Monday, March 21, 2022

DEC Announces Falconry, Wildlife Rehabilitator, and Leashed Tracking Dog Examinations

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Exams Online April 1; Registration Deadline March 25

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced that examinations for individuals seeking a license to practice the sport of falconry, become a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator, or use leashed tracking dogs to find wounded or injured big game animals are scheduled for Friday, April 1. The registration deadline for these free exams is Friday, March 25. To provide broad access to these examinations, DEC is offering them exclusively online.

To register for any of these exams, visit the NYSDEC Special Licenses Unit webpage. The link to the registration website (leaves DEC website) is provided on each of the individual license webpages, along with directions on how to register. An email acknowledgment of registration will be sent to applicants along with an additional one-time link to access the website on the day of the exam.

Apprentice Falconry License

Falconry has a rich history throughout the world and requires a significant commitment of time and effort. Apprentices are limited to possessing one bird, either an American kestrel or a red-tailed hawk. A falconry study guide and examination manual are available at no cost from DEC. The cost of a five-year falconry license is $40.

To qualify for the Apprentice Falconry license, applicants must:

  • score 80 percent or higher on the written exam;
  • be at least 14 years of age;
  • possess a valid New York State hunting license;
  • maintain DEC-approved facilities for housing falconry raptors; and
  • be a resident of New York State.

Wildlife Rehabilitator License

Wildlife rehabilitators provide for the care of injured, sick, and orphaned wild animals for the purpose of returning rehabilitated animals to the wild. Prospective applicants are encouraged to gain experience by serving as an assistant to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. A wildlife rehabilitator study guide and examination manual are available at no cost from DEC. There is no cost for the five-year wildlife rehabilitation license.

To qualify for the Wildlife Rehabilitator License, applicants must:

  • score 80 percent or higher on the written exam;
  • be at least 16 years of age;
  • be interviewed by DEC Regional wildlife staff; and
  • be a resident of New York State.

Leashed Tracking Dog Handler

Leashed tracking dog handlers use their dogs to track and recover dead, wounded, or injured big game. Leashed tracking dog handlers provide a valuable service by helping hunters locate wounded big game that otherwise may go unrecovered. A leashed tracking dog study guide is available at no cost from DEC. There is a $50 license fee for the five-year leashed tracking dog license and a $25 non-refundable application fee.

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

  • score 80 percent or higher on the written exam; and
  • possess a valid New York State hunting license.

For questions or assistance, please contact the Special Licenses Unit by mail (NYS DEC Special Licenses Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4752), phone (518-402-8985), fax (518-402-8925), or email SpecialLicenses@dec.ny.gov.

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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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