    If you are interested in Falconry you need to find some one to get you out hunting.Its not like doing shows at Midieval Times.
    Find a sponsor that hunts.
    Good luck
    Well said Neal, I knew I liked you!
    David

    We only go through this circus once, so enjoy the ride.

  9. #9
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    When apprentices ask about the test and study guides with all the questions and answers I cringe. It feels a little bit like cheating to me. I urge you to read the books before you try to memorize the "Cliff notes". If you are committed for the long haul, study the material and not the test. I know everyone doesnt feel this way, and thats fine, not trying to start a debate. But i remember a time when this wasn't as widely accepted and my sponsor made very clear I was not going to use those to "cheat" the test just so i could pass. I don't know if I fully inderstood at the time, but now I do. i've met enough apprentices who've passed the test, but haven't read much or learned a LOT of the basics.
    -Ken
    (Maryland/Pennsylvania)

  10. #10
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    I'm glad that someone else finds this appalling. Yes, it is cheating, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was even illegal. What a lot of beginners don't understand is that the falconry exam is not like an entrance exam for college where you are asked to show potential and the background to do the course work. It's more like the exams that you take halfway through medical school, after you have taken all the anatomy and physiology courses in preparation for the practical study. Before they let you start cutting-up people they want to make sure you know what's inside. Before you get your apprentice license you are supposed to know pretty much everything about falconry that has been written down somewhere. Once you get a bird things start to happen really fast. There's no time to figure out what you should do. You have to know it already. You may not have experience as to how, but you must at least know what you should do. You can crash and burn in a second, as many many beginners do in the first couple of weeks. All the weird random obscure questions on the exam are not in themselves so important. But the idea is that if you know them then you probably know all the rest too. i.e. It's not just the one fact about perches that you need to know. You need to know everything about perches. Like, what are all the types commonly used and what are their strengths and weaknesses. How do you make them, what are the proper dimensions, what are the proper materials. And on and on. You need to read all the books, and actually study them. Make note cards, quiz yourself. It can easily take a full year. If you are serious about wanting to succeed as a falconer then cheating your way through the exam is a TERRIBLE IDEA.
    Edmund Henderson
    Good falconry is always a thin line between two mistakes.

  11. #11
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    Mr. Henderson makes an excellent argument, indeed just looking up answers to specific questions, will not serve you well.
    In one of my former positions I was tasked with administering exams for people trying to attain trade certifications.
    Many purchased the study guides, but did not read the texts themselves.
    This leads to a lack of depth in your understanding of the requirements.
    Most of the folks taking the shortcut would fail, sometimes it was as simple as changing the wording of the questions or problems.
    The lack of depth did not allow for any different approach to the correct answer.

    Rereading my earlier post I can see where I should have been more detailed in my answer.

    What I could have mentioned was that one should read all the suggested books, then ask questions.
    With a bit of "depth" in the subject you should Fear no test.
    Not to mention that knowledge is its own reward, almost every thing you have learned will ease future ephinys.

    (Sorry I just like the word Ephiny)

    My clarification of sorts
    Wm, (Bill) Maguire

  12. #12
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    Down guys down .You guys are absolutely right.This can be conceived as cheating. let me step back and say I have not taken the test and hope to soon. Md DNR spends 5 min. on the phone with you directs you to NY DNR for a falconry package tells you to study it before you take your test. the packet is word for word exactly the same as the apprentice sticky . The test is not made up so you will fail because as i understand you can retake it is just an inconvenience. You all are the ones that make sure some one is ready by signing as a Sponsor. The burden is on you if some one is not ready make them wait or work harder . Not everyone is ready to [some may never be ready to take on the responsibility to care for or manage hawks]. With that said yes cheating it may be.
    The system is flawed
    Any one interested in helping me learn all i can
    please feel free to PM me
    Thanks NEAL561
    I am willing to learn
    Neal Eckenbarger
    Life is like a Roller Coaster there are a lot of ups and downs. Hold on and enjoy the Ride.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neal561 View Post
    Down guys down .You guys are absolutely right.This can be conceived as cheating. let me step back and say I have not taken the test and hope to soon. Md DNR spends 5 min. on the phone with you directs you to NY DNR for a falconry package tells you to study it before you take your test. the packet is word for word exactly the same as the apprentice sticky . The test is not made up so you will fail because as i understand you can retake it is just an inconvenience. You all are the ones that make sure some one is ready by signing as a Sponsor. The burden is on you if some one is not ready make them wait or work harder . Not everyone is ready to [some may never be ready to take on the responsibility to care for or manage hawks]. With that said yes cheating it may be.
    The system is flawed
    Any one interested in helping me learn all i can
    please feel free to PM me
    Thanks NEAL561
    I am willing to learn
    Neal, I blame the ones making the crib sheets. The ones using them are not cheating as much as being cheated. Just falling into a trap really.
    Edmund Henderson
    Good falconry is always a thin line between two mistakes.

  14. #14
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    Thumbs up

    [QUOTE=ehh;319801]Neal, I blame the ones making the crib sheets. The ones using them are not cheating as much as being cheated. Just falling into a trap really.


    That's Right they are setting you up. But getting you off there books so to say. But i am glad its not like the DMV Wow people around here cannot Drive but they still have a licence!!! LOL . The Forum is Great Their is a huge amount of information here and good people. The guys might disagree all the time, but all are spending there time help each other .
    Neal Eckenbarger
    Life is like a Roller Coaster there are a lot of ups and downs. Hold on and enjoy the Ride.

