Thursday, July 9, 2020

Upcoming exams for Falconry, Wildlife Rehabilitation, and more

The DEC has announced that exams for those looking to become wildlife rehabilitators, practice falconry, or use leashed tracking dogs to locate wounded or injured big game animals will be held on Aug. 14 with a registration deadline of July 24.

In region 5, the exams will be held at DEC offices in Ray Brook  and Warrensburg, with two exam times offered: 10 am – noon and 2-4 p.m.

DEC Regional Offices and their locations can be found at the DEC website, as well as exam registration forms.

Apprentice Falconry License

Falconry apprentices are permitted to have only one bird, an American Kestrel or a Red-Tailed Hawk. You can find a Falconry study guide and examination manual for free at the DEC’s website. A 5-year falconry license is $40.

To qualify for an Apprentice Falconry License, applicants must:

  • Score 80% or higher on the written exam
  • Be a minimum of 14 years of age
  • Posses a valid NYS Hunting License
  • Maintain DEC-approved facilities for housing falconry raptors

Wildlife Rehabilitator License

Wildlife rehabilitators are dedicated to the care of injured, sick, and orphaned wild animals in order to eventually return those injured animals to the wild. A good route for potential applicants is to take up an apprenticeship to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. You can find a rehabilitator study guide and examination manual for free at the DEC website as well, and the 5-year license is free of charge.

To qualify for a Wildlife Rehabilitator License, applicants must:

  • Score 80% or higher on the written exam
  • Be at least 16 years of age
  • Be interviewed by DEC wildlife staff

Leashed Tracking Dog Handler

Leashed tracking dog handlers specialize in using dogs to aid hunters in tracking and recovering dead, wounded, or injured big game. You may find a leashed tracking dog study guide at no cost from the DEC. There is a $50 license fee for 5-years, and a $25 non-refundable application fee.

To qualify for a leashed Tracking Dog Handler License, applicants must:

  • Score 80% or higher on the written exam
  • Possess a valid NYS Hunting License

In order to apply for these exams, visit the NYS DEC Special Licensing Unit page and fill out a registration form. You can mail, fax, or email the completed forms to:

NYS DEC Special Licenses Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY, 12233-4752;

Phone: 518-402-8985;

Fax: 518-402-8925;

Email: [email protected].

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NYS DEC

Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.




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