Hi all. I’m new to the forums and new to falconry as an active participant. Never sure how much is too much (or not enough) so I’ll just lead out with some info I’ve shared elsewhere

My 12yr old son and I are just in the beginning stages of preparing ourselves to apprentice. I’ve long wanted to do this but only now in my early 40s am I truly in a position (and place) to practically commit time and pursue this endeavor. Also, an intense interest in Raptors is one of the few things that gets my son’s head out of electro-tech-land with consistent success. Since an interest in falconing seems to be one of the few overlapping interests we share, I think we are both excited about sharing this adventure.

Anyhow... we are studying the process now and starting to reach out to others. Also starting to gather reading and study materials for the licensing test. Our goal is to be ready for an actual bird in two years (2020), or perhaps even next capture season in 2019, providing we can find a sponsor that soon. I very much am interested in the hunting aspect of falconry as I live in MT and hunting is simply a way of life. Ironically, though, it is not a way of life I was raised with and big game hunting isn’t something I’ve ever been passionate about pursuing. Falconry, however is a type of hunting that appeals strongly to the traditionalist in me.

We are located in Anaconda, but we also spend a lot of time in the Mission Valley as that is where my wife is from and all her family still there. We are prepared to travel within about a 2-hour radius if we can find the right willing person to work with us. That said, that puts Bozeman, Missoula, Helena, Dillon as our approximate realistic boundaries, although we could push that under proper conditions, especially if our hunting grounds allow us to meet part-way in between.

My son is a pretty gentle tender hearted little guy. He can be somewhat timid at first and is sometimes a little slow to master mechanical/motor skills. That said, he’s somewhat of an encyclopedia of bird facts and has a knack for accumulating and recalling any info related to birds. I am a fairly quick study in the fundamentals of most things, but alas, once I learn the basics I too am sometimes a little slower at mastering more advanced skills. That said, we both have a lot of stick-to-it-iveness for things we are passionate about. We are prepared to spend several years building these skills and eventually obtaining a master falconers license is the likely goal if we get through the apprentice phase.

Anyhow... I realize it may take some time to find a sponsor, and what better way to prove our perseverance, right?! In the meantime, if anyone knows contacts or meeting schedules or activities related to the sport, let us know. We’d love to meet start meeting some falconers in person.