We work with fledgling apprentices to develop into responsible and successful falconers!
Is falconry a lifestyle match for you?
Choosing to become a falconer is no small decision. It takes many hours of dedicated training and ongoing work, but it could be the most rewarding choice of your life. We recommend trying our 3-hour Introduction to Falconry Experience before deciding to apprentice.
We have a list of books at the bottom of this page which are excellent research material before you take the first step forward in your falconry journey!
Ontario's Laws for Falconry and Apprenticeships
- Must have a valid Ontario Small Game Hunting Licence to apply for a Falconry Licence.
- Minimum 15 month long apprenticeship including 2 October hunting seasons.
- 30 hours of hands-on in-field experience.
- Birds are restricted to those listed on the falconry and non-falconry birds of prey lists provided by the MNRF.
- Annual reports and renewal of your falconry licence is required.
Talon & Bark Falconry's Apprentice Course
Here is what you can expect in our course.
$800.00 course fee for the entire 15 month apprenticeship.
Our course is broken up into two parts, "before your bird" and "after your bird".
1.5 hour long bi-monthly lessons with both theory and hands-on instruction.
Proper care and handling of a raptor, including instruction on falconry equipment and how to use it, raptor dietary requirements, housing and more.
Proper trapping, manning, training and introduction to hunting with a raptor.
Handling practice with one of Talon and Bark Falconry's trained birds before you get your own.
Legal obligations, paperwork, ethical and lawful conduct in the public and other essential parts of falconry.
Realities of Living and Working with a Bird of Prey
While birds of prey are amazing and working with them is very rewarding much of the time,
it isn't always easy!
Birds of prey typically require at least one hour of attention every single day of the year.
More time is required during the hunting season.
Most medium sized birds of prey can live 20 to 25 years on average, so this is a lifetime commitment!
Due to their specialized care, going away on holidays require special arrangements and can be difficult.
Birds of prey do not stay with you out of loyalty. They look to you as an easy source of food which encourages them to stay. They can choose to fly away and not return at anytime.
The public eye is always on you. It is important to act in a responsible, legal and ethical manner.
Birds of prey can be aggressive at times towards handlers or other individuals. It is important to be careful and willing to work with the bird through their unique issues.
Falconry is a very expensive lifestyle. You can expect to spend, at minimum, a couple of thousand dollars on a suitable housing structure. Food for a raptor can be hundreds of dollars a year.
Birds of prey are exotic animals, and finding a vet can be difficult and very expensive to treat.
Excellent Resources for Those Interested in Falconry
We highly recommend picking up these books before deciding to undergo your apprenticeship!
Some are written for falconry in the USA, but still contain valuable information for your apprenticeship.
The Falconer's Apprentice: A guide to Training the Passage Red-tailed Hawk
by William C. Oakes
A Falconry Manual
by Frank L. Beebe
Apprentice Study Guide and Apprentice Manual
California Hawking Club
Raptors in Captivity: Guidelines for Care
by Lori R. Arent
(Less essential but helpful)