Hunting with falcons is the second oldest form of hunting with the aid of animals. Most historians and archaeologists agree that the sport of falconry originated in China. The first tangible evidence of falconry appears in 4,000 year old artwork from Persia.
Falconry is the sport of taking wildlife by means of a trained raptor. A person may not practice falconry in Tennessee without obtaining a proper TWRA permit.
The modern Tennessee falconer must be able to trap, train and provide care for their own hawks under strict guidelines provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and TWRA. The average falconer may spend as long as two years training a bird of prey before it is ready to hunt.
Training a “raptor” is a continuous process that requires a daily commitment throughout the life of the bird. For every hour spent in the field, the falconer will spend a hundred hours devoted to the care and training of the hawk.
The rewards of hunting with raptors is not measured with the success of the hunt since the average hawk takes 30 to 50 flights before it will take prey. The real thrill of hunting with these magnificent birds is watching them fly in pursuit of game and sharing time with them in the fields and forests.
Spencer Morse of Hamilton County is the winner of the Tennessee 2014 Peregrine Take Permit Draw. The drawing was held in Nashville on August 27. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency congratulates Spencer and wishes him good luck in trapping a Peregrine falcon.
Watch our website for information on the next drawing in August 2015. Only general or master class resident and non-resident falconers are eligible for the annual drawing. They must have a current resident or non-resident hunting license.
Peregrine falcons may only be taken under authority of a drawn permit from counties located in TWRA Region 1.
Interested parties must complete a no fee peregrine falcon application. Such application must be completed and postmarked no later than midnight on the second Wednesday of August each year.
Send all applications to TWRA, Falconry Coordinator, P.O. Box 40747, Nashville, TN 37204.
All applications will be entered in a random draw to select the permit(s) available for peregrine falcon take in Tennessee. Permit drawing will be held on the last Wednesday of August each year.
Permittees will be notified by phone and mail by the first Wednesday of September.
Upon being awarded a permit, the following condition's will apply:
A falconry permit may not be issued until the applicant has answered correctly at least 80 percent of the questions given on a supervised examination provided by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The exam is administered regionally by the TWRA. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit is required for each person within the State of Tennessee to possess a raptor for the purposes of falconry.
If you are interested in becoming a licensed falconer in the State of Tennessee, there are three classes of permits for which you may apply: Apprentice Class, General Class, or Master Class.
Applicants must be at least 14 years old and must have a sponsor who holds a General or Master Falconry Permit. A Falconry Apprentice must have a sponsor for a minimum of two years. The sponsor may not have more than three apprentices at any one time. An Apprentice may not possess more than one raptor and may only possess the American Kestrel, Red-tailed Hawk, or Red-shouldered Hawk. They may not obtain more than one raptor for replacement during any 12-month period.
Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have at least two years of experience in the practice of falconry at the Apprentice Class level, or its equivalent. A General Class Falconer may not possess more than two raptors and may not obtain more than two raptors for replacement during any 12-month period. A General Falconer may not take, transport or possess any species listed as threatened or endangered in federal regulations published pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973.
Applicants must have at least five years of experience in the practice of falconry at the General Class level, or its equivalent. A Master Class Falconer may not possess more than three raptors and may not obtain more than two raptors for replacement during any 12-month period. A Master Falconer may not take, transport or possess any species listed as threatened or endangered in federal regulations pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 unless authorized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
A non-refundable $10.00 fee to the TWRA is due when an applicant takes the 100 question examination. An additional $10.00 fee is charged if the applicant must re-take the examination. A $25.00 fee to the US Fish and Wildlife Service must accompany the Federal Application Form 3-200 (OMB No. 42-R1670).
(include your mailing address and put "Falconry Application" in the subject line.)
TWRA Boating and Law Enforcement Division
P.O. Box 40747
Nashville, TN 37204
Attention: Walter Cook