Falconry Permit Application Requirements

This section Contains information on:

How to apply for your permit

All falconers are required to obtain a state permit through the MN DNR to practice falconry in Minnesota. To obtain a falconry permit you must:

  1. Download or request the MN DNR falconry packet
  2. Study State and Federal regulations and recommended reading materials
  3. Contact Heidi Cyr, Falconry Coordinator, to take the written exam and submit the Falconry Exam Application
  4. Pass the the falconry exam with a score of at least an 80%
  5. Find a sponsor
  6. Construct your facilities (both mews and weathering area) and pass the Facility and Equipment Inspection.
  7. Return the completed permit application form  to Heidi Cyr.

New permittee exams, inspections, and permits are generally not conducted between December 1 and May 1st due to workloads associated with other permits (however, exceptions can be made as time permits).  The falconry permitting process often takes many months. It may be completed in 2-3 months, but it could take the entire first season.  Timing is dependent upon the speed in which the permittee completes the steps (particularly step #6) and the month the permittee starts the process (June and July are best).  Scheduling a time to take the exam or facilities inspection often takes 2-3 weeks.  An additional 4-6 weeks is often required from complete permit application submission to receipt of a fully signed permit and band. 

NEW PERMITTEE EXEMPTIONS TO STEPS 1-7:

  • Applicants permanently moving to Minnesota with a falconry permit issued by another state:
    • Do not need to take the exam.
    • Do not need a sponsor, unless they are still an Apprentice. 
    • Must construct facilities, pass the Facility and Equipment Inspection, and submit a complete permit application.
    • Must submit copies of their current permit, 3-186a's for all current birds that they plan to import, and Board of Health Certifications for any birds imported to Minnesota (attained from a veterinarian just prior to importation).
    • Apprentices and General falconers should also submit copies of the first permit in their current class and all 3-186a's that had been submitted since they attained their current class (necessary to determine when the applicant will be able to upgrade to the next class).
    • Must complete permit application form.
  • Applicants who are nonresident falconers but reside in Minnesota for more than 120 days with their raptors (part-time residents)
    • Do not need to take the exam.
    • Do not need a sponsor, unless they are still an Apprentice.
    • Must construct facilities, pass the Facility and Equipment Inspection, and submit a complete permit application.
    • Must submit copies of their current permit, 3-186a's for all current birds, and Board of Health Certifications for any birds imported to Minnesota attained from a veterinarian before they are imported to Minnesota.
    • Must complete permit application form.
  • Applicants who have had a falconry permit in the past but have allowed it to lapse:
    • Do not need to take the exam, unless it has been more than 5 years since they were last permitted.
    • Do not need a sponsor unless their last valid permit was at the Apprentice class.
    • Must construct facilities, pass the Facility and Equipment Inspection, and submit a complete permit application.
    • May need to submit copies of previous permits (particularly if they were permitted in another state or it has been over 5 years and their file is not available).
    • Must complete permit application form.
    • Returning falconers are permitted at the same level as their last valid permit.
  • Applicants from another country
    • Must complete steps 1 through 7.
    • Regardless of experience, they are initially permitted at the Apprentice level.
    • After a minimum of 4 months practicing falconry during the hunting season (capturing, training, hunting, and flying) with their own raptor and with their sponsor's approval they may apply for a General or Master falconry permit.  Records from their country of origin must be submitted with the permit application.

 

1. Minnesota Falconry Packet

2. Regulations

3. Falconry Coordinator Contact Information

Heidi Cyr, Falconry Coordinator 
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road, Box 25
St. Paul, MN 55155-4025

[email protected]

651-259-5107

Fax: 651-296-1811

 

4. About the written exam

Examination questions emphasize the practical aspects and obligations of being a falconer. Knowledge of scientific names and obscure publications is not required. The examination has 100 multiple choice questions, and requires at least 80 correct answers to pass.  Topics covered and number of questions in each section are as follows:

  • Regulations.........................................16
  • Raptor Biology and Identification...........15
  • General Falconry Knowledge..................33
  • Health and Maintenance........................36

An applicant who fails the examination must wait at least two weeks before retaking the exam.  More information on the falconry exam is located in the Exam Factsheet (part of the Minnesota Falconry Packet above).

 

5. Sponsorship program

All Junior Apprentice and Apprentice class permit holders are required to have a General or Master class falconer permittee as a sponsor. General class sponsors must have at least 24 months' experience with their own birds at General class.  The mentoring between the sponsor and the Apprentice is considered to be essential to insure proper development of the Apprentice's falconry skills.  An Apprentice's training will include capturing, caring for, training, flying, hunting, and releasing raptors.  Your sponsor must confirm that they will act as your sponsor by signing the "Sponsor's Certification" in the application form or downloading a Sponsor Certification Form. More information on the roles and responsibilities of sponsors and Apprentices is located in the Minnesota Falconry Packet.

 

6. Facility and equipment inspection

Before a falconry permit is issued, the raptor housing facilities and falconry equipment must be inspected and approved by a Conservation Officer, Nongame specialist, or Falconry Coordinator. All permitted falconers must have and maintain both a mews (indoor housing) and weathering area (outdoor housing) that will accommodate all raptors they possess. Do not start construction on your facilities until you have completed steps 1-5.

For more information on facilities and equipment requirements please see "Falconry Care, Facilities, and Inspections"

 

How to Renew your Permit

Falconry Permits are valid for 3 years, and expire on September 30 of the 3rd year.  To renew your Falconry Permit you must:

  1. Pass a facilities and equipment inspection performed by a Conservation Officer, Nongame Specialist, or Falconry Coordinator.
  2. Return the completed Falconry Permit Application Form to [email protected] when replying via email to the Annual Falconry Information Email.
  3. Renewal requests must be submitted 30 days before the permit expires.