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       News from the president of the MFA…


This email is a follow up to the business meeting held in August 2004 to inform Missouri falconers of important topics discussed during the meeting.


2004 Election

I want to thank those who voted to keep me as president of this club. I shall do my best to focus the club in making a difference in falconry in Missouri. The apprentice workshops held this summer are not the end all but just the beginnings of helping those interested in hunting with raptors in Missouri. This club is here in part to help those new to the sport interested in finding a sponsor and as support group to help all falconers through their apprenticeship and beyond. Over the years I have personally found a wealth of information at the eyas picnic and field meets concerning the hunting and care of raptors and hope those new to the club will also.


Questions asked the legal committee

Keith Thompson has been working with the Dept. of Conservation to clear up some gray areas related to falconry brought up at the business meeting


Hunting with a dog while practicing falconry in Missouri

The question of whether or not a falconer can legally work a dog in the field if the falconer only has a falconry license. Keith has contacted Terry Roberson who heads up the protection at the department. Neither had thought about it before. Having looked at the strict reading of the code book they came to these conclusions:


1. To work a dog on game in the field, you need a hunting license.

2. A falconry license does not give you authority to work a dog in the field on game.

3. Therefore, if you have a dog in the field, whether or not you have a falconry license or not, you need a small game hunting license.


It has been taken for granted for the past 30 years and assumed that if you had a falconry license, you had authority to utilize a dog. No one has ever challenged it. Under a strict reading of the regulations that may not be correct. We are in the process of getting now, a formal interpretation from the Department.

If you have a dog in the field, you need a small game hunting license


Housing Harris’s hawks together

It has come to the attention of the committee that falconers for socialization purposes are thinking of free lofting Harris’s hawks together.

 Federal law CFR 21.28-29 state in part;

Indoor mews shall be large enough to allow easy access for caring for the raptors housed in the facility. If more than one raptor is to be kept in the mews, the raptors shall be tethered or separated by partitions and the area for each bird shall be large enough to allow the bird to fully extend its wings.

The law prohibits keeping more than one falconry Harris’s free lofted in a chamber



Information about Falconry in Colorado discussed

I want to take the time to retell in part what has happened this year in Colorado. Gordon Grenfell, president of the Colorado hawking club, goes into detail in the August NAFA hawk chalk. I suggest that all members get a copy and read it.


 All starting in February 28th of this year, Forty-nine falconers in Colorado were interrogated with some being served with search warrants. In all five birds were confiscated as evidence. On several occasions, agents didn’t have all of paperwork in question and wanted falconers to fill in the gaps with their own copies. As of the August printing 120 days later no citations were issued.


 What this means to us…


 Keep all paperwork concerning raptors in order for inspection


Officers asked to check, and then checked the falconer’s freezers


What this means us…


Keep game tagged with when and where the game was taken. If another hunter gave game to you, or you have more than one family member storing game, mark game bagged with his or her name and date it


 Molted feathers only can be kept and traded for imping purposes.


What this means us….


 Be careful NOT to keep them out in bowls or jars where they might be considered ornamental or decorative. The freezer is a good place to keep them from feather mites.


The article then goes into detail with law enforcement tactics such as intimidation, badgering, good cop-bad cop, lying in order to entrap, and offering to go easy on them if they informed on others. Remember, only the district attorney has the authority to plea bargain.


It is worth your time to reread all state and federal laws in regards to falconry. If you have questions, the legal committee will research them or ask the Missouri Dept of Conservation or the USF&Wildlife and ask for any clarification in writing. Though this is a Colorado only investigation, no one can say what seeds have been planted elsewhere.


Early fall field meet


Norma Haynes has sent out a timely email at this time to let members know of the next field meet in the Kansas City area the second to last weekend in October. Justin May and I have been hunting our new Coulson Harris’s together in the KC area. The rabbit population is stable this year and seems to have rebounded from years past. The down side if there is one is that we have never seen the ground cover thicker. Hope for a fairly dry fall so farmers can have their crops harvested. As always I look forward to seeing you there.


Good luck trapping, see you in October,

Bob Payne President MFA