Easiest way to get contacts is to join THA and use the member's list to find people. That's what I did sometimes, particularly earlier on when I didn't have many contacts. Or you could try emailing or calling the apprentice coordinator; that's also pretty easy. Or the southern director.

Best way to deal with internet falconers / naysayer / people who jump on your case is to avoid the internet / falconry forums. In my experience, falconers are generally a hundred times more friendly in person (I'm not exaggerating very much), particularly if they're the THA gregarious type you'd find through the coordinators.