Classes of Falconers and Upgrade Requirements

Junior Apprentice Class

  • Requirements:
    • Must be at least 12 years old.
    • Must have a sponsor that is a Master or General falconry permit holder with 24 months of experience at the General level. Sponsors may have no more than 3 Apprentices at a time.
    • Must have a parent or legal guardian sign the application and agree to take legal responsibility for the activities of the permittee.
    • Must house the raptor at the legal residence or permitted location of an adult, preferably a parent or legal guardian, who is in possession of a valid falconry permit.
  • May
    • possess only a passage red-tailed hawk;
    • possess only one raptor at a time;  and
    • obtain no more than two raptors for replacement during any season.
  • Must not
    • possess an imprinted raptor or a raptor that was taken from the wild as a nestling.
  • WARNING: If the adult falconry permittee (listed above) is an Apprentice, only one raptor is allowed under either the Junior Apprentice falconry permit or the adult's Apprentice permit, unless the raptor is housed with the sponsor.
  • UPGRADE: Automatic upon falconer's 16th birthday.

Apprentice Class

  • Requirements:
    • Must be at least 16 years old.
    • Must have a sponsor that is a Master falconry permit holder or General falconry permit holder with 24 months of experience at the General level. Sponsors may have no more than 3 Apprentices at a time.
    • Must have a parent or legal guardian sign the application and agree to take legal responsibility for the activities of the permittee if the permittee is under 18 years old.
  • May possess only a passage red-tailed hawk.
    • EXCEPTION: If the Apprentice permittee has two seasons of experience, and their sponsor approves, they may take and possess any raptor allowed for an Apprentice class falconer under federal regulations and under part 6238.1200, subpart 16.
  • May
    • possess only one raptor at a time; and
    • obtain no more than two raptors for replacement during any season.
  • Must not
    • possess an imprinted raptor or a raptor that was taken from the wild as a nestling.
  • UPGRADE: Please complete the Minnesota DNR Application to Upgrade to General.
    • Federal regulations require that falconry be practiced for at least two years as an Apprentice falconer, which means the earliest an upgrade can occur is 24 months from the date of the initial Apprentice permit (assuming falconry was practiced throughout this period).
    • During each year of the two year period, state regulations require that Apprentices complete a six month "season of experience" in two separate falconry seasons (falconry seasons run from May 1 to April 30).
    • To fulfill the state and federal hunting requirements, at least four of those six months (above) must be between September 1 to February 28/29 for each year.
    • The two seasons described above may be earned as a Junior Apprentice, as an Apprentice, or a combination of the two.
    • A qualified sponsor must approve the request for upgrade and certify that all state and federal requirements have been met.

General Class

  • Requirements:
    • Must be at least 18 years old.
    • Requires a minimum of 24 months as a Junior Apprentice and/or Apprentice, two seasons of experience (four months each season must be during the hunting season) as a Junior Apprentice and/or Apprentice class permit holder, and approval from their sponsor.
    • See the "Falconry Class Upgrade" page for more detailed information regarding the upgrade requirements.
  • May take and possess any raptor allowed under federal regulations and under part 6238.1200, subpart 16, except the permittee must not:
    • possess, take, or transport a bald eagle, white-tailed eagle, Stellar's sea-eagle, or golden eagle; or
    • possess, take, or transport any species listed as threatened or endangered under state or federal regulations.
  • May
    • possess captive-bred raptors and hybrids; and
    • take eyases (young raptors not capable of sustained flight) from the nest
  • Must not
    • possess more than two raptor; or
    • obtain more than two wild raptors for replacement during any season.
  • UPGRADE: please complete the Minnesota DNR Application to Upgrade to Master.
    • Federal regulations require that falconry be practiced for at least five years as a General falconer so the earliest an upgrade could occur is 60 months from the date of initial General class falconry permit (assuming falconry was practiced throughout this period).
    • During each year of the five year period, state regulations require that Generals complete a six month "season of experience" in five separate falconry seasons (falconry seasons run from May 1 to April 30).
    • To fulfill the state and federal hunting requirements, at least four of those six months in #2 must be during a hunting season.

Master Class

  • Requirements:
    • Must be at least 18 years old.
    • Requires a minimum of 60 months as a General and five seasons of experience (four months each season must be during the hunting season) as an General class permit holder.
    • See the "Falconry Class Upgrade" page for more detailed information regarding the upgrade requirements.
    • May take and possess any raptor allowed under federal regulations and under part 6238.1200, subpart 16, except the permittee must not:
      • possess, take, or transport white-tailed eagle, Stellar's sea-eagle, or golden eagle unless authorized in a separate permit.
      • possess, take, or transport a bald eagle;
      • take any species listed as endangered under state or federal regulations, but may transport or possess endangered species according to applicable rules and additional permitting; or
      • take more than one raptor listed as threatened in state or federal regulations, and then only according to applicable state and federal regulations and additional permitting.
    • May
      • possess captive-bred raptors and hybrids;
      • take eyases (young raptors not capable of sustained flight) from the nest; and
    • Must not
      • possess more than five raptors under their falconry permit except as authorized under an abatement permit;
      • obtain more than two wild raptors for replacement during any season; or
      • possess more than three wild raptors at any time.

     

    The above information is a brief summary of the state and federal falconry regulations. For complete falconry regulations, consult Minnesota Rules Chapter 6234.0800, Chapter 6238, and Federal Regulations 50-CRF 21.29 and 50-CRF 21.30.