New York, NY - March 17, 2014 - Examinations for individuals seeking an apprentice license to practice the sport of falconry, to become a licensed volunteer wildlife rehabilitator or those interested in obtaining a license to use leashed tracking dogs to find wounded or injured big game animals are scheduled for Friday, April 11, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today.
The exams will run from 10:00 a.m. to noon at DEC Regional offices across the state. The list of regional offices can be found on the DEC website. The deadline to register to take any of these exams is Friday, March 28.
Apprentice Falconry License
Falconry has a rich history and tradition throughout the world. Falconry is a demanding sport that requires a significant commitment of time and effort. The novice must be prepared to accept the responsibility that is part of falconry. Apprentices are limited to possessing one bird, either an American kestrel or a red-tailed hawk. For more information about falconry visit the DEC website.
A falconry study guide and examination manual are available to applicants at no cost. The cost of a five-year falconry license is $40.
There is no charge to take the written falconry apprentice exam. To qualify for the DEC 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 which authorizes the hunting of small-game and;
- maintain DEC-approved facilities for housing falconry raptors.
Wildlife Rehabilitator License
Wildlife rehabilitators provide the selfless service of caring for injured, sick and orphaned wild animals, with the ultimate goal of wildlife rehabilitation being to prepare the animals for their return to the wild. Prospective applicants are encouraged to gain experience by serving as an assistant to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. For more information on the Wildlife Rehabilitation Program, visit DEC's website.
A wildlife rehabilitator study guide and examination manual are available to applicants at no cost.
There is no charge to take the written wildlife rehabilitation exam. To qualify for the Wildlife Rehabilitation license, applicants must:
- score 80 percent or higher on the written exam;
- be at least 16 years of age;
- submit two character references along with their application;
- have no convictions for violations of the State Environmental Conservation Law and;
- be interviewed by a DEC regional wildlife staff person.
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 an invaluable service in aiding hunters in locating wounded big game that otherwise may have gone unrecovered. More information regarding the Leashed Tracking Dog License can be found on DEC's website.
A leashed tracking dog study guide is available to applicants at no cost. There is a $50 license fee for the five-year 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;
- possess a valid New York State hunting license which authorizes the hunting of big-game and;
- have no convictions for violations of the State Environmental Conservation Law.
To apply for any of these exams, complete the registration form available on the DEC website. DEC's Special Licenses Unit can also be reached by calling 518-402-8985, emailing the unit at email@example.com or by writing to NYS DEC Special Licenses Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4752.
Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is an effort to improve recreational activities for sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state. This initiative includes the streamlining of fishing and hunting licensing and reducing license fees, improved access for fishing at various sites across the state and increasing hunting opportunities in various regions. This year, Governor Cuomo unveiled the NYS Adventure License, which allows outdoor enthusiasts, boaters, anglers and hunters to consolidate their recreation licenses and benefits onto their New York State Driver's License, and the NYS Adventure License Plates, featuring nine plate designs available for free to those buying new lifetime hunting, fishing or park licenses in 2014.
In support of this initiative, this year Governor Cuomo has proposed creating 50 new land access projects to connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors to more than 380,000 acres of existing state and easement lands that have gone untapped until now. These 50 new access projects include building new boat launches, installing new hunting blinds and building new trails and parking areas. In addition, the Governor's 2014-15 budget proposes to: include $4 million to repair the state's fish hatcheries; limit the liability of landowners who allow recreational activities on their properties, which could open up vast, untapped resources for additional hunting, fishing and many other recreational pursuits; and allow crossbow hunting once again in New York State.