  15. #15
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    I disagree, you don't learn falconry through text.

    The test(in FL) tested your understanding of basic terminology, raptor biology, and a few misc. arbitrary facts and practices. It is being changed now, so I can't speak of the current contribution that the test has to testing a falconer's abilities.

    However, I do not think that it is necessary for you to read the entire history of falconry, every single book, on every single subject. From hunting red-tails on squirrels to flying Gyrfalcons at grouse. That is just ridiculous. There's a reason that there is the apprentice system in place, it puts an experienced falconer at your disposal so that you may learn and practice under his/her guidance. I think that there is nothing better when it comes to falconry, than to learn through talking, and asking others who have done what you are trying to do, and more importantly participate in doing it with someone if possible. Sure books are great, they offer some insight and experiences on how to do things. Remember a book is only as good as the interpreter. So often what happens is that when something is written in a book, people don't look at what's being described as critically as if it were disseminated in person.

    So basically I guess what I'm saying is, study up for the test to the point that you can pass it, read some material but be objective about the information. Think for yourself. Most importantly though, build yourself a good core group of falconers in your area, that you can ask questions of, hunt with, and learn from. Make sure your sponsor is a good falconer, and is or has consistently taken game with his/her birds. That to me would be a lot more important than ordering a bunch of books to look at.

    I don't know what they mean by cheating, it's not like taking the apprentice test guarantees that you are a falconer, it just gives you access to the other steps involved in order to become permitted. Just because you're permitted doesn't mean you're a falconer either, that doesn't happen until you catch your first head of wild game with a hawk or falcon.
    -Mark

  16. #16
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    Default Sheesh

    Well, all I was asking for was advice. I have been reading books on falconry for years and WAS an rehabber for 2 years. I am aware there are, erm, a FEW differences. As in, they are TOTALLY different. Fundamentally different, really.

    I am very serious about this stuff and as my first post said, I KNOW weight management and lure training, etc. I know the difference between an eyass and a haggard. I know the difference between a cast, a cast, and a cast. I'm nervous about the test because, as SOME Of you said, the apprenticeship is still considered a beginning step and if something hasn't happened to the birds I've worked with, I don't have experience with it. If the falconers I've worked with don't know about it, they haven't taught it to me. Usually I go perusing through reading material until I find answers, but I'm doing this to EXPAND my knowledge. I suppose my question really was, do I need to know the intimate details of a species that isn't even native or should a diligent devotion to the topic suffice to get me through the test? If I need to be a walking textbook, I'll do it, it'll just mean I'll have to reschedule my test date. Asking what's involved isn't the same as asking for answers. Thank you those of you who understood that. Being accused of cheating after my very first post on this site wasn't very encouraging.
    -Melissa
    Catonsville, MD

  17. #17
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    Good luck to you with your test, I'm sure you will do fine. I rarely hear of someone failing, especially with the amount of preparation and thought you seem to be putting in. And I'm glad to read you're very serious about falconry, that is definitely a pre-requisite. You may have stumbled into a hot button topic in your first thread, but this is a friendly and helpful forum with some very knowledgeable and passionate falconers. You don't always get the full context online either, so it can take some thick skin while you figure out who's actually trying to help you.
    -Ken
    (Maryland/Pennsylvania)

  18. #18
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    Thank you so much! I was kind of upset about this so I appreciate your support and that of a few others who responded.
    -Melissa
    Catonsville, MD

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LissyFalcon View Post
    Thank you so much! I was kind of upset about this so I appreciate your support and that of a few others who responded.
    I just took and passed the test here in Arkansas this last year and passed. It was a pretty good test. There was some stuff on there that was not mentioned in any of the recommended reading material. My nerves were my worst enemy, the test was hard but if you study its a done deal. Just like going to school you won't make the grade if you don't study. Good luck. And about the birds that don't live around you, I would just brush up on raptor identification and habitat.

  20. #20
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    Default Mission accomplished

    Quick update: I got a 99% on the MD falconry test.
    -Melissa
    Catonsville, MD

  21. #21
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    Congratulations
    Vinnie Macchirella
    LAS VEGAS REALTOR

  22. #22
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    Nice job!
    -Ken
    (Maryland/Pennsylvania)

  23. #23
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    Congrats. Have fun. That is what falconry is all about.
    Kitty Carroll -- The Hawk of May

    ~~ The essence of falconry is not in the flight or the kill,
    but man's relationship with his hawk --- Terance Hanbury White~~

  24. #24
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    Congratulations, I scored an 86 and was surprised to get that. I had basically read everything I could get my hands on and decided to know what I needed to know I would have to take the test to see. Surprise , surprise.

    One a side note, and sure to ruffle some molting feathers, the test I took was borderline ridiculous. I'd say at best half met my expectations of testing a person knowledge in a practical sense. If one is truthful falconry,in real life practice, is untestable until the end product is served because in reality there is only one test that matters. "Flight" said it right, it is the combination of responsibility between the sponsor and the apprentice to get it right plain and simple. Just reading some of these threads with the bazillion different recommendations on certain problems creates mass confusion for the newby much less committing to gospel some of the uselessness on that test. Being from South Louisiana I have 4 bird options to fly and that's it. Ask me about a Gos or a Gyr in a 10 years and my response will probably be "yeah they're nice birds, so I hear"

    Just a view from an outsider who hopes to make his sponsor, and help, proud in the near future
    Lew Roussel

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