1. Raptors for use in falconry may be captured or kept in captivity in Louisiana only under permit issued by the Louisiana Department Of Wildlife And Fisheries. Raptors as used in these regulations means a live migratory bird of the family Accipitridae, other than the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), or of the family Falconidae or the great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) of the family Strigidae. Before any falconry permit is issued the applicant shall be required to answer correctly at least eighty (80%) of the questions on a federally approved examination provided and administered by the department. The examination shall apply to all applicants for their first permit.
Applicants who show written proof of having successfully passed a federally approved falconry examination in another state may be issued a Louisiana falconry permit.
2. Falconry permits shall be valid for a period of two years and shall be renewed on July 1. There shall be four classes of permits issued.
Apprentice Permit- An applicant for an apprentice permit shall be at least sixteen years old and shall be sponsored by a person holding a General or Master Faconry permit. A sponsor may not have more than three apprentices at any one time.
Apprentice permittees may not possess more than one raptor and may not obtain more than one raptor for replacement during any 12-month period.
Apprentice permittees may take and possess only a passage American kestrel (Falco sparverius), a red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), or red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus). Such a bird may be taken from October 1 through February 26.
General Permit- An applicant for a general falconry permit shall be at least eighteen years old and shall have at least two years experience at the apprentice level or its equivalent.
General permittees may not possess more than two raptors and may not obtain more than two raptors for replacement during any 12-month period.
Passage and eyas birds may be taken from October 1 through February 26 and eyasses only from May 1 through May 31 by general permittees.
Master Permit- An applicant for a master falconry permit shall have at least five years of experience in the practice of falconry at the general license level or its equivalent.
Master permittees may not possess more than three raptors and may not obtain more than two raptors for replacement during any 12-month period.
Passage and eyas birds may be taken from October 1 through February 26 and eyasses only from May 1 through May 31 by master permittees.
Nonresident Permit- An applicant for a nonresident falconry permit shall possess a general or master falconry permit or license in his state of residence. A copy of this permit or license shall be submitted with the application.
Nonresident permittees may not import into or possess more than two raptors in Louisiana and may not obtain more than two raptors in this state for replacement during any 12-month period.
Passage and eyas birds may be taken from October 1 through February 26 and eyasses only from May 1 through May 31 by nonresident permittees.
3. Permittees shall have in possession a falconry permit and a valid hunting license when engaged in the practice of falconry. In addition, a state Game Breeders License is required to keep any raptor in captivity. This license may be obtained from the Department at a cost of $26.00 annually.
4. Permittees shall abide by all seasons, bag limits, and other regulations of the Department when practicing falconry on game species. Protected birds and mammals taken incidentally by a raptor shall not be retained or possessed by a permittee.
5. Another person may care for the birds of a permittee if written authorization from the permittee accompanies the birds when they are transferred. If the period of care is to exceed thirty (30) days, the Department shall be notified.
6. Any peregrin falcon, gyrfalcon, or Harris hawk obtained shall be marked immediately upon aquisition by numbered nonreusable markers supplied by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These markers shall not be altered and shall be removed from birds which die or are released into the wild and surrendered immediately to the Department.
7. Permittees must complete Form 3-186A, Migratory Bird Aquisition and Disposition Report, each time there is a change in possession (taken from the wild, death, transfer, escape, etc.).
8. The Department may deny issuance or renewal or revoke any falconry permit if the applicant or permittee has been convicted of a violation of any federal or state falconry regulation. A permittee whose permit has been denied or revoked shall immediately dispose of any raptors possessed under the authority of the falconry permit as directed by the Department.
9. All facilities and equipment shall be maintained at or above the standards established by these regulations.
Indoor facilities (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 seperated by partitions and the area for each bird shall be lage enough to allow the bird to fully extend its wings. There shall be at least one window, protected on the inside by vertical bars, spaced narrower than the width of the birds body, and a secure door that can be easily closed. The flow of the mews shall permit easy claening and shall be well-drained. Adequate perches shall be provided.
Outdoor facilities (weathering area) shall be fenced and covered with netting or wire, or roofed to protect the birds from disturbance and attack by predators, except that perches more than 6 1/2 feet high need not be covered or roofed. The enclosed area shall be large enough to insure the birds cannot strike the fence when flying from the perch. Protection from excessive sun, wind, and inclement weather shall be provided for each bird. Adequate perches shall be provided.
The following items shall be in possession before a falconry permit can be issued:
At least one pair of alymeri or similiar type jesses constructed of pliable, high-quality leather or suitable synthetic material to be used when te raptor is flown free. Traditional one-piece jesses may be used on raptors when not being flown.
At least one flexible, weather-resistant leash and one strong swivel of acceptable falconry design.
At least one suitable water container, two to six inches deep and wider than the length of the raptor for each raptor.
At least one weathering-area perch of acceptable design for each raptor.
A reliable scale or balance suitable for weighing the raptors held and graduated to increments of not more than one-half ounce.
Amended November 22, 1983 by Commission Action to add the following:
10. Any permittee may purchase, sell, or barter any lawfully possessed raptor which is bred in captivity under authority of a federal raptor propagation permit and banded with a seamless marker authorized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, subject to compliance with all federal falconry rules and regulations published in Federal Register Vol. 48, No. 132 dated July 8, 1983.
Note: These rules and regulations apply only to the state of Louisiana. For information pertaining to your states rules and regulations please contact your State Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
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